St Albans novice gardener showcasing two designs at BBC Gardeners’ World Live

PUBLISHED: 21:00 13 June 2018

Natalie Forkin is competing live for the Beautiful Borders prize at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC.

Natalie Forkin is competing live for the Beautiful Borders prize at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC.

Archant

A novice local gardener is creating two designs which will be showcased at a prestigious BBC competition.

Natalie Forkin is competing live for the Beautiful Borders prize at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC. Natalie Forkin is competing live for the Beautiful Borders prize at BBC Gardeners’ World Live at Birmingham’s NEC.

St Albans local Natalie Forkin is currently competing for a Beautiful Borders prize at BBC Gardeners’ World Live.

The theme for this year’s competition is Small Spaces, and she is realising two designs called White and Shade and Going Back to your Roots.

White and Shade focuses on sheltered areas using shade tolerant plants. Going Back to your Roots combines edible flowers with pickable fruit and vegetables for a tasty experience.

Natalie, who has just finished an Introduction to Garden Design course at Capel Manor College in Enfield, said: “Naively I entered two designs - the theme is Small Spaces and I had two ideas so wanted to submit both.

“I hadn’t expected anything to come of either, but to my complete surprise both designs were selected for the show.”

She is one of the only competitors with more than one border to recreate.

“I was pleased, shocked, excited, nervous and a bit naive - I just didn’t know what there was to do and how much goes into it.”

Natalie estimates she has spent thousands recreating her designs, sourcing the plants, and growing the vegetables.

She thanked Aylett Nurseries garden centre and Notcutts in Smallford, which have both supported her with donations.

Redbourn-based plant designer Kate Cackett has also offered her valuable advice through the process.

There are gold, silver merit, silver, bronze medals up for grabs, as well as the Best Beautiful Border and Best Interpretation of the Theme awards.

Natalie is up against 21 other designs all vying for a prize.

She added: “I’m loving the adventure - it’s challenging, rewarding and I’m learning loads. It’s also frustrating, exhausting and expensive.”

The borders are open to the public from June 14 to 17.

Natalie used to work for Nestlé Cereals in Welwyn, before she started the Enfield course as a potential new career path.

She has lived in St Albans for more than seven years and now works at New Form Landscapes in the city.

Find out more about the competition at www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com/whats-on/show-gardens

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CountryPhile

One of my favourite summer activities as a child was pond-dipping. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a house with a fairly large pond in the garden and so my pond-dipping activities often extended over days and weren’t as much dipping as a thorough exploration of the life in the pond.

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