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Beautiful Borders dos and don'ts - from those who know!

Katherine Hathaway, Lark Hall Studios

Katherine Hathaway, Lark Hall Studios

Katherine's Beautiful Border entitled 'Fascinating Haunts' won a Platinum Award in 2018.

  • Don’t ever doubt you can do it. It's completely normal to be daunted at times - ask people for help. Even when you arrive at the NEC and find you’ve got an unforeseen gap in your planting.
  • Don’t be surprised when things to go a bit wrong such as plants not flowering in time. Keep calm and don’t be afraid to make last minute changes. Test your plant combinations back at home and, if you can, add in a few things that are ‘looking good’ in your local wholesale nursery.
  • Do give yourself some ‘wriggle room’ in your brief. Focus on the look, feel and purpose you are aiming for with examples rather than tying yourself to specific cultivars. Above all, deliver the border in your brief - that’s what the judges are looking for.
  • Do give transport-weary plants a couple of doses of double strength foliar feed once they are planted. It really peps them up when they are looking a little bit sad. 
  • Do take some time off afterwards. If you aren’t really tired I want some of what you’re on!

Find out more about Katherine Hathaway:

Katherine Hathaway Studios website Katherine Hathaway design email

Ben Stubbs, Lush Gardens North East

Ben Stubbs, Lush Gardens North East

Ben won the Award for the Best Beautiful Border by a BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Subscriber in 2018 for 'Nursery'

  • DO be flexible. Not all plants you have your heart set on are always available, in flower, or the size you need. Sometimes replacements work out even better than the originals envisaged. 
  • DO have options. Buy different varieties of certain types of plants that can add different levels to the planting, and provide a bit of contrast and unity. 
  • DO think about height. Vertical interest is really important and plants that can be in proportion with features is essential. 
  • DO let the Border tell a story that you completely believe in, and don’t worry about how you compare with everyone else. Everybody is individual and passionate which is the great thing about BBC Gardeners' World Live. 
  • DO talk to as many of the other exhibitors as possible and link up on social media if you can. You make great friends and support each other along the way.
     
  • DON'T wait till the last minute if you are thinking of booking accommodation. It’s a long day if you are travelling long distances.
  • DON'T think it will take a day to set up the Border. I was making amendments up until the very last minute.
  • DON'T not apply! The experience is incredible. You meet so many nice people and learn so much. Definitely worth it. 

 Find out more about Lush Gardens North East:

facebook logo - follow Nia Blake Garden Design instagram logo - follow Kate Savill and Globe Gardens email icon - email Nia Blake Garden Design

Beautiful Border Competition 2019

Time left to apply for the Beautiful Border Competition 2019:

Kate Savill, Globe Gardens

Kate Savill, Globe Gardens

Kate, of Globe Gardens, won Gold and the award for Best Beautiful Border with 'And Action' in 2017, inspired by the theme 50 year anniversary of BBC Two's Gardeners' World.

  • When planting, DO be prepared for all types of weather. We had both gale force winds and 30 degree heat wave, but all adds to the fun!
  • A tip for sourcing plants would be, DO talk to professional growers and nurseries as they can grow decent size plants for you, to give your border a more mature feel.
  • DO make sure you have enough plants, as I did need to dash out to pick up a couple more! But there is a balance of knowing when to stop and not to cram in too many.   
  • I loved the experience and met some great people. I DO recommend having a go if you are starting out in the world of horticulture and design.

Find out more about Kate Savill and Globe Gardens:

Facebook icon - follow Kate Savill and Globe Gardens  website home icon - visit Nia Blake's website  instagram logo - follow Kate Savill and Globe Gardens  pinterest icon - follow Kate Savill and Globe Gardens  email icon - email Nia Blake Garden Design  

Emma Hearne, Kingston Maurward College

Emma Hearne, Kingston Maurward College

Emma, from Kingston Maurward College, won a Silver Merit award for her Beautiful Border 'To Plant A Garden Is To Believe In Tomorrow' in 2017, inspired by the theme 50 year anniversary of BBC Two's Gardeners' World.

  • DON'T rely on trade nurseries getting the plants to exactly the right stage that you need. Grow them yourself and have the same plant at several different stages then you can move them in or out of heat/ shade as required.
  • DO try out any structural aspects before you get to Birmingham and make sure that you have all the right tools to put them together.
  • DO bring a watering can.
  • DO enjoy the experience - it is great fun.
  • DO allow yourself more time than you think to put it together then you can get any last minute extras from one of the many excellent nurseries in the area.

Find out more about Emma Hearne and Kingston Maurward College:

website home icon - visit Nia Blake's website  email icon - email Nia Blake Garden Design

Nia Blake, Nia Blake Garden Design

Nia Blake, Nia Blake Garden Design

Nia, of Nia Blake Garden Design, won the BBC Gardeners' World Magazine Subscriber competition to create her Beautiful Border design at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2017. Her Border 'Inspired by Kew' won her a Silver Award.

  • DO try and find some local sponsors. I grew most of my plants and this was extremely hard work, with some failures.
  • DON'T pack in too many plants.
  • DO allow space for the plants to move.
  • But, DO make sure you bring enough plants so you have some to choose from - you don't want to be rushing out to local nursery if you can avoid it.

Find out more about Nia Blake Garden Design: 
facebook logo - follow Nia Blake Garden Design  website home icon - visit Nia Blake's website  email icon - email Nia Blake Garden Design

James Lanwarne, Lanwarne Landscapes

James Lanwarne, Lanwarne Landscapes

James, of Lanwarne Landscapes, with designer Martin Lines, won Best Border at BBC Gardeners' World Live 2016. They went on to design the Contemporary Bee and Butterfly Garden as part of APL Avenue at the Show in 2017, winning the award for Best Construction Landscaper.

  • DON'T risk anything not being quite ready
  • DO choose plants that are most likely to be in flower during the Show - finding alternatives can be challenging and costly at the last minute

Find out more about Lanwarne Landscapes: 
facebook logo - follow Nia Blake Garden Design  website home icon - visit Nia Blake's website  email icon - email Nia Blake Garden Design  instagram logo - follow Kate Savill and Globe Gardens  twitter logo - follow Lanwarne Landscapes  Houzz icon - follow Martin Lines Lanwarne Landscapes

Mark Emmerson, Sprouts Gardens

Mark Emmerson, Sprouts Gardens

Mark Emmerson and Louis Taylor, of Sprouts Gardens,  won a Sliver Merit Award in 2017 for their Beautiful Border '50 Years of Colour'

  • DO be flexible in changing plants and make sure you have options of different nurseries.
  • DON'T design with plants that are difficult to source - we found a nursery that flew some of our plants in from Holland and we went to a very large place in Berkshire for a lot...but i wasn't able to source  all of the plants that i had chosen for my design.

Find out more about Sprout Gardens:

Sprout Gardens Garden Design website  Sprout Garden design email

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