British and Irish designers win awards at Singapore Garden Festival
Members of the Society of Garden Designers are celebrating in Asia this month having won top accolades in the Landscape and Fantasy Gardens categories at the biennial Singapore Garden Festival, held at Gardens by the Bay.
Andy Sturgeon FSGD, with Australian designer Jim Fogarty, won Gold & Best Construction Award for ‘Immersion’, a garden dedicated to the designers’ five children, who for years have put up with their fathers being away for garden shows. This garden depicts screen addiction and young people’s overuse of smart phones. The shape of the garden hints at the form of a smart phone, and a haphazard path of stone cubes and pavers symbolises a keyboard and app icons. Nature begins to take over from this world of technology as you step towards the calm green space with water pool in the centre.
It was also Gold for Kate Gould MSGD, who created ‘Urban Lifestyle’, an inviting inner-city oasis and a ground-level community garden intended for use by the residents of the hypothetical surrounding high-rise housing. It features raised planters, hydroponic systems for growing without soil, water harvesting features, a permeable floor and a pergola. Screening, a green wall and the tree canopy create privacy and shelter for the overlooked space.
Pre-Registered SGD Member Tom Massey designed ‘Precious Land’ in Fantasy Gardens, which is an indoor display category, and won Gold and the Best Indoor Lighting Award. His concept is a vulnerable island filled with diverse tropical vegetation, including rare Singaporean plants, surrounded by dark water. A brilliant ‘sun’ lights the island from behind. It represents Singapore, its warming climate and the threat of rising sea levels.
Irish entrant Paul Martin also won Gold for ‘The Green Retreat’, a garden with a central pavilion and cut-stone terrace. The design comprises a variety of planted containers, large multi-stem trees and four square water features, to demonstrate that regardless of soil condition, a smart contemporary garden is achievable.
The judges were former RHS Wisley curator Jim Gardiner and French garden designer Pascal Garbe.