New design award honours Beth Chatto

Beth Chatto's Gravel Garden

The SGD has announced a new ecological design award for the SGD Awards 2020 in honour of visionary plantswoman, garden designer and author, Beth Chatto.  

The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award, which is open to all SGD members, will be presented for a project where the design focus is on the garden’s environmental impact by the creative, ecological use of materials and planting, to maximise sustainability, minimise maintenance and attract pollinators and wildlife.

Announcing the award, as entries for the SGD Awards 2020 opened this week, Lynne Marcus MSGD, Council Member for the SGD Awards, said: “Beth Chatto was one of the most influential horticulturalists of the last 50 years and her firmly held commitment to ecological planting has paved the way for a whole generation of gardeners and garden designers.  Launching an award in her name, at a time when the need for better and more environmentally-friendly gardening techniques is more important then ever, seems entirely fitting.  We are extremely proud as a Society to honour Beth Chatto and her work in this field.”

David Ward, Garden and Nursery Director at Beth Chatto Gardens, will join the SGD Awards judging panel to select the winner.  He said: “The winner of this award will be someone who demonstrates to others the great reward gardening can give: to nature, the environment, and the individual gardener. By recognising a designer who creates spaces that reward – through wildlife-loving habitats and sustainable planting schemes – I hope we can persuade others of the global impact ecological planting can have.”  

In addition, the SGD will welcome George Plumptre, Chief Executive of the National Gardens Scheme, who will join the panel to judge the Historic Garden Restoration category, which returns as a biennial award.  Rhoda Parry, Editorial Director from Awards media partner Homes & Gardens will also join the judging panel and Richard Sneesby will continue to act as head judge for the 2020 Awards.  A landscape architect, garden designer and degree level lecturer on the Eden Project, Richard is also an RHS judge at the Chelsea Flower Show and other RHS shows.

The SGD Student Awards, which are assessed separately, will continue to be judged by Society member Debbie Roberts MSGD of Acres Wild who will be joined this year by Rhoda Parry from Homes & Gardens. 

The SGD Awards, which are in their eighth year, are now open for entries for 2020. In total, 16 award categories are open for entry ranging from Large Residential Garden and Planting Design to Garden Jewel and International Garden.   The Beth Chatto Eco Garden Award will be sponsored by The Garden Builders. 

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