WGC Centenary Garden Competition – Shortlist Announced

Robert GillBlog, Chelsea Flower Show, News

SGD - Society of Garden Designers and WGC 100

The Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation (WGCCF) is delighted by the interest shown in the competition to design a Centenary Garden which will have its debut at RHS Chelsea in May 2020 and then return to the town for all to enjoy.

The shortlisted entries are

• Appleton & Co Design
• Mazullo + Russell Landscape Design
• Richard Riddell Garden & Landscape Design
• Williams & Towner Studio

Lady Salisbury, as Patron of the WGC/RHS Chelsea 2020 project and verifier of the shortlist commented:

“It is very exciting that the Welwyn Garden City Centenary Foundation has attracted the interest of so many talented garden designers. Not only well-established professionals have applied, but also gifted new young designers who all hope that their entry will be chosen for Chelsea 2020. Inspired by their tour of Welwyn Garden City and the prevailing spirit of Ebenezer Howard’s vision of ‘the marriage of Town and Country’, the winning design will be brought back to the town where it will be enjoyed by all.”

Following submission of further details of their design and a model of the garden for final judging in March 2018, the shortlisted entrants will be paid an honorarium of £1,000. The overall winner will be announced in April 2018. The shortlisted designs will remain confidential after the competition closes next April, in accordance with RHS media guidelines.

The Centenary Garden is one of many planned events to celebrate 100 years of Welwyn Garden City and its innovative idea of healthy living. More on the Foundation and the Centenary Celebrations can be found on the WGC website: www.wgccentenary.org


Judging Panel comprised Hilary Thomas, Fiona Robinson, Trina Golland, Julie Dowbiggin, David Green, Andrew Wilson and Ann Aldridge (Philippa O’Brien not shown in the picture)


David Green, Chair of the WGC/RHS Chelsea 2020 competition Judging Panel.


Lady Salisbury (right) verifies competition shortlist assisted by Trina Golland.
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The competition was launched in January 2017, by the WGCCF in conjunction with the Society of Garden Designers (SGD). Garden designers were invited to register their interest by 31st March. Three successful town tours took place in June 2017 for applicants who expressed a wish to visit. Applicants were required to submit by 2nd October:

• a concept plan with indicative costing for a show garden to be constructed and displayed at RHS Chelsea, size 10m frontage x 22m depth
• an outline plan of how they intend to engage the local community – both prior to RHS Chelsea, and upon relocation, to include subsequent maintenance
• a proposal for adaptations to enable the Chelsea garden to be relocated to an accessible site in the town centre providing year round interest

The prestigious Judging Panel, comprises:

David Green CB QC (Chair); Master, The Worshipful Company of Gardeners
Philippa O’Brien MSGD; Garden Designer and horticultural journalist
Andrew Wilson FSGD; Director, London College of Garden Design. Garden Designer who trained as landscape architect. Lecturer, author and former judge for the RHS specialising in show gardens
Julie Dowbiggin; National Gardening Centre (NGC) & Plant Sales Manager at Capel Manor; Member Chartered Institute of Horticulture. Member of Worshipful Company of Gardeners. Exhibitor at Chelsea; manages volunteer/ apprentice programme of garden maintenance with experience of garden relocation.
Hilary Thomas; Former Head of School of Garden Design at Capel Manor College and author of ‘The Complete Planting Design Course’. Currently teaches garden and planting design online for MyGardenSchool at Learning With Experts
Ann Aldridge; Curator of Terminal 5 Art Gallery, Heathrow Airport and Project team member
Fiona Robinson; Project team member who will represent community view
Trina Golland; Project team member who will represent community view