Beating the post BBC Gardeners’ Wo...
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Kate Mason’s ‘Garden Envy’ Beautiful Border, sponsored by eBay, was a visitor favourite. Here’s how you can recreate elements of it at home!We asked Kate to share her top five features of her Platinum Award winning Beautiful Border, for ideas that you can recreate at home. In her true candid style, Kate shares all this and more as she takes you on a journey through her experience designing and creating this incredible display.We’ll hand you over to Kate… /*! elementor - v3.11.1 - 15-02-2023 */ .elementor-widget-divider{--divider-border-style:none;--divider-border-width:1px;--divider-color:#2c2c2c;--divider-icon-size:20px;--divider-element-spacing:10px;--divider-pattern-height:24px;--divider-pattern-size:20px;--divider-pattern-url:none;--divider-pattern-repeat:repeat-x}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider{display:flex}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{font-size:15px;line-height:1;max-width:95%}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__element{margin:0 var(--divider-element-spacing);flex-shrink:0}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-icon{font-size:var(--divider-icon-size)}.elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider-separator{display:flex;margin:0;direction:ltr}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator{align-items:center}.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text .elementor-divider-separator:before{display:block;content:"";border-bottom:0;flex-grow:1;border-top:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:first-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider-separator:before{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-left .elementor-divider__element{margin-left:0}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider .elementor-divider-separator>.elementor-divider__svg:last-of-type{flex-grow:0;flex-shrink:100}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider-separator:after{content:none}.elementor-widget-divider--element-align-right .elementor-divider__element{margin-right:0}.elementor-widget-divider:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_text):not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line_icon) .elementor-divider-separator{border-top:var(--divider-border-width) var(--divider-border-style) var(--divider-color)}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern{--divider-border-style:none}.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern.elementor-widget-divider--view-line .elementor-divider-separator,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:after,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not(.elementor-widget-divider--view-line) .elementor-divider-separator:before,.elementor-widget-divider--separator-type-pattern:not([class*=elementor-widget-divider--view]) .elementor-divider-separator{width:100%;min-height:var(--divider-pattern-height);-webkit-mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;mask-size:var(--divider-pattern-size) 100%;-webkit-mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);mask-repeat:var(--divider-pattern-repeat);background-color:var(--divider-color);-webkit-mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url);mask-image:var(--divider-pattern-url)}.elementor-widget-divider--no-spacing{--divider-pattern-size:auto}.elementor-widget-divider--bg-round{--divider-pattern-repeat:round}.rtl .elementor-widget-divider .elementor-divider__text{direction:rtl}.e-con-inner>.elementor-widget-divider,.e-con>.elementor-widget-divider{width:var(--container-widget-width,100%);--flex-grow:var(--container-widget-flex-grow)} “BBC Gardeners’ World Live Special Edition was an unexpected event for us this year.  My team and I pulled together to build my design for eBay and were over the moon to be awarded platinum during the judging. The reception from the visitors and some of my gardening heroes was wonderfully positive, and being featured on the BBC2 Gardeners’ World TV programme, as Carol Klein’s favourite Border, was a true honour. I honestly felt like it was some kind of out of body experience, I couldn’t quite believe I was living my dream and still don’t really believe it now. To create a beautiful border on behalf of such a huge brand as eBay, was an incredible opportunity and one that has given me the motivation to hopefully do another next year.  /*! elementor - v3.11.1 - 15-02-2023 */ .elementor-widget-image{text-align:center}.elementor-widget-image a{display:inline-block}.elementor-widget-image a img[src$=".svg"]{width:48px}.elementor-widget-image img{vertical-align:middle;display:inline-block} Having struggled with my mental health for a few years now, I knew that I had to find ways of dealing with coming down from the highs of a show, and the answer was simple, get out and garden. While I was out organising my garden post show, I got to thinking about all the lovely people I had met and the questions they had asked during the show. I wonder if any of the visitors get the same feeling of sadness or post show blues? Well, in a bid to aid your happiness, I decided I’d do a quick rundown of the most popular plants and accessories from the show. I have included my top tips to make the most of your imminent new tropical plants. In case you were wondering, yes I am trying to stitch you all up with new plants to hide from your significant others, it makes me look less like a crazy plant lady if you all join in.Everything on my Beautiful Border is available from eBay, so all you need to do is type in the following plant names or descriptions into the eBay search engine and check out the different sizes and suppliers available, make sure you check the descriptions and seller ratings before you commit to buying. Colocasia “black magic”This plant is just beautiful if a little temperamental, in fact there’s no two-ways about it, it is one tricky beast! To over-winter these, ideally, they need to be in a heated green house and don’t let them dry out or get too wet. I find keeping them in leaf over winter is better than dry storing as the bulbs tend to rot if lifted, even if you use sulphur or cinnamon to keep the mould away. During the growing season I feed them once a week with an organic liquid seaweed feed which gives you the huge leaves that were on display at GWL. Make sure you water them regularly especially in hot weather, I use rain water where possible as I’m in a hard water area and tap water can leave water marks on the leaves. Colocasia “pink china”Pink China is probably the most hardy of the colocasia and is your best bet If you are just starting out with a tropical garden. Last year when all of my colocasia perished in my experimental, unheated green house, this was the only cultivar to survive in the form of very small bulbs. The bulbs came good after some repotting and sitting on a heat mat for a couple of weeks. I know in warmer areas of the UK they can be overwintered outside with a heavy mulch. The watering and feeding requirements are the same as with black magic. Because they can take a while to get going, I keep all of my colocasia in pots, then they can be easily moved and stored, but you can plant them out and dig up if you chose. Albizia Julibrissin f. Rosea This has to be the most asked about tree I have ever displayed, it’s beautiful pink, silk-like flowers are divine.  The deciduous foliage is delicate and offers stunning dappled shade. Albizia trees have a hardiness rating of H4 they can survive with -5 to -10 temperatures & grow in well-drained soil, in full sun. Alternating mild and cold spells may damage top-growth so I’ve been known to put fleece over if we are due a frost when new growth is visible. Saplings should flower in three years but can take as long as 10 years Angelica giagasThis plant caused great joy and lots of wasp stings during the build and open days. As its predominantly wasp pollinated we had every single wasp in a ten mile radius buzzing around this plant, but It’s beauty is worth all those pollinating wasps. I’d suggest placing this plant away from seating and high traffic areas but definitely don’t miss out. The ideal position is a deep, moist, loamy soil in full or partial shade but it can tolerate drier conditions if mulched. It is a short-lived perennial so collecting seed and sowing as soon as the seed is ripe is the key here. The seeds will also need light for germination, so keep them in a cold frame or green house for the best results. Boho rattan basket chair with cushionsAnd finally, the perfect egg chair to watch these beauties grow. After all of this gardening you’ll need the perfect corner to relax and watch your new plants flourish. This chair was not cheap at £493.99 but it’s worth every penny it has found its forever home in my courtyard surrounded by my most favourite plants. The feeling of calm this chair provides is genuinely one of the best things about it, it’s like sitting in a giant hug. During the show open days, I sat here and felt completely removed from the mayhem surrounding me, I think we all need a moment peace sometimes. If you are planning on buying one of the plants featured on my Beautiful Border, or already have a tropical garden why not tag me, I’d love to see how your projects are coming along also because I love a nosey at a new garden. I often update my social media with tips and tricks for getting the best from your plants and gardens. So head over to @katesgardendesign on Instagram or Facebook and I will do my best not to lead you astray and encourage you to buy more plants… joking, I definitely encourage my fellow plantaholics, it’s kinda my job!” A big thank you to Kate for sharing not only the most talked about features of her Border, and where to get them, but also the soul that goes into the creation of a garden at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.For more inspiration direct to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter > Explore the Beautiful Borders at BBC Gardeners' World Live... Feeling inspired? Find out how to apply to bring a Beautiful Border to the Show
A long, bumpy road
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When Tina Worboys took up the challenge of creating a Beautiful Border at this year’s Show, she didn’t expect to take home a Platinum Award and the honour of Best Border! We asked Tina to share her thoughts and motivations during her journey at BBC Gardeners’ World Live Special Edition and her experience as she worked to breath life into her fantastic Meadow Border design. I grew up watching Gardeners’ World so when my design career took me into the garden, I knew there was one place I wanted to go to show what I could do EpiphanyAfter 20 years as a graphic designer, it was whilst watching Gardeners‘ World one evening that my epiphany occurred. I was sick of using design to sell yet more ‘stuff’ to people, I wanted to use design for good rather than evil! I knew the power of good design could enhance someone‘s mood and maybe even their outlook but I wasn’t sure where that left me. I’d dabbled with interior design but it didn’t have the deeper connection I was looking for.It was hearing Adam Frost speak one Friday evening that the lightbulb finally burst into light. He spoke about design the way I did, yet his subject matter was growing, living and actually benefiting the planet as well as the people. Bingo! I knew there and then that I’d found what I’d been searching for. Thanks Adam! A long, bumpy roadThe road to BBC Gardener’s World Live Special Edition 2021 was a long one! I first contacted the team back in September 2019, ahead of the show due to take place in 2020. We all know what happened next, the world went into lockdown and everything ground to a halt. Unfortunately, not before I bought rather a lot of plants. I attempted to keep these ever expanding seedlings, plugs and small plants going through that first unsettling lockdown in spring/summer 2020. During this time we were still living in London with a polytunnel taking up most of the garden, later banished to the allotment as the paddling pool took preference (quite right too). We’d decided to move out of London before the pandemic hit and found our new home just before lockdown. While the sale and purchase went through the plants largely failed. High winds destroyed the polytunnels, homeschooling and uncertainty zapped my enthusiasm and my Dad’s worsening illness all added up to a pretty difficult time to say the least.Everything culminated in late July. After 20 years in London we moved into our dream house in the country on the Tuesday and said goodbye to my Dad on the Friday. Possibly the strangest and hardest week I’ve known.With the show back on for June 2021, I was off and running again, albeit in that strange autopilot that grief creates. Once again the polytunnel failed me. High winds one night lifted the whole thing and we found it the next day, over the out-building, down the bank and in a ditch. Not one to give up, and with a very supportive family, it was time to move everything indoors! Flower PowerThrough utter mollycoddling, seed trays turned into hundreds of happy pots. With all my annuals sown extremely early to ensure they’d definitely be in full flower for June, the continued pandemic meant the show was now pushed back to the end of August. I wasn’t going to give up now so I ploughed on, again, this time deadheading and praying the plants would just keep going. With hindsight I can see that this drawn out build up helped me immensely. Having to focus on the daily rituals of growing plants helped me through that awful first period after bereavement. I joined the millions of others who found solace and comfort in gardening through uncertainty.By growing the plants myself I also learned so much. Many came and went, roses flowered at will (their will and sadly not mine), slugs ravaged some while others trooped on unscathed. As an organic gardener using only peat free compost it was heart warming to see the garden full of blooms, butterflies and bees, knowing I was leaving the lightest of footprints but making a huge difference. Flowers and nervesAt long last it was finally time to pack up the van and hit the road. With my husband behind the wheel, a van full of plants and a stomach full or nerves we were off. A busy scene of diggers and high vis jackets greeted us as arrived at the NEC and found our way to our empty plot. Nerves were quickly banished by the lovely GWL team who showed us the ropes and helped us with anything we needed. Then it was head down and start building the border that had been rattling around in my head, and garden, for nearly 2 years. And action!After a couple of days of solid planting the Gardeners’ World TV crew asked if they could film my border the next morning with the wonderful Carol Klein for that Friday’s preview show. Obviously I said yes and planted at double speed to have the border looking perfect for its TV debut. The whole team were lovely and watching Carol talk so passionately and animatedly, as I’d seen her do so many times before, but this time about my work, was such a surreal moment that I did shed a few slightly overwhelmed tears! Judgement dayThe border was finished. I was so happy with what I’d created. It felt wild but curated, detailed but simple, beautiful but accessible, exactly what I’d set out to achieve. My plants looked great and all the little details I’d layered in were working their magic, I just hoped the judges would agree! A nervous day of tweaking and waiting followed. That evening when head judge, Richard Barnard, announced I’d won a Platinum Award I was over the moon, and when he read out my name as the Best Beautiful Border it felt incredible. All those months of hard work, false starts and set backs had all been worth it, I’d done it! Show timeWith all the hard work behind me and my award in hand it was time to meet the public and see what they made of The Meadow Border. Over the next four days the public response was beyond anything I could have hoped for. I really thought the ‘wild’ look would be more divisive but it wasn’t at all. The meadow aesthetic hit a nerve and people responded so positively that it filled me with hope for a wilder future. From the moment we arrived at the NEC, the show team, the other designers, landscapers, contractors and everyone was kind, welcoming and went out of their way to help and make sure we were happy and on track. There was a true camaraderie amongst us, many people having been on their own bumpy road to the show. Go for it!If anyone is reading this thinking I might apply but I’m nervous or not sure, I’d say definitely, definitely do it. It was an amazing experience, I learned a lot and met some wonderful people in the process. Don’t be the one sitting on the sofa thinking it could have been me: make it you! If you’d like to take the challenge of designing a Beautiful Border at one of the BBC Gardeners’ World events in 2022 or beyond, email [email protected] for more details.

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