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The Garden Media Guild Awards 2018: Judges

Judging of the Garden Media Guild Awards is carried out by an independent panel of respected experts and horticultural professionals selected by the GMG Committee.

Judging decisions

The Lifetime Achievement Award is decided by votes cast by Garden Media Guild members.

Judging panel

Meet the members of the 2018 Awards judging panel.

Marie-Louise Agius

Marie-Louise Agius

Marie-Louise Agius is a Director of Balston Agius Limited and a Director and Trustee of Exbury Gardens in Hampshire, a world renowned woodland garden of more than 200 acres, specialising in rhododendrons, azaleas, camellias and rare trees and shrubs. She is an award-winning designer, and member of the Society of Garden Designers, who trained in Landscape Design at KLC School of Design in London. Her portfolio is diverse, and includes numerous private gardens.

She also actively participates in regular board meetings at Exbury Gardens, whereupon the overall strategy for both the commercial and horticultural direction of the gardens is determined.

Mike Calnan

Mike Calnan

Mike is the National Trust’s Head of Gardens and has been with the organisation for more than 30 years. He oversees the conservation of the Trust’s 200-plus gardens, curation of historic plants and collections in Trust care and the development of the Trust’s 650 staff and 6,000 garden volunteers.

His interest in gardens is wide ranging, from 18th-century garden restoration to garden aerial photography.

Mike has lectured widely at home and abroad and writes on gardens and their conservation.

Danny Clarke

Danny Clarke

Danny Clarke is a professional garden designer and landscaper and an established TV presenter. Extensive travels abroad inspired Danny to pursue his love of nature and the great outdoors and begin a career in horticulture. He gained a keen eye for design, which led him to become an acclaimed garden landscaper and designer.

He co-presented BBC One’s garden transformation show The Instant Gardener alongside Helen Skelton, has presented for the BBC at Chelsea and Tatton Park flower shows. He has also been a contributor for the BBC's Inside Out.

Lucinda Compton

Lucinda Compton

Following work in an art gallery, Lucinda Compton trained as a decorative surface conservator, eventually forming her own successful conservation company – Compton & Schuster. She moved to Yorkshire when her husband, Richard, took on the running of Newby Hall from his father, Robin, in 1999. Newby's collections range from extensive Chippendale furniture to Roman marbles, tapestries and paintings. The extensive gardens cover 25 acres and welcome 140,000 visitors a year. They are famous for their double herbaceous borders, recently completely replanted.

Lucinda also sits on the executive committee of the North of England Horticultural Society, which organises the Harrogate Spring and Autumn Flower Shows.

Andy Cowles

Andy Cowles

Andy Cowles is a multi-award winning Creative Development Director with an international reputation. Successful at creating and reinventing powerful identities for brands in the UK, America and Australia, he’s fluent at presenting highly compelling multi-platform content in every market, for every audience. World-class design thinking has allowed Andy to devise 12 successful digital and print launches, along with an astonishing range of brand reinventions. Full time roles include nine years as Creative and Editorial Development Director for Time Inc UK, and Creative Director of Rolling Stone in New York.

His work has won many awards, including the BSME Mark Boxer Award for editorial service.

Terrill Dobson

Terrill Dobson

Terrill Dobson has been National Organiser for Scotland’s Gardens Scheme since 2015, the charity sharing the same roots as England’s NGS, helping garden owners open their gardens to raise money for charity. Her career began in business, working in IT, healthcare quality improvement and laterally as a lecturer in software development until, in 1999, she and her husband bought a farm in rural Scotland, which they converted to organic.

She has a BSc in Herbal Medicine and has established a demonstration garden of medicinal herbs, as well as a therapeutic garden at her local teaching hospital. She continues to practice part-time as a herbalist, opens her garden to the public, and provides talks and workshops about herbal medicine.

Malcolm Goodwin

Malcolm Goodwin

Malcolm is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gardeners. His first career was in information systems and he worked for Cap Gemini, The Channel Tunnel, ITV and the European Space Agency.

His father was a keen gardener and garden designer, and Malcolm re-discovered his love of horticulture, re-training to become a gardener at the age of 30. He soon became a head gardener and worked at Painshill Park, The Lost Gardens of Heligan and Borde Hill in Sussex.

A passion for teaching and sharing knowledge about plants and nature led him into the world of education and he is now the Principal of Capel Manor College in Enfield.

Pilar Dell

Pilar Dell

Former Head Gardener of the iconic Kensington Roof Gardens, Pilar Dell is now the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Horticulture Technical Manager supporting 800 gardeners in 153 countries around the world. With a background in garden history, planting design and horticulture, Pilar’s professional trajectory has taken her through many high-end gardens in the UK and abroad, such as Wrest Park and the Barcelona Botanical Gardens.

She previously had an extensive career as a radio and television broadcaster and producer with the BBC and independent production companies in the UK and Spain. She travelled the world making documentaries that would take her to meet and interview kings, heads of state, and people from all walks of life.

Pilar is a member of the Chartered Institute of Horticulture and a Green Flag Award judge.

Dr Henry Oakeley

Dr Henry Oakeley

Dr Henry Oakeley, FRCP, FLS, VMH, is emeritus consultant physician to St Thomas’ Hospital, London; senior garden fellow at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP), London; Vice-president of the RHS; and chairman of the Orchid Society of Great Britain with a special interest in a group of South American orchids about which he wrote the definitive monograph.

He has authored and co-authored a dozen books on various subjects and written more than 300 articles on orchids. His notebooks, photographs and herbarium specimens are at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. He has served on RHS Council and its committees; the Asia Pacific Orchid Conference Trust; the World Orchid Conference Trust and others, and held three National Plant Collections.

Philippa O'Brien

Philippa O'Brien

Philippa O'Brien is a Registered Member of the Society of Garden Designers. She has an honours degree in horticulture from Reading University and has also lectured on garden design at Capel Manor College. Prior to setting up her garden design practice, she was a horticultural journalist. Since she started designing in 1991, she has undertaken a wide range of projects throughout the United Kingdom and in Europe.

Philippa believes that gardens must be sustainable and ecologically friendly. An enthusiastic bee keeper, her planting tends to favour pollinators.

Simon Richards

Simon Richards

As a floricultural specialist, Simon Richards has worked with Marks & Spencer for the last 12 years as product developer for cut flowers, overseeing all range development and working with a global grower base to deliver the best ‘high street’ flower offer in the UK. Under Simon's steer, Marks & Spencer has exhibited at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in the Grand Pavilion since 2013, showcasing its cut flower range and winning Gold Medals for the last three years.

Prior to Marks & Spencer, Simon spent five years working for Jane Packer Flowers, learning the craft of floristry at first hand. He has also recently been appointed trustee of the Floral Angels and is delighted to support an industry specific charity in its excellent work re-purposing surplus flowers.

Advolly Richmond

Advolly Richmond

Advolly Richmond is an independent researcher in garden, landscape and social history based in Shrewsbury. She is a trustee of the Welsh Historic Gardens Trust, a member of the Shropshire Parks and Gardens Trust and she sits on the Gardens Trust Events Committee.

Through her Royal Horticultural Society training and qualifications, she went on to achieve an MA in Garden History from the University of Bristol. She contributes articles to relevant publications and gives talks on a variety of 18/19 and 20th century subjects.

Advolly is currently working on several projects, including a publication on the elite sport of archery in the landscape park, as well as her ongoing research into the life and achievements of Victorian botanist, Reverend Thomas Birch Freeman. Her latest project is running introductory courses to garden history, for the National Trust and Birmingham University.

Advolly is a passionate gardener and a reluctant galanthophile.

Martin Simmons

Martin Simmons

A qualified horticulturist, Martin Simmons has more than 30 years' experience in the garden industry working for major brands including Four Oaks and Butters and internationally through the Proven Winners plant marketing group. His career has encompassed sales, marketing, product development and intellectual property management.

Martin joined the Horticultural Trades Association in 2006 as Business Development Manager North and has progressed within the Association, joining the Senior Leadership Team in 2013 as Head of Operations before becoming Director of Operations in 2016.

Cristian Barnett

Cristian Barnett

Cristian has been a food photographer for more than 15 years, working mainly for book and magazine clients, as well as directly with some of the most acclaimed chefs in the UK. He also enjoys working with artists and on occasion has been known to shoot garden features.

His own Cambridgeshire garden is quite eccentric, although his contribution is usually anything that involves digging or hammering.

Ursula Buchan

Ursula Buchan

After reading history at Cambridge, Ursula Buchan trained as a gardener at Kew and was for 30 years a gardening writer, winning awards from the GMG for both journalism and books.

Andrew Fisher Tomlin

Andrew Fisher Tomlin

Andrew Fisher Tomlin is a Fellow of the Society of Garden Designers and a Chartered Horticulturist. He works in the UK and internationally on residential and public landscapes, such as his new garden to commemorate the WW1 Armistice at the Thiepval Memorial, which opens in October 2018.

Dr Bob Gibbons

Dr Bob Gibbons

Bob Gibbons is a freelance writer, photographer and tour leader, specialising in flowers and nature. He has written or co-written 40 books, and his photographs have been published in 50 countries around the world.

He runs a small tour company, Natural History Travel, taking groups to some of the most floriferous parts of Europe and the rest of the world. He is a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, and a member of its nature fellowship panel, and a member of the Royal Horticultural Society's Photographic Committee.

Judith Haan

Judith Haan

Judith Haan is known to millions for presenting BBC's Tomorrow's World for 20 years, but she is also a herb expert, growing more than 150 different culinary herbs at her garden Haan’s Herbs, many of which are explained in her recently published book Herbs.

Derek Harris

Derek Harris

Derek Harris is an internationally recognised, award-winning garden and landscape photographer, artist and designer. His work has been widely used in the press, magazines, books, calendars, stationary and as fine art prints in interior design. He has been awarded four Royal Horticultural Society Gold Medals and he was commissioned to supply 30 extra-large flower portraits to be the permanent decoration in the Cinnamon Restaurant in what was then the newest P&O Cruise Liner, Ventura.

He has combined his photography with business and in the mid-1980s started the first fully photographic stationary publishing company in the UK, which he subsequently sold in the mid 1990s.

James Hitchmough

James Hitchmough

James is Professor of Horticultural Ecology in the Department of Landscape Architecture, University of Sheffield. He is an author, researcher and teacher, and planting design practitioner, often in major public landscapes.

Ruth Holmes

Ruth Holmes

Ruth Holmes is a chartered landscape architect working for the London Legacy Development Corporation (responsible for the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and neighbourhoods), having moved from The Royal Parks. She is the chair of the London Parks and Gardens Trust, is on other related committees, and judges for charities such as London in Bloom.

Humaira Ikram

Humaira Ikram

Humaira Ikram has been working as a professional garden designer for more than 10 years, runs the Garden Design Diploma at the KLC School of Design and over the last two years has cultivated a special interest in running show garden planting projects.

In her previous life, she read Environmental Science at Kings College and ended up working in the city for Reuters. After a few years she decided to make the change to garden design. While completing her HND in Garden Design and Horticulture she started working with Cleve West and stayed there for 11 years.

When not working on projects, she can be found pottering around her garden.

Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick

Jane Merrick is a political commentator and founder of the Spoon, an early morning news email. She also has an allotment blog, www.heroutdoors.uk, and writes about allotments and gardening for the Dulwich Diverter. Last year she was named one of Time's Persons of the Year 2017 for her role in the #MeToo movement.

Louise Midgley

Louise Midgley

Louise is a garden writer and part-time gardener, with a keen interest in wildlife. She has been writing a weekly, half-page garden editorial for The Sunday Express for the past nine years. She is also the Gardening Editor of www.retiremove.co.uk.

Chris Moncrieff

Chris Moncrieff

Chris Moncrieff is the head of horticultural relations for the Royal Horticultural Society with responsibility for the charity’s operations. This includes plant trials, partner gardens, plant societies, bursary awards and the seven plant committees.

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan runs a well-established landscape design and consultancy service, both in the UK and abroad. She has close links with education as former head of faculty at Hadlow College and programme leader for garden design courses at Canterbury and Greenwich Universities. She is currently chair of the Society of Garden Designers.

Marie O’Hara

Marie O’Hara

Following art school, Marie O’Hara has had a varied creative career working in graphic design and then the album design department for Decca Records. She subsequently moved on to advertising, magazines and books as a freelance stylist and then to photography, specialising in gardens, still-life, and lifestyle.

She co-founded The Garden Collection stock image agency, which specialises in garden imagery, leaving as a partner in 2009 to continue her freelance career in photography.

Sue Phipps

Sue Phipps

Sue Phipps worked in magazine publishing for 28 years, on a range of women’s and men’s lifestyle magazines including Sainsbury’s Magazine, ending up as Publishing Director of The English Garden.

Sue has spent much of her time working for charities in the gardening, education and HIV fields. She has been a Trustee of the National Garden Scheme since 2010 and gardens in Wiltshire.

Will Ritchie

Will Ritchie

Will is the Curator of the National Botanic Garden of Wales in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire. His responsibilities include the development of the botanical collections and management of the garden’s own National Nature Reserve, organic farm and estate.

Prior to moving to Wales, Will was the Curator at Glasgow Botanic Gardens. He has worked in horticulture in the UK, US and Middle East and studied at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and the University of Arkansas.

Marc Rosenberg

Marc Rosenberg

Marc Rosenberg is a freelance garden writer, editor and PR specialist. A former journalist with Amateur Gardening and Horticulture Week magazines, he holds seven Garden Media Guild Awards and has an honours degree in horticulture from Writtle College.

Tim Rumball

Tim Rumball

Tim Rumball has been a national magazine and newspaper journalist for 38 years, working most recently as Editor of Amateur Gardening.

He is a passionate self-taught gardener with particular interests in propagation and growing vegetables.

Carol Sharp

Carol Sharp

Carol Sharp’s career as a successful professional photographer spans more than 25 years, and her images have been widely published, including RHS Chelsea Flower Show posters and two sets of Royal Mail stamps. Gradually exploring conceptual ideas around her subject matter of plants has resulted in a fine art practice, from which her inspirational work is regularly recognised in international competitions.

From creating a boutique photo library called Flowerphotos, to innovating art shows and supporting education, conservation and awareness of plants, Carol always encourages a thought-provoking and emotional connection to nature.

Beccy Speight

Beccy Speight

In 2014, Beccy joined the Woodland Trust as its Chief Executive Officer after working for the National Trust for 14 years, initially as the General Manager of the Stourhead Estate, then as the Director for its East Midlands and then Midlands regions from 2005. From 2009, Beccy was responsible for leading and championing the Trust’s work on its sustainable food agenda and she chaired the Food for Life Catering Mark Standards Committee for the Soil Association.

She also contributed to national steering groups on contemporary art at the National Trust, its work in the outdoors and engaging urban communities.

Philip Smith

Philip Smith

Philip’s photography has been published in many garden magazines and books. Exhibitions he has been involved in include New Views at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and Private Places at the Geffrye Museum. His book Better Plant and Garden Photography was published in 2012. He served as a committee member of the Professional Garden Photographers’ Association up to 2005.

In 2006, he helped found International Garden Photographer of the Year in association with the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and was CEO until 2014. In that time, the project became a worldwide success with exhibitions all over Europe, the USA and Australia. Having sold IGPOTY in 2014, he now runs workshops and talks in garden photography around the UK and Europe and is a workshop leader at the Royal Photographic Society.

Victoria Summerley

Victoria Summerley

Victoria Summerley is an award-winning journalist and author. She is a former Executive Editor of The Independent and opens her own garden for charity under the National Garden Scheme.

Tim Upson

Tim Upson

Tim Upson is Director of Horticulture at the RHS with responsibility for standards of horticulture across the Society including its new garden, RHS Bridgewater, currently under development. His writings include a monograph of lavender.

John Watkins

John Watkins

John Watkins leads the English Heritage Trust’s gardens and landscape team, which provides advice and guidance on the maintenance and management of historic gardens to English Heritage. He is a professional horticulturist with 39 years’ experience, awarded the RHS Associate of Honour in 2016. He was senior lecturer at Hadlow College in Kent and has worked at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Edinburgh and Kew, the National Trust for Scotland and the RHS at Wisley and Hyde Hall.

While chair of the Great Dixter Charitable Trust, he secured £7m (including HLF funding) to enable the Trust to be independent and secure.

He writes and lectures on plants and historic gardens and contributed to the English Heritage manual The Management and Maintenance of Historic Parks, Gardens and Landscapes. He has been closely involved with a number of high-profile restoration projects at Chiswick Park, Down House, Eltham Palace, Wrest Park, Witley Court and Kenilworth Castle.

Adam White

Adam White

Adam White FLI PLI is the President and a Fellow of the Landscape Institute. He is also a member of the Garden Media Guild and BALI. He is a Director of double RHS gold medal-winning landscape architects, Davies White Ltd.

He is co-author of Nature Play: Managing Playful Landscapes and also writes a monthly column for Pro Landscaper Journal.

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