Renowned garden designer, plantswoman and author Penelope Hobhouse has been named as the next recipient of the SGD Lifetime Achievement Award at the SGD Awards Ceremony 2020.
The SGD Lifetime Achievement Award, which is gifted by the Council of the Society of Garden Designer, is granted to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the landscape and garden design profession. Previous recipients have included Piet Oudolf, Beth Chatto, Christopher Bradley-Hole, Andrew Lawson, Fernando Caruncho, Robin Williams and Charles Jencks.
Speaking on behalf of the Council, SGD Chair, Sarah Morgan said: "Penelope Hobhouse has influenced and inspired garden design for decades through her plantsmanship, design and writing. Self-trained in practical horticulture and design she nevertheless forged a hugely successful career, thanks to her love and knowledge of plants and instinctive design talent.
Developing her own family gardens nurtured her practical skills, plant knowledge and design flair. Hadspen House in Somerset is where she reclaimed long neglected land, battling against pernicious weeds and learning the practical side of gardening through tough hands-on experience. Moving onto the National Trusts’ Tintinhull where, as tenants, she and her second husband John Malins worked 7 days a week to create an intimate, planterly garden that was visited by thousands each year. Then, following John’s death, moving to Bettiscombe in Dorset where she gardened in a milder climate, growing tender plants and developing a more naturalistic style.
Through the 1980s Penelope Hobhouse became enormously popular in the United States, through her writing, lecture tours and designing. She worked for a wealthy clientele in States with huge climate diversity, embracing every opportunity to learn new plant palettes along the way. But it was when she was in her 70s, some 20 years ago, that she found her spiritual gardening home in the Islamic gardens of Iran, a country and culture she came to love with a passion. Already a keen garden historian and respected author on garden history, she discovered on her research trips to Iran a sense of sanctuary within its formal green garden oases, many of which had been created centuries ago.
In terms of legacy and inspiration, Penelope’s public design work can be seen at Walmer Castle, Aberglassney, RHS Wisley and the New York Botanic Garden, and her many books provide valuable resources for anyone studying garden design and garden history as well as giving inspiration and practical instruction on plants and planting design.”
Images of all the winning gardens in the SGD Awards 2020 can be seen on the SGD website visit www.sgd.org.uk