Society of Garden Designers award winners announced

Cleve West and Ian Smith are among winners at the SGD annual awards.

Ian Smith's design
Ian Smith's design

Ian Smith of Acres Wild won the grand award at this year's Society of Garden Designers awards for a private garden in Surrey, which judges declared "a transformational project".

"This garden achieves one of the most difficult goals in garden design - it feels as if it has been in situ for several decades," they said. Devised as a journey through interlinking spaces, the judges said the garden "feels composed and perfectly linked and has a period ambience, exhibiting confidence of scale".

The garden also took the large residential garden award, at a ceremony in Kensington, London, on Friday night.

Cleve West won best public or commercial outdoor space for Horatio's Garden, at a spinal treatment centre in Wiltshire, which also took the people's choice and the judges award. They said of the garden: "This is what healing gardens should be like, if only they all had a similar design. It has beautiful planting that works with the scale of the building and helps to reconnect people to nature."

Charlotte Rowe's three awards included best medium residential garden, best hardscape and best lighting design, for a contemporary garden in Wimbledon.

Dan Pearson won the historic garden restoration for work at a Gertrude Jekyll garden. Pearson referenced Jekyll’s written work and surviving archival planting plans from her gardens of the same period, something which judges found "a sensitive, beautiful and intelligent response to the client’s brief".

Rosemary Coldstream won best pocket garden, Debbie Roberts best international garden, John Davies was future designer, Jackie Herald and Annie Chapman won designing for community space and Andrew Wilson/Gavin McWilliam won the paper landscapes innovation award. Joanna Midwinter and Jiyoung Kim won the student prize.

SGD chair Philippa O’Brien MSGD said: "One of the joys of superb garden design is that it looks effortless.  These gardens are however the result of years of training and experience, immense skill and razor sharp attention to detail. I am immensely proud that the SGD is the professional body representing such finely honed talents and we are able to recognise and celebrate these talents at The SGD Awards ceremony."

Beth Chatto was awarded the John Brookes lifetime achievement award. A natural choice, said O'Brien.

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