Newest Garden Design Talent Revealed As SGD Student Award Winners 2024 Are Announced

The best new garden design talent has been revealed as The Society of Garden Designers (SGD) announced the winners of the SGD Student Awards 2024 at an event in London.

Three standout designers were presented with awards, demonstrating the very best in emerging talent in Domestic Garden Design, Commercial Garden Design and Sustainable Garden Design categories, while two special commendations were also announced.

Newest Garden Design Talent Revealed As SGD Student Award Winners 2024 Are Announced

Newest Garden Design Talent Revealed As SGD Student Award Winners 2024 Are Announced

A testament to the skill and imagination of the next generation of designers, the winning designs tackle contemporary challenges including climate change and  community cohesion with innovative solutions and thoughtful aesthetics.

Judged by award-winning designer and former recipient of the SGD Lifetime Achievement Award David Stevens FSGD, Chair of SGD Accreditation Sarah Morgan FSGD and Chelsea gold-medallist Tom Massey MSGD, who was one of the first recipients of the student awards back in 2014, , the SGD Student Awards shine a spotlight on the designers who will define the gardens and landscapes of tomorrow.

In the Student Design Commercial category,  Julia Hill, a student at the KLC School of Design, was presented with the award for her design for a community garden at The London Museum of Water & Steam.

The winning garden, which was designed to honour the local heritage of the site while fostering community connection, addresses the needs of a wide range of visitors, from families to regular community groups, allowing them to play,  interact and enjoy time together in a safe space, whatever their age or physical ability.  Fragrant and tactile plants resembling plumes of smoke give a nod to the era of steam while secret walkways create areas for exploration and immersion. Highlighting the clever use of existing features the judge’s called the scheme ‘exemplary, fun and full of good humour.’

Currently working as a garden designer at Studio Pollyanna, Julia came to garden design from a career as a primary school teacher having originally worked in the creative advertising industry.

She says that every garden she designs is unique and that understanding the people and the places she is designing for is the catalyst for the spatial layout and style of each one.

In the Domestic Design category, the top award was presented to Jake Sutcliffe from the London College of Garden Design for Casa da Volta, a family garden in the Grandola Hills of Portugal.

Inspired by the strong linear vistas found in traditional Moorish gardens and the local Grandolan vernacular, the design, which Jakes says ‘has sustainability and traditional craft at its heart’, features a tranquil inner courtyard set around a series of water features designed to enhance the natural streams in the surrounding landscape.  A diverse mix of planting adds colour and form, softening into the wilderness beyond, while sculptures and walls lead the eye as you pass through the space.

Praising Jake’s ‘brilliantly detailed thinking’, the judges called it a ‘sensitive study of the natural gifts the surrounding landscape and flora offers.’


Already running his own design, landscaping and maintenance company in London called Farm Lane, Jake has also set up a design practice in Lisbon for projects in Portugal and further afield.

Taking a sustainable and locally-focused approach to garden design, his ambition is to keep traditional craft and ideas alive and to pass on his passion for the natural world and its infinite layered complexities to every client he works with.

In the Sustainability category, Chloe Hamblen, also from the London College of Garden Design, won the award for her design to redevelop the derelict grounds of the Finsbury Memorial Centre in North London.

Awarded to a project with a special focus on sustainability and the environment, the winning design, which Chloe says ‘represents everything she is passionate about in garden design’ highlights how over-looked, privately-owned sites can be transformed into something valuable for both the community and local wildlife.

Drawing inspiration from the abandoned building at the centre of the site and the crumbling walls and graffiti within it, the design creates a beautiful, biodiverse space with a focus on education, connectivity and food growth, including both re-wilding principles and formal edimental planting.  Featuring a self-seeding habitat roof,  stairwell rain garden, rusted mopeds as sculptural, species-rich habitats and a mushroom fruiting room, the judges said it was ‘a landscape they would love to see implemented.’


The founder and designer of a luxury lingerie brand, Chloe also worked as a creative producer before her move into garden design.  With an ambition to design atmospheric, sustainable and immersive gardens that are beautiful as well as rooted in ecology, she hopes that her design will inspire more research into future-proof planting schemes.

She is currently working as a landscape designer with Joe Perkins MSGD.

Special commendations were also given to Lisa Laire from the Yorkshire School of Garden Design for her project designing a garden for Lyon’s Museum of Fine Arts in France; and to Rebecca Lloyd-Jones from the KLC School of Design for her Chalk on the Wildside Garden, a garden designed for a school in East Sussex.

The three winners and two commendations were selected from a shortlist of 10 projects from the KLC School of Design; the London College of Garden Design and the Yorkshire School of Garden Design

The winners of the SGD Student awards were presented at The SGD Awards ceremony on Friday 2nd February at London’s Landmark Hotel alongside the main SGD Awards.

Images of all the winning gardens in the SGD Awards 2024 can be seen on the SGD website visit

For the latest industry news visit

Get all of the big headlines, pictures, opinions and videos on stories that matter to you.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram for fun, fresh and engaging content.

You can also find us on Facebook for more of your must-see news, features, videos and pictures from Landscaping Matters