London based landscaping company The Garden Builders has been named the supreme winner at the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) Awards 2012 for their creation of a stunning suburban north London garden. The winners, announced at Kensington Roof Gardens in London on 14 March 2012, gain national recognition for their achievements and are testament to the high calibre landscaping offered by APL members.
The awards, sponsored by Bradstone, now in their 16th year, recognise and promote the very best in landscaping undertaken by APL members in categories that range from smaller projects, special features and garden maintenance to contracts of over £100,000. The awards are a celebration of the high standards that have been achieved by members and demonstrate the APL’s commitment to quality landscaping.
APL members attending the event heard from ultra marathon runner Luke Cunliffe who delivered a motivational closing speech. Having competed successfully in over sixty marathons, ultra marathons and extreme foot-races Luke aims to help people believe in themselves so they can step out of their comfort zone and be inspired to achieve more.
This year’s judges were Mark Gregory (APL Chairman and Chair of Judges), James Steele-Sargent (Arun Landscapes), Adam Frost (Adam Frost Designs), Jo Thompson, (Jo Thompson Designs), Juliet Roberts (Gardens Illustrated magazine), and Jason Lock, (DeakinLock Garden Design).
The Award categories for 2012 are: The Supreme Winner, Landscape/Garden scheme (under £10,000, £10,000 - £20,000, £20,000 - £30,000, £30,000 - £60,000, £60,000 - £100,000 and over £100,000), Hard Landscaping, Maintenance, Commercial Garden, Special Feature, Young Achievers Award and this year there was also a Special Judges Award.
Winner – Supreme Winner, Project value £15,000-£30,000
The Garden Builders is the winner of both the Project value over £100,000, and is the Supreme Winner for creating a stunning suburban north London garden which incorporates a traditional planting scheme with exciting and contemporary design twists. The asymmetrical and linear design by Lynne Marcus Garden Design balances with a combination of structured and naturalistic planting combining both mature trees and smaller perennials. The front garden is the larger space and the entrance gate was moved to provide impact as you approach the property. The rear garden was designed to lead your eye over the reflective water rill to the wider view of Hampstead Heath – a view which can be appreciated from within the house and from the rear, bespoke stone terrace. The glass and lead-clad structure over looking the water was designed as a peaceful, contemplative space that can be enjoyed in all seasons. Professional quality Hunza lighting illuminates the garden in the evening. The judges commented that the garden “Oozes quality” and is a “Well executed and well thought through scheme, beautifully presented and supported by strong design. The timeless design ties in with the architecture. Very slick detail on the steps.”
Winner - Project value £20,000 - £30,000
Hillier Landscapes transformed the garden area of a former working mill whilst retaining a natural stream which emerges from underground and flows into a nearby river. The garden was redesigned with a strong underlying layout aimed at connecting house, garden and water together and unifying the space as a whole. Reclaimed stone (matching the house) was used for walling and steps in order to tie the garden in with the architecture of the property. The garden has a relaxed and informal feel that complements the style of the house and blends naturally into its wonderful natural setting. The judges commented “despite the fact that access to the site was difficult, Hillier have transformed the area into a pleasant little garden. This is well-executed and the stonework looks very good, blending in well with the surroundings.”
Winner - Project value £30,000 - £60,000
Roger Gladwell Landscapes created a secluded courtyard town garden in the centre of the busy market town of Woodbridge. After the existing sloped site was cleared, a new fresh-looking courtyard with terracing, lighting and height for planting was constructed. To meet the client’s request for a clean, crisp look, paving was laid using ethically sourced, six-way sawn sandstone paving stones. Combining this with the installation of river-washed cobbles and Western Red Cedar seating and pergola detailing, this Mediterranean-inspired contemporary courtyard garden was completed. The judges commented “Neat tidy piece of work which got better as the planting got more mature. Nice use of colour, detail and bank of plants. Demonstrates true landscapers art. The scheme is methodical, clean and the horticultural side is really good. Unusual design and original construction features. A garden that you would like to sit in.”
Winner – Project value £60,000 - £100,000
The garden contructed by Nascentia Landscapes Ltd was developed as part of a new house build project and was designed to provide an extension of the interior outside. The garden enjoys fantastic views over rolling countryside and the design exploits this by carefully framing views and by connecting the new garden with the landscape beyond. High quality sawn granite paving provides a clean, stylish terrace which leads on to a large open lawn. Large borders of mixed planting were created either side of the lawn to provide screening and interest. A curved wall with a tree planted within it was created for privacy from a public footpath which runs along the boundary of the property. A fully automated pop-up irrigation system was installed to help both lawn and borders on this free draining soil. A bespoke lighting and entertainment system create a whole new experience in the garden at night. The judges commented that this entry was “Nicely put together and photographed with good images that show the full process and tells a good story – you can see the transformation of the project.” On the garden itself they commented that the “Curved wall is superb. Attention to detail such as the decking is impressive. Lighting is lovely. Smart lines create a feeling of expansiveness and a nice space to be in.”
Winner - Hard Landscaping, plus special judges award
Vandenberg-Hider Landscape Design and Construction demonstrated an impressive commitment to the job of creating a 400 square metre granite sett driveway and additional landscaping at a private house in Rhoscolyn, set on a peninsula of the Isle of Anglesey. Access to the property involved driving down narrow country lanes, through a cramped public car park, down a steep cobbled ramp onto a sandy beach. The small peninsula where the property is positioned is almost completely surrounded by the Irish sea and cut off completely twice a day at high tide. The project was carried out by three staff who had to live away from home for 10 days at a time to get the work completed. Judges commented “They overcame all obstacles – getting over the beach to the site and carrying all of the materials a mile and a half and showed incredible commitment to the task and demonstrated pure endurance. Especially like the story that comes through in the presentation.” The judges were so impressed with the determination and tenacity of Vandenberg Hider in getting this project completed that they awarded them with a Special Judges Award for this entry in recognition of the work they put in to it.
Winner – Overall Design and Build
Garden Art Designs created a new garden to complement a large house and barn extension, linking the old with the new. The client wanted a traditional garden that had a contemporary planting style, and could accommodate a children’s play area, a new swimming pool, vegetable garden, natural pond and wild flower meadow. It also needed a number of areas for large entertaining, along with more intimate spaces. Many of the existing trees and shrubs were moved and used in the final planting plan. Lighting, irrigation and drainage systems were included. The hard landscaping was done in red brick to link with the house and a rustic brown sandstone paving. The judges commented that the garden was “very accomplished and holds together really well, picking up on the details of the house. The space works really well with bold sweeps, strong design around the swimming pool and intricate planting plans.”
Winner – Maintenance
Hambrook Landscapes continued the high specification of landscape work by maintaining this Wiltshire garden to a very high standard throughout the year. The garden includes a three-quarters radial hardwood decked area, a cascade and pond which has been constructed in a prime viewing position and can be seen from the garden as well as the house. This is reached by a gravel path, which leads via steps from the house. Oak sleepers set at different levels provide an interesting board style walk to the main area, which overhangs part of the pond. Lighting completely transforms the garden into a spectacular array of flamboyant colours, creating a wonderland for entertrainment in the evening. The judges commented that the garden had been “put together beautifully and was well maintained. Presentation is very current and professional. It’s refreshing to see someone who has been around for so long keeping up to date with the times.”
Winner – Special Feature
A natural swimming pool designed and created by Keyscape Garden Design & Construction forms the centerpiece of Court Farm garden. The pool was designed not only to swim in but also to look attractive throughout the year. The decking and seating areas around the pool provide plenty of vantage points from which to enjoy the pool-side setting. Judges commented that as a construction feature, the swimming pool is “very sharp, complex and demonstrates the skills of a good landscaper.”
Winner - Young Achievers Award
22 year old Jake Barton has been with The Millbrook Garden Company for 6 years where he has developed excellent customer relationships, picked up skills quickly and risen to the challenge of demonstrating that he is equal in speed in ability to more experienced landscapers. He was promoted to Team Leader last year which involved him taking responsibility for his own jobs, and supervising and developing a new apprentice, setting a good example and showing that he is prepared to go the extra mile. His employer says “Jake’s confidence and maturity has grown with this new responsibility, which he takes seriously. He has matured from a bright, confident, cheeky teenager into a trustworthy and responsible team leader who is popular with customers and staff.”
Highly Commended and Commended
Project value under £10,000
Project value £10,000 - £20,000
Nascentia Landscapes Ltd
The Millbrook Garden Company
Project value £20,000 - £30,000
Project value £30,000 - £60,000
New Ground Landscapes
Project value £60,000 - £100,000
The Garden Builders
Project value over £100,000
Overall Design and Build
Roger Gladwell Landscapes
Amenity Trees & Landscapes
To view the APL Awards winners for 2010 click here.