Following the hugely successful SGD Symposium this summer, at which speakers and delegates explored how to create gardens that are good for the environment, the Society of Garden Designers’ Autumn Conference will examine how landscape design holds the potential for ensuring a sustainable future in a world of diminishing resources and climate change.
The conference, titled Natural Networks: connectivity in landscape and garden design, takes place at the Royal Geographic Society in London on Saturday 26 November.
The day-long event, chaired by garden designer and educator Annie Guilfoyle, will hear speakers discuss the importance of connectedness in garden design through a range of public and private projects of different scales. The line-up of acclaimed landscape architects and ecologists includes Tom Hoblyn MSGD, Ula Maria, Dusty Gedge, Prof. Helen Woolley and Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt.
Fresh from their Best in Show triumph at RHS Chelsea, Lulu Urquhart and Adam Hunt will explain how they tailor their approach to landscape design in order to address and bolster biodiversity, creating connections between gardens and the wider natural world. Their talk will draw on a selection of their projects, with a focus on the challenges posed by both smaller scale residential gardens and wide scale estate management, restoration and land healing.
Landscape designer Thomas Hoblyn MSGD will present a selection of larger scale public and private landscapes designed with nature in mind, that aim to provide an accessible, sustainable place for people to meet and for children to play in, while also considering climate change and wildlife.
On a smaller scale, garden designer Ula Maria will explain how and why she aims to distil large scale landscapes into small urban plots; while green roofs and infrastructure specialist Dusty Gedge will be offering advice on attracting birds and beneficial insects into planting schemes for both new build and retrofitted installations.
Professor Helen Woolley, Head of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Sheffield, will explain the different types of children’s play and how the design of inclusive play spaces can support children’s physical, wellbeing and social development. She argues that opportunities for children to play outside matter, not just in gardens in the UK but also across the world – whether in constructed playgrounds for social housing or found spaces in post-disaster zones.
Throughout the day attendees can visit the exhibitor’s stands for their expertise in plants, the latest landscaping products and services and a pop-in bookshop reflecting the Natural Networks theme.
Chair of the SGD Conference committee Jackie Herald said: “The SGD conferences are open to anyone with a passion for gardens and the wider natural landscape. Our aim is to inform and inspire through first-hand insights into how designers come up with creative solutions to the vital matters of biodiversity, resilience and renewal that sustain the wellbeing of people, wildlife and planet.”