Marian Boswall wins top award at SGD ceremony

Landscape Architect Marian Boswall MSGD MBALI, has been awarded one of the most prestigious prizes in the garden industry, winning the Grand Award at the Society of Garden Designers annual award ceremony – the SGD Awards 2019.

Marian was awarded the prize for her Reighton Wood garden, a part-formal, part-wooded garden on the Kent Weald designed for a botanist who wanted a garden both for pollinators and people.

The SGD Awards judges, on awarding the top prize to Marian, called Reighton Wood, “an absolutely stunning garden demonstrating sumptuous planting with texture, mood, atmosphere and playfulness”. They also commented that this made for an important and long-lasting change to the landscape in which it sits.

The garden, originally a field, was transformed by Marian into a garden filled with abundantly planted borders of dense grasses and herbaceous perennials, planted in drifts to echo the rolling countryside beyond. She intersected the garden by gravel paths and tree-lined vistas to allow views of the beautiful setting.

Marian worked collaboratively with architect Derek Rankin to help connect the garden to the contemporary timber-clad house. A simple, larch-clad extension was added framed with a pergola of weathered oak, leading to a vegetable garden and wildflower meadow.

The garden also incorporated a timber boardwalk, leading to an oak bench and frame, designed to create a visual link to the 200-acre woodland beyond. An existing pond was enlarged and turned into a waterlily and marginals garden with edges of irises.

Marian said she honoured to receive a great accolade for her studio in winning the Grand Award: “My work is about connecting to the land and creating places for the long term that sit well within their surroundings so I was delighted that the judges recognised that in their comments about Reighton Wood,” she said.

She added that the garden was inspired by the Wealden countryside, with planting evoking the fields and hedgerows in pattern and texture, with lots of colour and scent added in the summer to create a sensual immersive experience: “We used local materials and skilled craftsmen to create the details, with sculptures by Alison Crowther,” she said.

The garden was also a joint winner of the Large Residential Garden Category.

Marian is a leading landscape architect known for creating beautiful spaces often in sensitive places. She is gardens advisor to a number of important gardens, estates and trusts and writes a regular series for Listed Heritage, the magazine for Listed Buildings. She is also a Board Director of BALI (the British Association of Landscape Industries) and an advocate of design and education in the industry.

Picture credits: Pictured banner top of page: Marion receiving her award. Credit: ©Edward Hill. Centre: The garden credit: ©Jason Ingram.