Between a rock and a soft place

Between a rock and a soft place: Sustainable solutions to designing gardens and the regeneration of landscapes with distinctive local character will lie at the heart of the SGD Spring Conference in London on Saturday 27 April.

With a panel of speakers that includes specialists in the fields of ecology, construction, design, conservation and horticulture, the SGD Spring Conference will open up the debate and explore the current thinking and challenges of sustainable landscape practice. It will also delve into the fascinating world of the interface between mineral, vegetal and animal, with emphasis on how and why inorganic materials impact on what plants grow and which wildlife can thrive.

Between a rock and a soft place

Between a rock and a soft place

With changing mindsets on sustainable practice, the current ideal is to think locally, touch the soil lightly, and exploit creatively the repurposing and up-cycling of existing materials on site. Through their individual presentations and panel debates, the conference speakers will explain how we can embrace a more holistic attitude to hard and soft landscaping and discuss methods that can be applied to garden projects to minimise both the carbon footprint and the disruption to the natural ecology of a site.

The event will take place at the Royal Geographical Society in London and will be chaired by Kenyan-born / New York based horticulturist and designer Wambui Ippolito. Exploring the theme ‘Between a Rock and Soft Place’ will be landscape & garden designer Darren Hawkes, environment & ecology consultant Liz Nicholson, landscape architect Julie Bargmann, soil scientist Robin Truslove, landscape contractor Mark Gregory, landscape architect Loretta Boscene and landscape consultant Helen Basson.

Following on from the success at the Autumn Conference, the format of the day will include a Q&A after each presentation and both morning and afternoon sessions will conclude with a panel discussion to debate key topics in greater detail. Delegates, whether attending in person or live streaming the event, will be encouraged to pose questions and participate in the conversation through a virtual chat room.

Chair of the SGD Conference committee Jackie Herald said: “There is so much to learn about landscaping for a greener future at the spring conference this year, from gaining scientific insights on the handling of soil, to discovering how to make a virtue of waste materials by unpicking a site for repairable, reusable materials. I’d urge anyone with a passion for gardens and the wider natural landscape to join us to get a greater understanding of designing and gardening sustainably.”

Tickets for Between a Rock and a Soft Place are still available through the SGD website. The SGD offers three different ticket options: to attend in person at the Royal Geographical Society (this ticket also allows on-demand access to the recorded presentations and discussions for 12 months); via live stream in real time; or, following the event, on-demand access to the recordings. There is also a new offer for students wishing to attend the conference this year.

To find out more and book places visit the SGD website

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