And the Winner Is...
The votes are in and the winner of the English Garden Future Fund 2017 is Grace Rogers for her simple all-white design.
From The English Garden Magazine, December 2017:
"In spring we launched The English Garden Future Fund 2017, offering a bursary to study garden design at the prestigious Inchbald School of Design. Aspiring garden designers were invited to create a plan for a small back garden behind a terraced house and we were inundated with impressive designs, many of which were of an exceedingly high professional standard.
The applications were whittled down to a shortlist of three by our judges and readers had until 16 October to vote online for their favourite garden.
“A good garden is a three- dimensional space. Grace has thought about the ground, the verticals and, just as important, what is happening above our heads.”
This year’s winner is Grace Rogers, whose design, Journey Outwards, just pipped shortlisted entrant Bennet Smith’s design Quercus: A Garden for Sevenoaks. The winning design, featuring a monochrome planting scheme and a minimalist patio, was praised by judge Andrew Duff. “Grace’s design demonstrates a clear understanding of that wonderful phrase ‘less is more’ – it takes great bravery to design a garden with such elegance and simplicity,” he explains. “A good garden is a three- dimensional space. Grace has thought about the ground, the verticals and, just as important, what is happening above our heads.”
Grace set the design in a busy London suburb, with the intention of bringing calm in the midst of professional life by hazing the boundary between interior and exterior.
“My design was based on the idea that gardens are often not spaces that are treasured but are just seen as an extra space next to the house.”
Grace has a background in architecture and floristry but until her Future Fund application she had never designed a garden. “I have previously worked in an architecture practice and then moved into floristry. I love flowers and yet my passion for architectural design and the built environment has always remained. Visiting the Chelsea Flower Show put the idea in my mind to join the two together but this is my first garden,” she says. “For a long time I have been hoping to study at the Inchbald School. When I saw the Future Fund competition I knew I had to enter. I spent almost every evening and weekend working on the garden up until the closing date for entries.”
“I enjoy overcoming limitations and coming up with solutions to problems. I am also looking forward to learning from other people’s expertise in garden design.”
In addition to the design bursary, Grace has won the chance to help with the build of a show garden at next year’s Chelsea Flower Show, take part in a week’s work experience at Janine Pattison studios in Poole, and benefit from a year’s free student membership of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD) and two tickets to use at the SGD conferences.
“My design was based on the idea that gardens are often not spaces that are treasured but are just seen as an extra space next to the house. I wanted the design to show that this doesn’t have to be the case and that a garden can be an extension of the house, with a natural flow from house to garden. I was aiming to create an atmosphere in the garden where the owner chooses to be outside in it, even if it is raining. The idea is that the boundaries between house and garden are blurred. The garden is quite clean, not too fussy and with not too many different plants. This is so the space doesn’t become too broken up. I chose a white colour scheme to give the garden an atmosphere of calm. I also didn’t want a lot of colours to distract from the framework created by the hedges and trees. I picked Hydrangea arborescens and Ammi majus in the white planting scheme because they have a tendency to produce an abundance of flowers meaning that there are enough for some to be cut and brought into the house – another way to help blur the boundary between the house and the garden.”