Applications open for BBC Gardeners’ World Events Beautiful Borders

Company: BBC Gardeners’ World

Would you like to showcase your garden design talent and horticultural skills to thousands and thousands of gardeners, horticultural experts, media and influencers? Applications for the BBC Gardeners’ World Events 2023 Beautiful Borders competition are open until January 2023. 

Beautiful Borders are an annual visitor favourite at the flagship BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the boutique BBC Gardeners’ World Spring and Autumn Fairs. These compact 9m2  spaces are packed with imaginative design features, planting and materials, and provide inspiration for small gardens and challenging spaces. Whether you’re a seasoned garden designer, a budding first-time creator, horticulture student, gardening club or charity, the Beautiful Borders competition is the perfect oppportunity to gain experience of building a small show garden and to make your mark. 

The theme for the 2023 Beautiful Borders competition at all three events is ‘My Garden Escape’, lending itself perfectly to interpretations of oasis and refuge, peace and mindfulness, health and wellbeing. Alternatively, the ‘Garden Escape’ could be a place of vibrant joy, sensory stimulation and social gatherings with friends or family, perhaps a place to enjoy delicious fresh produce grown from the soil. Entrants should be motivated to use the theme to inspire others to transform an area of their garden into an escape of their own.  

Rachel Poletti-Gadd, Portfolio Director - Gardening Division at Immediate Live, organisers of BBC Gardeners’ World events, said: “Visitors flock to see the Beautiful Borders each year because they are literally bursting with creative, inspiring ideas than can be achieved at home. The Borders show that gardens don’t have to be large, costly or complicated to be full of colour and character, and that even the most challenging spaces, like a shady spot or a tricky corner, can be transformed with some imaginative design. We’re really looking forward to next year’s entries and can’t wait see the finished Borders in situ at BBC Gardeners’ World Live and at our Spring and Autumn Fairs.” 

Jordan Weston, a Beautiful Border Gold award winner at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in 2022, said: “I have taken part in the competition twice now and both times were equally an incredible experience from beginning to end. Not only is it a great opportunity to promote your business, showcasing your skills and talent to tens of thousands of visitors and potentially millions on TV, you’re surrounded by likeminded, passionate horticulturalists who become your family during your time at the event and thereafter. Taking part has opened up so many opportunities for me and my business which would not have crossed my path if I hadn’t taken part. Who knows what being part of this may hold for you, but I say go for it, you won’t regret it. It’s a little addictive, so maybe see you there!” 

Winners of the 2022 Beautiful Borders competition were: 

BBC Gardeners’ World Live, NEC Birmingham: The Crinkle-Crankle Dead Hedge Border by Cathy Perry, a student at Winterbourne Centre for Horticulture, inspired by the kitchen garden hedge at Winterbourne House, Birmingham which offers a bountiful habitat for a wide variety of organisms. 

BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair, Beaulieu, Hampshire: Ogwen Valley by Aaron Marubbi, a landscape designer from North Wales. Aaron’s Platinum Award winning Border was inspired by the Ogwen Valley in Snowdonia.

BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair, Audley End, Essex: We’re All Cuckoo Here by Shona Lockheart, inspired by an old farm near the designer’s hometown of Colchester. The Platinum award-winning Beautiful Border was Shona’s debut design for a show.

At each event, the Beautiful Borders are assessed by a panel of esteemed horticultural experts and  awards are presented to winning designers.

As well as the prestigious Platinum, Gold, Silver Merit, Silver and Bronze Awards to acknowledge excellence within the competition, the Beautiful Border Assessment Panel awards the Best Beautiful Border and Best Interpretation of the Theme which recognise the most outstanding entries. A Best Subscriber Border is also awarded to the best design by a subscriber to BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine.

For full information about how to apply to bring a Beautiful Border to BBC Gardeners’ World Live (NEC Birmingham, 15-18 June 2023), the Spring Fair at Beaulieu (28-30 April) or the Autumn Fair at Audley End (1-3 Septenber), visit the BBC Gardeners’ World Live website at or contact Horticultural Manager, Lucy Tremlett, at:, tel: 020 7150 5130. Applications for BBC Gardener’s World Live and the BBC Gardeners’ World Spring Fair close on 23 January 2023. Applications for the BBC Gardeners’ World Autumn Fair close on 2nd May 2023.

Tickets for BBC Gardeners’ World Live and the Spring and Autumn Fairs are on sale now. Event highlights include inspiring gardens and Beautiful Borders, plant and garden shopping, gardening advice from experts including Gardeners’ World Magazine editors and TV presenters, live entertainment, shopping, and food and drink features.

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