BBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair 2024

Beautiful Border - The Synthesis Border

As seen atBBC Gardeners' World Spring Fair 2024 logo
Meet the designer
Pamela Barden, owner and designer from Painted Fern Garden Design makes her debut as a lead designer at BBC Gardener's World Spring Fair 2024. She brings extensive behind the scenes show garden experience having worked on a number of gardens at RHS Hampton Court Garden Festival and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 2017 to 2023.

Pamela set up Painted Fern Garden Design in 2016. Having previously had a successful career in Graphic Design and studio management for many years, Pamela chose to follow her heart after having children by combining her love of design and plants. Pamela studied Garden Design in 2002 at The English Gardening School based at the Chelsea Physic Garden and also has a RHS Level 2 Certificate in the Principles of Horticulture. She was also shortlisted in the Pro Landscaper small project BIG IMPACT awards in 2021 for planting design and in 2022 for both planting design and special feature categories.

Pamela's inspiration for The Synthesis Border draws on her gardening experience from the last 25 years, 22 of which have been in her current Surrey based woodland edge garden. Pamela says: It's now more important than ever to be gardening for nature, not just ourselves. I've always gardened organically and I try to encourage as much wildlife into the garden as possible, being rewarded with regular sitings of bats, owls, wood mice and stag beetles. The Synthesis Border shows that by bringing together a range of habitats and plants that it is possible even in a small space to create homes for wildlife and still have a border which looks beautiful.


 The Synthesis Border designer Pamela Barden Beautiful Border designer Pamela Barden
The Synthesis Border Visual

The Synthesis Border
The border aims to create a series of habitats of woodland edge, hedgerow, dry stone wall, log pile, meadow and water. Layered planting is a mixture of native and non-native plants with a woodland edge feel.

1. Hedgerow
A dead hedge created from copiced Hazel and Cornus will sustain much wildlife whilst a young hedge is establishing. Birds and hibernating insects will make use of hedgerow and butterflies will appreciate the shelter.

2. Dry-stone wall
The dry-stone wall gabion seat has been created from Purbeck gabion rock, a naturally occurring limestone on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. Reptiles and invertebrates will appreciate the reflected warmth from the stone.

3. Woodland edge
Having a range of planting from trees through to shrubs, perennials and bulbs allows birds, butterflies, mice and hedgehogs with shelter and nesting sites.

4. Water
Adding water to a garden is a sure fire way of encouraging wildlife in. Dragonflies, damselflies, newts, frogs and toads will hopefully be regullar visitors to the water. Hedgehogs, birds and bees will also benefit. Adding pebbles to the water aids safe access for creatures and a landing pad for insects.

5. Pocket Meadow
A pocket size mix of grasses and perennials to creat a mini meadow offering food and shelter for passing pollinators and wildlife.

6. Log pile
Frogs, toads, newts, centipedes and beetles will be encouraged into log piles in the shade, whilst log piles in the sun provide a neting site for solitary bees.

The border aims to create a series of different wildlife habitats
Tiarella Tiarella 'Spring Symphony'

Anthriscus sylvestris 'Ravenswing' and Aquilegia

Camassia Camassia leichtlinii 'Caerulea'
Geranium Geranium macrorrhizum

Ajuga reptans ‘Black Scallop’ – short and long tongued bees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Allium schoenoprasum – solitary bees, bumblebees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Anaphalis triplinervis - bees, beneficial insects, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ – hoverflies, wasps
Aquilegia ‘Florida' – short tongued and long tongued bees
Aquilegia ‘Georgia' – short tongued and long tongued bees
Aquilegia ‘Red Hobbit' – short tongued and long tongued bees
Aquilegia ‘Spring Magic Yellow’ – short tongued and long tongued bees
Armeria maritima 'Rubrifolia' – bees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ – birds
Brunnera macrophylla ‘Alexander’s Great’ – bees
Camassia leichtlinii 'Caerula' – bees
Convallaria majalis var rosea – bees
Cornus alba ‘Sibirica’ – birds, bees
Digitalis purpurea ‘Dalmation Purple’ – long tongued bees, butterflies, moths
Elaeagnus x submacrophylla syn ebb – birds, bees, other pollinators
Erigeron karvinskianus – bees, insects, soldier beetles, butterflies
Eryngium bourgattii – bees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Euphorbia amygdaloides ‘Purpurea’ – beneficial insects, other pollinators
Foeniculum vulgare ‘Purpureum’
Galium odoratum – bees, other pollinators
Geranium macrorrhizum – bees, beneficial insects, butterflies, moths and other pollinators
Hedera helix ‘Kolibri’ – birds, honey bees, bumblebees, solitary bees including ivy bee, beneficial insects, butterflies, moths, hoverflies, wasps and beetles
Heuchera 'Thomas' – bees
Iris germanica 'Raspberry Blush' – long tongued bees
Lamium maculatum ‘Pink Chablis’ – hairy footed bee
Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’ – bees, birds, butterflies, moths including hummingbird hawkmoth, caterpillars, other pollinators
Lonicera  x heckrottii ‘American Beauty’ – bees, birds, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, other pollinators
Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’ – bees, birds, butterflies, moths, caterpillars, other pollinators
Nepeta faassenii – long tongued bees, beneficial insects, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Origanum vulgare aureum – bees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Phlox douglasii 'Ice Mountain' – bees, other pollinators
Polygonatum x hybridum – bees
Primula vulgaris – common carder bees, bee flies, hairy-footed flower bees, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Rosa glauca – leaf cutter bees, rose chafer beetles

Gabion_cage Wildlife habitat in gabion cage

Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ – bees, birds, other pollinators
Saxifraga urbium – bees, other pollinators
Stachys byzantina – wool carder bee
Thalictrum 'Elin' – bees, other pollinators
Thymus 'Purple Beauty' –  bees, beneficial insects, butterflies, moths, other pollinators
Tiarella ‘Spring Symphony’ – hoverflies, honey bees, ladybirds
Trifolium repens purpurescens – long tongued and short haired bees, birds, butterflies, moths
Valeriana phu aurea – bees, flies, butterflies, beetles
Verbascum phoenicum 'Rosetta' – bees, butterflies, moths, caterpillars
Viburnum tinus 'Ladybird' – bees, butterflies, birds
Vinca minor ‘Illumination’ – bees
Viola labridorica – birds, other pollinators

Corten Steel product supplier:
Parker and Coop sell a range of log stores, planters, water features, outdoor fires, pizza ovens and grills made from Corten Steel.
The Parker and Coop Corten Steel water bowl adds charming accents to your outdoor space. Water complimented by the warm rust of Corten steel brings an instant enhancement to your garden with this elegant water feature.

The contemporary Water Bowls are made of durable Corten Steel that will naturally weather and develop a beautiful and protective layer of rust.

Available in six different sizes.

The Parker & Coop Woodstock Hexagons Corten Steel Log Stores are lovingly made by hand in Surrey.

The Log Stores are made of either 3mm Corten steel or aluminium which is extremely strong and robust.

The Log Store is designed with an open back to allow the wood to have airflow whilst seasoning.

There are fixing holes on the rear of the Log Store and we strongly recommend it is secured in place to a solid wall or fence.

Available as a single configuration or as a group of three, six or ten hexagons.
Landscaping material supplier: