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TV’s best loved barman Merlin Griffiths is working with Garden Designer Jane Scott Moncrieff and Avallen Spirits (the show garden’s primary sponsor) on Plan Bee – a permanent home for the unused show plants.

Avallen, managed in the UK by premium drinks importer and distributor Mangrove UK, is a multi-award winning new Calvados brand with a mission to save the world’s bees. In 2019 Avallen pledged to support bees by planting 10,000 plants over the next three years – the next event on the schedule is the planting of 380 show plants at Merlin’s Country Inn; The Maltster’s in Badby Northamptonshire.

Merlin, who is instantly recognisable as the best known and most charismatic of TV barmen comments:

‘I’m delighted to be supporting Avallen’s Bee Positive message and to give the plants a life beyond the show. I’m busy preparing the garden at the moment and we hope to plant in May when the plants will be at their best.’

The show plants are currently being grown at Hortus Loci in Hampshire. Jane comments:

‘Mark Straver and his team produce exceptional plants and I have always been determined to find a home for the plants after the show. Following the cancellation of the RHS Malvern Spring Festival, this is even more important, and I am thrilled to be entrusting them to Merlin’s care, and for the show garden to have a life after all. As originally planned, the garden will commemorate Violette Szabó GC, a WWII SOE agent who operated behind enemy lines in Normandy, the home of Calvados. It will be a lovely, permanent memorial to an extraordinarily courageous young woman.’

Stephanie Jordan, Avallen co-founder, comments:

As a small company, sponsoring a garden at RHS Malvern was a huge opportunity for us to connect with like-minded people who share our love of nature and our passion to protect it. Even with the show cancelled, we are committed to delivering on our promise to save the bees one sip at a time and are delighted to be working alongside our industry friend and legend that is Merlin Griffiths and his local village pub to bring Jane’s vision to life.‘

The other 350 show plants will have a permanent home in London – details to follow soon.

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