This year we are delighted to launch our first garden writing competition: The Mollie Salisbury Cup, kindly sponsored by the Cecil family. As befits an inaugural year, the theme for entries will be ‘My First Garden.’ This could be cress grown in an egg-shell at nursery school, building camps in a grandparents’ garden or helping to tend an allotment. Or, indeed, a first adult experience of gardening. The judges will be looking for evocative writing that captures the excitement, frustration and triumph of a first garden. The winner and two runners-up will be asked to read their work at the Garden Museum’s Literary Festival in London on 7th and 8th July. The winner will also receive a prize of £750, and the runners-up £250 each.
Entries should be no more than 2,000 words and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 18th May.
Judges for the Mollie Salisbury Cup 2018:
Lord Charles Gascoyne-Cecil is the son of the late Mollie Salisbury, holds degrees from Oxford University and is an asset manager.
Allan Jenkins is the award-winning editor of The Observer Food Monthly and the author of Plot 29 and Morning.
Tom Stuart-Smith is a trustee of the Garden Museum and a celebrated garden designer who has worked at Windsor Castle, Wisley and the Royal Academy.
Mollie Salisbury (1922 – 2016)
Mollie Salisbury was a celebrated garden designer whose glorious creation at Hatfield House, the Jacobean Cecil family home in Hertfordshire, has won plaudits from critics and visitors alike. Despite having no conventional training, her careful study of contemporary houses in England and Europe, and of Hatfield’s archives, led to a garden with formal and informal elements. She also created gardens for The Prince of Wales, Evgeny Lebedev and Peter Brant, among many others. Lady Salisbury worked tirelessly well into her eighties, and was an early campaigner for organic gardening. Her memoirs, A Gardener’s Life (Frances Lincoln, 2007), tell her remarkable story.