THE JUDGES

2024 judges

Helen Elks-Smith
Elks-Smith Garden Design

Helen Elks-Smith is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designer, she is also a trustee of the Trees and Design Action Group (TDAG) and has won multiple awards including two RHS gold medals and two Design Excellence Awards from the British Association of Landscape Industries   

Sean Butler

Cube 1994 Ltd

Sean has specialised in the field of Landscape Garden Design for over 30 years. With a background in civil engineering Sean has an in-depth understanding of the design, construction and maintenance of the physical and naturally built landscape. Sean is a registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers (MSGD) and has collaborated with other designers to build award-winning show gardens at The RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2022, 2021, 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2012 and RHS Hampton Court Flower Show in 2014. Sean’s work has earned him a prestigious reputation in the garden design industry and has had much media attention. 

Lynne Marcus, FSGD,MBALI
Principal, Lynne Marcus Garden & Landscape Design

Lynne has been designing gardens and landscapes since 1997 following a career as an HR Director. Her portfolio includes contemporary, traditional, formal and naturalistic gardens of all sizes in London, the country, the coast and abroad. Lynne has won several awards for her work, which has appeared extensively in publications at home and abroad.

Lynne was Chair of the Society of Garden Designers from 2020 to 2023 and has been Chair of SGD Awards since 2019

Mandy Buckland

Greencube Design

Greencube Design Founder Mandy Buckland, with 20 years experience, has maintained a small practise to ensure she is as the forefront of every design.  Has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Garden Design, is an accredited member of the Society of Garden Designers (SGD), winner of SGD Awards and has been awarded Gold Medals at RHS Chelsea and RHS Hampton Court.

John Wyer
Bowles & Wyer

John Wyer is CEO of Bowles & Wyer, a multi-disciplined landscape design practice based in Bedfordshire. It has been operating for almost 30 years and works worldwide to create outstanding gardens.  

Gareth Wilson
GKWilson Garden & Landscape Consultancy Ltd

Leaving college at 17, Gareth has worked in the landscape industry since 1989 and is a multi RHS gold medal winner. Gareth is a member of multiple professional bodies. He provides technical and product advice to leading paving companies, mentors and trains landscapers across the UK, is an expert witness, provides arbitration and mediation services. Gareth is a level 3 trainer and assessor, an online and on-site mentor in landscape construction for contractors, garden designers and show gardens. Gareth is also BBC X-Rays garden and landscaping expert and a committee member of B/507 British Standard. gkwilsonlandscaping.co.uk

Rachel Bailey MSGD MAPL

Rachel Bailey Garden design Ltd  

Rachel runs an award-winning design practice with a team of four in Scotland. Working with professional landscapers and local plant nurseries, the practice has created immersive plant-filled gardens from small courtyards to large landscapes working in the residential, public and commercial sectors. We love to help our clients get the most out of their garden whilst considering the wider landscape and regenerating green spaces to have a positive effect on biodiversity and on the environment.

She is a registered member of the SGD and design member of the APL, and the sustainability officer for the SGD

Ross Conquest
Conquest Creative Spaces

Conquest Creative Spaces is a multi-Award Winning Sussex Landscaping company that pride itself on its professionalism and attention to detail.
Founded back in 2008 by Ross Conquest the company become known for building complex design & build schemes gaining a solid reputation for delivering high standards of work and stand out projects, not just residentially but in the show garden world too.

Philippa O’Brien

Pip O’Brien Garden Design

Pip O’Brien is based in London and has been designing gardens for longer than she cares to remember. She trained in horticulture at Reading University. then worked as a journalist for ‘The Grower’ magazine for about ten years. She has worked on gardens across the UK and in Europe and designed gardens at Chelsea, Hampton Court and some European garden shows.

A former Chair of The SGD she believes that gardens must be sustainable and ecologically friendly and that garden design has a major role to play in reducing the impact of urban development. An enthusiastic beekeeper, her planting tends to favour pollinators.

Rupert Keys
TASK Academy

Rupert has been running his successful business, Keyscape Design & Construction for 30 years. He is also a mentor and tutor on the APL (Association of Professional Landscapers) Apprenticeship scheme at Myerscough College, Lancashire alongside his work with World Skills UK and tutoring at The Cotswold Gardening School (CGS). During his career Rupert has built many award-winning show gardens at some of the top gardening shows in the country. Most recently he was the principal contractor on the award winning APL garden in association with World Skills UK at Gardeners World Live 2021. The garden won ‘Gold’ and ‘Best Construction’

Rupert has been the landscape expert on many BBC gardening programmes both on camera and behind the scenes including Real Rake-Overs, Flying Gardener, Housecall and Weekend Gardener.

Rod Winrow
Garden House Design

Rod Winrow, Managing Director of Garden House Design, landscaping and creating great gardens since a career change in 1996. 

Garden House Design are now known for their above patio styling solutions working with other industry professionals to enhance clients gardens. Rod is an ex Chairman of the Association of Professional Landscapers, a Judge for SGD, APL and recently an RHS Trade Stand Judge.    

Mark Draper
Graduate Gardeners

Mark Draper is a garden designer/director working for Graduate Gardeners Ltd for 30 years. Working on domestic gardens, from small town gardens in Bath and Cheltenham, to large country estate in the Cotswolds. Mark has personally won 3 RHS Gold Medals and Best In Shows along with 19 BALI awards. When not designing gardens, Mark can be found running the trails around the Stroud Valleys.

James Scott
The Garden Company

James founded The Garden Company in Hertfordshire in 1991. Since then, he and his team of designers and landscapers have been bringing clients’ dreams to life with bespoke, handcrafted gardens.  James is highly committed to sustainable gardens that celebrate nature. With an impressive track record of winning national awards, he was named by Pro Landscaper last year as one of the Top 25 Most Influential people in landscaping.

 

Brian Herbert
Outdoor Options

With over 30 years’ experience in the industry Brian Herbert established Outdoor Options in 2001 specialising in domestic projects in Surrey and the surrounding areas, winning multiple BALI awards and RHS Show medals during that time. In addition, Brian is increasingly involved in promoting landscaping as an evolving and attractive industry to the younger generation through his work with BALI and Merrist Wood College.

Jake Catling
The Landscaping Consultants

Jake Catling is the visionary founder of The Landscaping Consultants, where he leads a team dedicated to crafting outdoor spaces that transcend the ordinary. With prestigious accolades, including the BALI Principal Awards and multiple RHS Medals, Jake’s commitment to delivering excellence is evident in every project. His portfolio includes collaborations with The National Trust and the RHS through multiple flower show appearances, working alongside some of the UK’s leading garden designers and landscape architects. Jake’s expertise lies in bringing visionary ideas to life, through passion, innovation, and pure commitment. He is a member of the BALI Board of Directors and the driving force behind Hyphae Learning and the Landscape Performance Podcast, pioneering initiatives set to enhance Landscape Performance and move the dial on how the industry meets demand and creates positive impacts on environmental sustainability. Jake’s mission is to empower stakeholders, elevate industry standards, and shape the future of landscaping.

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