Pershore students creating Beautiful Border for Gardeners’ World Live


L-R Kirsty Fitchett, Alfie Russell and Savannah Jones

Horticulture students at Pershore College have been chosen to compete in the Beautiful Borders design competition at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

The show, which takes place at the NEC from 15-18 June, is celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gardeners’ World and will see 88,000 visitors through its doors over the four days. The Beautiful Borders Competition – with a plot of just 1.75m x 5m – is unique to the show, packed with take-home ideas of how to squeeze the most into your garden, be it growing veg in tight spaces, dynamic planting combinations or clever ways to use material.

Kirsty Fitchett, Savannah Jones and Alfie Russell, who are all first year BSc Horticulture students at the college, submitted a design after lecturer Lynn Brotherton told them about the competition. The Beautiful Borders competition is also themed around 50 years of Gardeners’ World and the students have chosen one of the show’s most famous presenters, Percy Thrower, as their inspiration.

Kirsty who is from Winchcombe said, “The design pays homage to homage to Percy Thrower and his garden, The Magnolias. The design and colour scheme is a retro 60s theme and loosely based on the Union Jack with popular plants from the era.”

Alfie, from Upton-upon-Severn, explained the challenges of creating the border. “It’s the first time any of us have been involved in building a show garden, so there’s lots to learn, such as doing risk assessments! We’ve enjoyed sourcing the plants, visiting RHS Cardiff for example, and everyone we’ve met has been so helpful sharing their experience and advice.”

Savannah, originally from Cardiff, said, “It’s a really nice way to end the year – I think we’re nervous and excited at the same time!”

Lynn Brotherton, lecturer in Horticulture said, “We’re really proud that the students have been chosen for the competition – it’s a fantastic opportunity for them to showcase their skill and creativity. It’s been a busy time of year for them with exams and assignments, but they have put in a lot of extra hard work and preparation. I can’t wait to see them bring the design to life at the show.”

Pershore College offers a range of horticulture courses up to degree level. For more information go to or call 0300 456 0049.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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