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Welcome to the Society of Garden Designers Conferences


Garden Design in an Era of Climate Crisis

Saturday 21st November 2020


image: B. Haringsma

How do we make garden design relevant in this time of rapid and unpredictable climate change?  Do we ignore the problems, hope that someone else will deal with all this and simply carry on?  Or do we want to help our clients - and ourselves - to adopt a more responsive approach?

If so, what do we need to know? What can we do? And how do we do it? And then what difference can we really make through our designs, and how do we assess this?

With the expertise and specialist knowledge of our celebrated speakers, the SGD Autumn conference will focus on some of the most basic and precious resources we deal with: water, earth and plants. Presentations on these topics will be by Robert Bray, Tim O’Hare and James Hitchmough and they will look at how we can use resources differently and better and do more with less.   Sarah Eberle will explore the meaning of sustainability, how we assess the impact of our actions and decisions, and how we identify areas of design or practice which we may need to reconsider.  Dave Goulson will look at what gardens offer insects, how habitats can be increased and enhanced through design.  Are natives or non-natives better plants for insects and our changing climate?

Conference Chair Mark Laurence will hold the threads of these interrelated and complex topics and help to signal ways in which ideas and designs can be regenerative and create beautiful, ecologically diverse havens that build soils and sequester carbon, and be feasible with a low footprint. Surely this has to be the new role for all garden and landscape designs?

Booking details can be found here 


COLOUR: The art, science and experience 

Saturday 18th July 2020

Good use of colour can play a major role in the successful outcome of a garden or landscape project.  Colour can change our perception of a space, alter our mood when we are surrounded by it and influence the way we use a garden.  But at what point should colour be considered when in a design? 

The SGD Digital Spring 2020 Conference will lift the lid on the use of colour in the garden, looking beyond fashions and trends and exploring the subject from all points, from artistic to scientific. 

An impressive line-up of speakers will include American landscape architect Steve Martino, whose work blends colourful, man-made elements with native plants to reflect the sun-drenched beauty of the American desert; garden designer Emily Erlam, known for her exuberant, colourful planting, sensitivity to the existing landscape and designs will explore the seduction of colour and creation of drama.

Head Gardener and plantsman Benjamin Pope will continue the story looking at colour through eyes on the ground as he maintains and develops a country garden in West Sussex. His talk will explore how colour can be used to create and enhance atmosphere using fruit, vegetables and flowers. Edward Hutchison has used colour as an essential tool throughout his career working as a landscape architect and he will show how his use of colour stretches his creative vision and thoughts as both designer and artist

In addition, Irish gardening consultant and planting designer Jimi Blake will explore the use of colour in his garden at Hunting Brook in County Wicklow, focusing on the colour combinations of flowers and foliage and discussing how he creates tapestries of colour throughout his exotic areas, perennial beds and woodland gardens; and Mike Allaby, author of more than 100 books on plant science, will introduce the often curious reasons as to how and why colour is perceived in the gardens and landscapes that surround us, from a scientific perspective.

The conference will be chaired by Stephanie Mahon, editor of the Garden Design Journal who will examine how colour is expressed and how it changes its nature depending on how it is consumed - either through paint on a canvas, ink on a page, pixels on a screen or light in your garden.

Join us to discover how the right use of colour in garden design – from plants to hard landscaping - can enhance us as individuals, reinforce our connections with the gardens and landscapes we create, and influence the way we use space. 

You can now catch-up on all the speaker presentations with the SGD Spring Conference Video On Demand Archive. 

Buy Spring Conference 2020 (This link goes to an external website)


SGD Conference Trailer


SGD Autumn Conference 2019

The Source 2: Inspiration, Creativity, and the Big Idea

16th November 2019

Did you miss the SGD Autumn Conference 2019? Chaired by multi-award winning designer Cleve West MSGD, a line-up of internationally renowned speakers shared their individual approaches to creativity; the conference offered a rare insight into how they nurture and cultivate imagination, and how they recognise a potentially successful idea and convert it into reality. Speakers included Matt Keightley MSGD and Cameron Wilson from Rosebank Landscaping, landscape architect Jenny CoeHaruko Seki from Studio Lasso, Luciano Giubbilei, and Greek architect and landscape architect Thomas Doxiadis

You can now catch-up on all the speaker presentations with the SGD Autumn Conference Video On Demand Archive. 

Buy Autumn Conference 2019  (This link goes to an external website)

SGD Spring Conference 2019

SEX IN THE GARDEN: Flowers, fruit & foraging

27th April 2019

Did you miss the SGD Spring Conference 2019? 

You can now catch-up on all the speaker presentations with the SGD Spring Conference Video On Demand Archive. 

All sessions containing 7 hours of CPD content - instantly available to order now. 

Buy Spring Conference 2019  (This link goes to an external website)


To discuss all SGD sponsorship opportunities please contact Hoby Abdel on 0203 859 7098 or