Garden design awards announced at the Spring Fair 2024

Inbud Design, Maggie’s Southampton and Merrist Wood College collect top awards at Beaulieu

BBC Gardeners’ World presenter, Frances Tophill, has presented awards to talented designers, landscaping teams and horticulture students for their stunning show gardens at the BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair at Beaulieu in the New Forest. The colourful, plant-packed, annual Spring Fair is a celebration of the start of the spring gardening and growing season and is expected to attract thousands of 20,000 visitors between 3—5 May.

With twenty Feature and Showcase Gardens, Beautiful Borders and College Competition Gardens to view, the Spring Fair’s panels of show assessors had a tough job on their hands. Assessing the spectacular Showcase and College Competition Gardens were multi award-winning garden designers, Richard Barnard (Kings Oak Landscapes), Pippa Probert (BBC Two Your Garden Made Perfect, Outer Spaces Landscaping and Design) and Professor David Stevens. For the Beautiful Borders, assessors were Ian Hodgson, editor of Garden News, Anita Foy, the Hampshire-based garden designer, and Phil Tremayne, General Manager of the Association of Professional Landscapers.    

Best Showcase Garden and a Platinum award were presented to award-winning landscape designer Matt Le Gassick, founder of Inbud, for The Inner Dancer. The garden was designed in partnership with Great Oaks School, a specialist secondary school in Southampton for young people with complex learning difficulties. 

Best Beautiful Border and a Platinum award were presented to Southampton-based garden designers Andrew Williamson and Laura Hall for Together. The design was inspired by the warm, welcoming and supportive space provided for people affected by cancer at Maggie’s Southampton, and featured two simple block benches set amongst a woodland-style glade with soft, calming colours and textures.

Best BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Subscriber Border and a Silver Merit award were presented to Salisbury-based garden designer, David Long, for Memory Lane – Grandfather’s Garden, inspired by the designer’s earliest gardening memories in his grandfather’s small but flower- and veg-packed cottage garden in Wiltshire.

Best Interpretation of the Theme (Share My Space) was awarded to Pamela Barden from Woking-based Painted Fern Garden Design for The Synthesis Border, a design featuring nectar-rich plant species and nature-friendly features like a stone-filled pool and a hedgehog house.

Best College Garden and a Platinum award were presented to staff and students from Guildford-based Merrist Wood College for Equilibrium. The budget-friendly design included a living roof, recycled, upcycled and repurposed features, and two very different planted areas, one drought-tolerant and one flood-tolerant.

GWSF24 SHOWCASE GARDENS - Inner Dancer (4)
GWSF24 BORDERS - Together (4)
GWSF24 BORDERS - Memory Lane (4)
GWSF24 COLLEGES - Merrist Wood (4)

New year, new garden, new trends!

We’re through the garden gate into 2023, with a host of gardening trends blooming throughout the country. From house plants reaching dizzying heights of popularity, to the colour of the year ‘Viva Magenta’, read on for our full list of trends.

To get up close and personal with fresh garden inspiration, new plants, the latest gardening kit and more, join us in 2023.

Colour of the Year 2023

Hand-picked by Pantone, the colour of the year has been named as ‘Viva Magenta. 

Pantone describe the colour as ‘brave and fearless, and a pulsating colour whose exuberance promotes a joyous and optimistic celebration, writing a new narrative.’

Discover a world of colour and scent in the stunning Floral Marquee,  bursting with award-winning nurseries and display.

Sustainable gardening

Whilst your garden might seem to already be very green, it can always be greener!

Discover ways you can make gardening more sustainable, like upcycling common items to make stylish features. What was a pallet, hessian bags, bits of pipe, and tin cans, could become a planter, grow bags, water features, and wildlife habitats.

Be inspired by the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine editorial team as they’re joined by experts to give tips and advice.

Grow your own food

Looking to go from soil to supper this year? Get brilliant advice from the National Allotment Society at the event.

Peat-free gardening

Learn about the latest peat-free compost from exhibitors who can offer face-to-face advice.

Indoor gardening

Foliage doesn’t just belong outside – bring nature indoors and be inspired by the Houseplant Hub.

Mindful gardening

Beautiful Borders returns with this year’s theme ‘My Garden Escape’ to give you space savvy ideas.

Gardening on a budget

Discover different ways you can let your garden bloom under a tighter budget, with advice from expert gardeners.

Fermented foods

Visit the BBC Good Food Summer Show (with free entry with your ticket!) and discover the latest foodie trends.

Feeling inspired? Find out what else is happening at BBC Gardeners’ World Live this June!