Winners have been announced at the Society of Garden Designers seventh annual award ceremony. where 18 designers and two landscape design companies were presented with awards.
The most prestigious award, the Grand Award, was presented to Marian Boswall MSGD for her Reighton Wood Garden, a large contemporary garden in Kent with abundant planting and dense borders which the judges described as ‘absolutely stunning’. Adolfo Harrison MSGD won the coveted Judges’ Award for his Barcelona-inspired courtyard garden and revolutionary garden designer Piet Outdolf was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Marian Boswall’s garden, which the judges also said demonstrated ‘sumptuous planting with texture, mood, atmosphere and playfulness’, was also named best Large Residential Garden alongside Robert Myers MSGD who was joint winner in the category for his walled garden in rural Buckinghamshire.
There was a unanimous decision to award the Judges’ Award to Adolfo Harrison MSGD for his creative approach to a small courtyard in West London (below). Including a pergola, a corten steel water cascade and a seating area set amongst lush green planting, the garden was described as ‘fresh, new and different’ by the judges who said the design ‘creates a wonderful atmosphere’ and offers ‘a welcome antidote to formulaic city gardens.’ The garden also won the Garden Jewel Award.
Newcomer to the awards, Dutch designer Noël van Mierlo won the International Award for a stunning Japanese-inspired garden in the Netherlands (below) which was also voted winner of the People’s Choice Award – the only award in the competition determined by public vote. The garden, in which Japanese elements combine with a modern Western aesthetic, incorporates a Japanese teahouse designed as a refuge for meditation, meandering paths to encourage mindfulness and materials inspired by wabi-sabi principles of imperfection and the beauty of the ageing process. The judges called it ‘brave, accomplished, well-balanced and aspirational.’
Tony Woods MSGDpicked up two awards in the Roof Garden and Public or Commercial Space categories for his Jam Factory and Merchant Square Floating Pocket gardens respectively. The latter transformed a disused area in West London into a series of floating gardens connected by walkways and including a deck area for seating, two large family friendly lawns and extensive planters, which the judges called ‘a wonderful floating oasis’ and said was ‘an amazingly clever idea that could be applied to any city.’
Returning to the podium for the second year running, Helen Elks-Smith MSGD won the Medium Residential category for her contemporary family garden in Hampshire while James Scott MSGD from The Garden Company Ltd was presented with the Small Residential Award. Also triumphing, Martha Krempel took home the award in the ‘Big Ideas, Small Budget’ category for her Horse Shoe Bend garden, a small walled garden in London inspired by Arizona’s Painted Desert and Pointalist art, where an indoor garden of cacti and grasses spills out into wildlife friendly planting outside in hues of coral pink, pale yellow and mauve.
Fresh designer award
Elsewhere Rachel Reynolds and Sam Westcott were named joint winners in the Fresh Designer category for designers who have been practising for less than five years; Landscape Company Bowles & Wyer, led by John Wyer FSGD, won the Healing, Learning or Community Award for one of five courtyard gardens they have designed for Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, and Gavin McWilliam MSGD and Andrew Wilson FSGD picked up the Hardscape Award for the hard landscaping of their Hertfordshire Garden, featuring drystone walls and corten steel windows which the judges said was ‘hugely accomplished, impeccably executed and demonstrated exquisite work’.
The Planting Award was won by Emily Erlam for Tithe Barn, described by the judges as ‘a plant-lovers garden demonstrating pure plantsperson talent’. Designed for maximum impact and year round drama, the garden, in the flat lands of north Norfolk, features exuberant planting around a series of spaces including an outdoor living room and kitchen, a courtyard and a rain garden.