And it's all over...

Well, what an adventure! Back around Christmas I decided to design a beautiful border for BBC Gardeners' World Live, not thinking anything would come of it. Six months on I have a silver merit, have met some amazing people and learnt so much.

Big thanks to everyone who helped me in big ways and small, and special thanks to my sponsors/supporters who made it financially possible: Cotswold Garden Flowers, BHGSPerky BlendersJim's Mowing and Borrowed Light Florals.

But there is no rest now as I have some new client projects, lots of college assignments plus am volunteering at RHS Hampton Court Flower Show, including planting for Mr Piet Oudolf himself.

BBC Gardeners' World Live opens in six days!

Not long now until my border: 'Useful and beautiful' features at BBC Gardeners' World Live! The plants from Cotswold Garden Flowers are picked, packed and waiting for me at the NEC. BHGS has kindly supplied the equipment I'll need for the week. Perky Blenders has designed and printed my leaflets - and along with Jim's Mowing - have provided me with some financial support. And Kevin at Gardeners Beehive is ready and raring to build one of his beehives for me. 

And I'm really pleased to also be incorporating some beautiful artwork made by Sarah at Borrowed Light Florals. Sarah has made a series of tansy flowers from beeswax. The sculptures were originally part of the Chelsea Fringe festival at Walthamstow Wetlands in East London. Aren't they spectacular?!


Follow me on Instagram for all the updates @alexaryanmills and Twitter @alexaryanmills for the highlights. Looking forward to it and hope to see lots of you there. There are still a few tickets available online if you haven't got yours!

It's all coming together nicely

Things are coming together nicely for my border at BBC Gardeners’ World Live in June. I now have the support I need to make it all happen! Phew...

Cotswold Garden Flowers, a specialist nursery in Worcestershire, is lending me my plants for the weekend. They’ve got a great reputation for easy-to-grow and unusual hardy herbaceous perennials. Ed Brown, who is the son and heir of the nursery owner Bob, generously spent a couple of hours with me showing me some of the hundreds of varieties they grow (see pics below). If you're wondering, that's an agave plant on the right, artfully protecting staff with polystyrene chips.

BHGS, who supply all kinds of gardening products, are kindly donating me the bits and bobs I need to make it all ship shape. From making sure I can properly water the plants throughout the show – let’s hope for sun! – to the hi vis jacket I need to keep me safe as everyone prepares for opening.

Perky Blenders – a coffee company, based in my local corner of London and quickly growing way beyond the M25, is also sponsoring me and helping with the print and design of leaflets. They do subscription and their coffee is gorgeous! Have a look!

Last but not least, Gardeners Beehive is lending me one of their beehives to add some extra interest to my border. Owner and designer Kevin is even coming early to build it for me so I can make sure it seamlessly fits in with the planting design.

Over the coming weeks I’ll publish more about the different types of pollinators I want to attract to my border and how I’m using different plants to do just that. I won’t really know what I’m using until a couple of days before – I need to make sure everything looks ready and perfect for the show. But keeping different pollinators’ needs in mind will keep me on the right track in the run up and avoid me acting like a kid in a sweet shop at Cotswold Garden Flowers!