Excellence through Planting & Horticulture

Professional category

Excellence through Planting & Horticulture

This category celebrates planting design, horticulture and strategic ecology. Submissions should showcase established planting schemes and horticulturally focused projects which contribute to the art and science of landscape architecture. This may include a range of sites that are either standalone or form part of a larger project. Entries should be innovative and appropriate to the setting; creative; functional; aesthetically pleasing and demonstrate an environmental, ecological or educational responsibility.

Entries must have been established for a minimum of two years at the date of submission.

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Typical entries

We encourage entries which include planting design, horticulture and strategic ecology projects on all scales which may also include major forestry projects. Some schemes will be maintained and developed as ‘self-sustaining’ plant communities, whilst others will be sustained by securing appropriate management regimes and funding streams, evidence of which should be provided.
Schemes might form part of a number of different types of projects:
  • podium gardens and parks
  • green walls
  • public or private residential gardens
  • forestry and woodland projects
  • habitat creation schemes
  • heritage settings
  • school ground regeneration
  • public park or gardens
  • urban public spaces
  • therapeutic health care gardens
  • planting schemes linked to major infrastructure eg roads, rail, airports etc

Judging criteria

Planting associations, composition, duration of attractiveness and overall design concept or scientific research/ experimentation must be clearly illustrated; the award will recognise how the design looks to the future to ensure long-term success. Reference to the aftercare of the scheme must be included. Nursery suppliers and maintenance team(s) should be acknowledged and listed in the submission.
Assessment will be based on:
  • Sustainability
  • Quality of concept
  • Design quality, appropriateness and expression
  • Ability to meet and address the brief
  • Demonstration of design value to client
  • Robustness
  • Design innovation
  • Technological innovation
  • Environmental sensitivity
  • Imaginative ways of involving stakeholders
  • Health & wellbeing benefits
  • Effectiveness to tackle key issues where relevant such as nature deficit disorder, plant blindness etc
  • Biological and ecological credits
  • Establishment, aftercare and evolution

Specific requirements for entry

The following should be included:

  • project brief and purpose of the scheme
  • most significant drawings up to 5 along with any relevant supporting information
  • seasonal photographs (if possible, the 4 seasons), planting plans, design sections, elevations, soil report summaries and associated improvements made
  • legacy management and maintenance plans.
  • size of site, budget and testimonials from the client and end users.

If the scheme had stakeholder engagement or involvement then a report outlining this involvement, consultation and how stakeholders were engaged should be included. Evidence of the influence should be demonstrated, such as how the design changed as a result of stakeholder input – drawings or written explanation – photographs and film from workshops, press cuttings etc

Entry requirements

  • Name of scheme
  • Entrant details
  • Details of LI professional member responsible for production of work
  • Client / Owner authority
  • Scheme details (client and project team, site information, site size, relevant dates, brief, budget, phasing details)
  • Covering statement, up to 600 words, including
    • Purpose: describe the project requirements, scope, context, philosophy and intent.
    • Role of the landscape professional: describe the precise role and responsibility of the LI professional member and the role of all other significant participants including owner or client.
    • Significance: explain the project’s relevance to the client, the profession, the public and the environment. Describe how the project meets the criteria for judging in the appropriate category and why it is worthy of an award.
    • Innovation: explain how the scheme is unique or special, together with any unusual or demanding problems which were solved
    • Why this scheme deserves to win an award
  • List of contractors and partners to be credited in publicity materials if the entry wins an Award
  • File upload: Submission document addressing the Specific Requirements for Entry set out above, in PDF format, 100MB max file size. Refer to the Submission Document Requirements on the ‘How to enter’ page for more details of what to include in this document.
  • Images upload: You can upload up to 15 images (JPEG, at least 300dpi) from your submission document, to be featured in promotional material and publicised by the LI. For each image, you will need to provide a brief description, image credit and confirmation that it can be used in publicity.
  • Online media: if you have referenced a video or website in your submission, provide the URL

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