Hillier Landscapes won the overall grand prize, chosen from 16 commercial and domestic categories — the first time a domestic landscaping scheme has taken the top honour since 1997.
The category for domestic projects over £250,000 was split into two, with schemes for more than £500,000 being rewarded for the first time.
Barnard said £300,000-£600,000 projects were becoming more common. “That’s not a lot now if you’re buying a house worth £2m to £3m.”
The Marl House project, in the New Forest, was designed by 2007 RHS Chelsea Flower Show Best in Show winner Sarah Eberle.
Hillier Landscapes managing director Richard Barnard said City money was now outstripping the traditional big projects pop stars and celebrities once wanted.
But he added that following banking uncertainty with the Northern Rock crisis and Citigroup chief Charles Prince quitting, there may be a slowdown in builds as financial companies withhold bonuses.
BALI chief executive Sandra Loton Jones hinted at new membership benefits for domestic contractor members for 2008. She added that a reference to BALI as a reputable trade association last week on BBC1’s Rogue Traders was “vital to the industry”.
B&Q was the main sponsor, another indication of BALI’s drive to attract domestic members.
Double award winners were: Hillier Landscapes; ISS Waterers; Blakedown Landscapes; Thompson Landscapes; Mayfield Construction. For full details, see December’s Landscape Review.
L Hillier is planning a Chelsea Flower Show 2008 Life of George Harrison garden with the late Beatles’ wife Olivia Harrison and designer Yvonne Innes.
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