Main Awards Judges 2024
A panel of independent and respected experts, including designers, academics, journalists and horticultural professionals, will be selecting the shortlisted and winning designs.
Richard Sneesby FLI - Head Judge
Richard is a landscape architect, garden designer, author & until recently was course leader of the award winning degree course in GD at University College Falmouth. He has presented a number of TV series, was co-author of The Garden; Maker’s Manual & wrote the ‘how to design’ sections of the RHS Encyclopedia of GD.
Richard runs a landscape & garden design practice, has won a number of design awards, delivers specialist workshops for the SGD & been an external examiner & assessor for many landscape and garden design courses at home and abroad. Richard will be judging the main awards.
Julie Toll FSGD
Julie Toll has been designing gardens in the UK and abroad since 1982, gaining international recognition by winning 7 gold and 2 silver medals including Best in Show at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show. She has always had a deep passion for gardens and horticulture – she trained at Pershore College of Horticulture specialising in tree and shrubs before studying to become a garden designer at the English Gardening School. Her lifelong interest in the natural world lies at the core of her design philosophy. Julie's inspiration has been garnered from a deep knowledge of plants and natural materials always working with the environment in a sustainable way. Julie's work has been featured extensively in the media.
Helen Elks-Smith FSGD
Helen is known for her thoughtful approach to design and expertise in subtle, textural planting, Helen’s work is informed by an intuitive understanding of the way gardens make us feel, creating timeless gardens that are sensitive to their location. With a background in mathematics, Helen went on to study garden design at Writtle College where her two interests were combined giving her the rare ability to think both creatively and technically, so that the gardens she creates are not only beautiful but practical too.
Helen joined Angela Scanlon for series 1 & 2 or BBC Tv Series Your Garden Made Perfect and has won numerous awards including two RHS gold medals, People’s Choice, three design awards from the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) and two Design Excellence Awards from the British Association of Landscape Industries (BALI).
Robin Templar-Williams FSGD
Working throughout the UK and abroad, Robin has over 35 years of experience in creating functional and beautiful gardens. Gardens and landscapes have always been part of his life as his father was a successful landscaper, designer and author.
Robin is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers (FSGD) and has been a member for 32 years; he is a designer member of the British Association of Landscape Industries (MBALI) and a Fellow of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, USA (FAPLD). He is a past director of all 3 organisations and continues as a judge for the BALI National Landscape Awards and the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL). Robin is a retired RHS judge and was, for many years, a judge for the APLD (USA).
Dan Lobb MSGD
Dan is an award-winning landscape designer and sculptor. He is also a member of the RHS Show Judging Team, and a long-standing member of the SGD Accreditation Panel. His design work has received numerous awards, including RHS Gold Medal and ‘Best Conceptual Garden’. Dan runs a successful design studio, creating innovative, imaginative environmentally-responsible domestic and public spaces. He also regularly lectures in art and garden design at numerous institutions including KLC School of Design, The Arts University Bournemouth and West Dean College of Arts and Conservation. Dan is a trustee of a local tree planting charity, supporting the development of and care for new woodlands planted by children.
Dr Phil Askew CMLI
Dr Phil Askew is Director of Landscape & Placemaking at Peabody leading on Thamesmead, London’s New Town and one of London’s largest regeneration and development projects. He has a background in Horticulture, Landscape Architecture and Urban Design and leading on major regeneration and green infrastructure projects. Prior to his current role he led the design and delivery of the London 2012 Olympic Park at the Olympic Delivery Authority and its transformation into the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, the UKs largest new urban park in over a century. With Peabody he is leading a process to ensure the unique landscape assets of Thamesmead are integrated into the regeneration process and create the greatest opportunities for the current and future population through landscape led green infrastructure.
Chris Young is a gardens consultant, landscape designer and Consultant Gardening Publisher for DK Books (Dorling Kindersley). Formerly Head of Editorial for the Royal Horticultural Society and Editor of RHS The Garden magazine, he left the RHS in 2021 and set up CY Gardens. This multi-disciplinary consultancy works with a range of clients for garden design, content creation, business mentoring and project development. He is Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Garden Design, and author of Take Chelsea Home. Chris has also started publishing a weekly Substack newsletter (Why It Works), deconstructing and understanding garden design. He is based in Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire, but has projects across the country.
Clare is currently editor of The English Garden magazine, the UK’s best-selling luxury gardening magazine. A qualified horticulturist, she trained at Pershore College of Horticulture, and has worked in gardening publishing for the past 20 years, spending time at the RHS on members’ magazine The Garden, and 12 years at Bauer’s weekly title, Garden News. She’s a voluntary postholder for the Hardy Plant Society for whom she edits the HPS’s biannual magazine Cornucopia and is a member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee. She is also a former chair of the Garden Media Guild, the association that brings together gardening media professionals.
James Alexander-Sinclair FSGD
James is a Writer of consumer magazines, national newspapers; occasional television broadcaster; lecturer and blogger. He is a RHS Ambassador and Vice-President: judge. And a Garden designer, including Planting.
Student Awards Judges 2024
Sarah Morgan FSGD
Sarah Morgan is an award-winning Landscape Designer working on projects home and abroad. Sarah has spent over 35 years working with clients, architects, developers and contractors to develop a design ethic that produces landscapes that are visionary, stimulating, purposeful, and considerate of long-term management and maintenance requirements. Sarah has recognised the importance of training Landscape Consultants and Designers to have a firm knowledge and understanding of designing with plants within a sympathetic structural framework. Sarah was Programme Leader at University Kent at Canterbury for the PG Diploma in ‘Garden History, Management and Design’ (1994-1999); Head of faculty, Landscape Horticulture and Design, and Programme Leader for the BA (Hons) Garden Design at Hadlow College (2009-2014), and lecturer in Planting Design at the University of Greenwich.
David Stevens FSGD
David Stevens FSGD has been designing gardens worldwide for over fifty years. He has 26 RHS Chelsea medals, 14 of which have been Gold, and he has won three 'Best in Show' awards. He has written 21 books on garden design and is one of the leading Educators. David has had an immense influence on the growth and development of garden design both through his own work and as a teacher. He was there at the inception of the Society of Garden Designers and is now one of the many SGD Fellows.
Tom Massey MSGD
Since Tom Massey Studio was founded in 2015, Tom’s work has won multiple awards and widespread recognition. Tom’s first awards of note were the commercial and residential SGD student design awards at the 2015 awards ceremony.
Known for his bold, daring and thought-provoking show gardens, Tom enjoys pushing boundaries and searching for inspiration in unusual places such as a refugee camp in Norther Kurdish Iraq, which inspired his first garden the RHS Chelsea Flower Show for the Lemon Tree Trust. Tom’s second garden at the show, for Yeo Valley Organic, was awarded an RHS Gold Medal and the ‘BBC People’s Choice’ award.
Released in April 2023 is Tom’s first book, ’RHS Resilient Garden' is a future focused title on adapting the way we design and manage our gardens in response to climate change, grounded in the latest RHS scientific research.