Are you an experienced or first-time garden designer, a horticulture or garden design student, or a gardening club or charity? BBC Gardeners’ World Events is offering the opportunity to inspire tens of thousands of keen gardeners, experts, media, and influencers by entering its 2024 Beautiful Borders competition.
The Beautiful Borders are a hugely popular highlight at the flagship BBC Gardeners’ World Live at the NEC Birmingham, as well as at the boutique Spring and Autumn Fairs at Beaulieu and Audley End House and Gardens. Applications are open now.
At just 9m2, these mini gardens are packed with imaginative design elements, creative features and planting combinations, offering a treasure trove of ideas for small spaces and challenging places. Entering the Beautiful Borders competition is a great way to get experience of building a small Show Garden and to showcase your design flair and skills. Entrants receive full support from BBC Gardeners’ World Events’ highly experienced horticultural team, and all entries are assessed by esteemed horticulturalists and design experts, with medals awarded. Headline awards are presented to the most outstanding entries for Best Beautiful Border, Best Interpretation of the Theme, and Best Subscriber Border for the best design by a subscriber to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine. Show visitors have their own say by voting for their favourite Border for the Peoples’ Choice award.
New for 2024 is a £200 bursary for select applicants for plants or props. Grants are limited and all applications will be considered on their own merits. 25 bursaries will be awarded for BBC Gardeners’ World Live and 12 for each of the Spring and Autumn Fairs.
The 2024 Beautiful Borders competition theme for all three events is ‘Share My Space’. These mini masterpieces demonstrate that size is no barrier to beauty or functionality, and the theme is all about harnessing the potential of small garden spaces to build a sense of community and bring us together through gardening. Interpretations of the theme might be an idyllic and quiet oasis, a gardening workshop, a space to share with family and friends, nature and wildlife, or visitors to the shows, or even a trip down memory lane.
Lucy Tremlett, Head of Horticultural Division at Immediate Live, organisers of BBC Gardeners’ World events, said: “The Beautiful Borders are miniature masterpieces, demonstrating that size is no barrier to beauty or functionality. No matter what size, gardens are spaces where we can come together, learn from one another, and cultivate a shared green oasis. Whether it’s growing vegetables, nurturing pollinators, or simply enjoying fresh air, the Beautiful Borders reflect a creative use of space while inspiring others to make the most of their own gardens. These tiny show gardens may be limited in size but there are no limits to the creativity that goes into designing them or their potential.”
Winners of the 2023 BBC Gardeners’ World Events Beautiful Borders competition were:
BBC Gardeners’ World Live, NEC Birmingham: … and breathe, a Platinum award winning garden escape for mindful rest, created by first-time designer, Claire Morrell.
BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair, Beaulieu, Hampshire: ‘Not all those who wander are lost’ by Furzey Gardens and Minstead Trust who provide training and work experience for people with learning disabilities. The Platinum award winning garden was inspired by a poem from J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring.
BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair, Audley End, Essex: Free Thinking by Rachel Sporborg, inspired by artist David Tremlett’s wall drawing, Drawing for Free Thinking, at Tate Britain.
Cara Thompson won a Gold award and the People’s Choice title at the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair 2023. She says: “Putting my design application forward was one of the best decisions I have made. The whole journey from designing the vision to creating the Border has been absolutely incredible. It was my first time ever designing a garden and I have now found a new passion for designing. I’ve learnt so much from this experience and am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Being presented with the People's Choice Award from Adam Frost made my year! If anyone is thinking about putting an application forward, just go for it!”
For full information and details about how to enter a Beautiful Border for a BBC Gardeners’ World Event, go to www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com or www.bbcgardenersworldfair.com, or contact Lucy Trernlett, Horticultural Manager, at: email@example.com, tel: 020 7150 5130. Applications for BBC Gardener’s World Live and the Spring Fair close on 23 January 2024. Applications for the Autumn Fair close on 2 May 2024.
Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the Spring Fair are on sale now. Autumn Far tickets go on sale in the spring. In addition to the Beautiful Borders, event highlights include inspiring gardens, spectacular floral displays, plant and garden shopping, theatres and stages featuring gardening tips and advice from BBC Gardeners’ World TV presenters, Magazine edtors and plant experts, garden tours and talks, workshops and demonstrations, plus delicious food and drink with live entertainment.