BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair Beautiful Border winners announced

The Autumn Fair’s Beautiful Borders are compact 9×9 show gardens packed with creative design features and planting, offering inspiration and achievable ideas for visitors with small garden spaces and challenging places. This year’s Beautiful Border theme is ‘My Garden Escape’.

Awards were presented to talented garden designers on the opening day of the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair, in association with English Heritage, at Audley End House and Gardens, Saffron Walden. 

The winner of Best Beautiful Border and a Platinum award was Hertfordshire-based Rachel Sporborg from Rachel Sporborg Design. Her Border design, Free Thinking, was inspired by artist David Tremlett’s wall drawing, Drawing for Free Thinking, installed at Tate Britain’s Manton Stairwell. The Border contrasts rigid hard landscaping with soft, relaxing movement in the planting and offers a vision of the garden as a way to escape and relax from the constraints of modern life. Drawing the eye in, an expansive steel arch frames the planting and a central circulating water feature designed for physical and contemplative reflection. The autumnal planting includes grasses and perennials with a Viburnum Plicatum ‘Watanabe’ as the signature shrub.

Winner of the BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Subscriber Border Award was Consuelo Franco, Assistant Head Gardener at Ballynatray House Estate in Waterford, for On Cloud 9, a Border design inspired by country walks, open skies and the ever-changing cloudscape.

GWAF border winners

“Rachel’s design has great presence and visual appeal, complemented by a restricted planting palette that carried off the vision with great panache.”

Rachel Poletti-Gadd, Portfolio Director – Gardening Division at Immediate Live, organisers of the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair, said: “Following the Autumn Fair’s successful launch last year, we are absolutely delighted that so many talented designers applied to enter this year’s Beautiful Borders competition. The Beautiful Borders offer show visitors a huge range of ideas to take home and try in their own gardens. A lot of hard work, dedication and commitment goes into designing and building Beautiful Borders and we wish Rachel and Consuela our hearty congratulations.”

GWAF border winners (3)

“We loved the artistry in Consuelo’s Border which was underpinned by a diverse range of interesting plants.”

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!