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Nigel Dunnett’s Naturalistic Planting Design: In Conversation with Sarah Price

Join us for the launch Nigel Dunnett’s much anticipated new book, Naturalistic Planting Design – The Essential Guide. To celebrate the release of this book, Nigel will be in conversation with garden designer Sarah Price.

Naturalistic gardens are rich in plants and wildlife and require little in the way of watering, weeding, staking, fertilizing and replanting. They are also beautiful, uplifting places that change from season to season and evolve naturally.

Nigel Dunnett is one of the world’s leading voices on naturalistic planting design and an award-winning garden designer, widely admired for changing our perceptions about public planting the flowering meadows he created for London’s Olympic Park in 2012, as well as the Beech Gardens and High Walk at the Barbican Centre (winner of the Landscape Institute’s Planting Design Award 2018 and Fellows’ Award 2018 for most outstanding project).

In his new book, the essential go-to guide for anyone wishing to join the adventure and plant the naturalistic way, Nigel shares his expertise, inspiration and fascinating working methods.

Sarah Price won a gold medal at the 2018 Chelsea Flower Show for her Mediterranean garden, and collaborated with Nigel on the Olympic Park gardens along with James Hitchmough.

Speaker bios

  • Nigel Dunnett

    Nigel Dunnett

    Nigel Dunnett is one of the world’s leading voices on planting design. As plantsman, designer and pioneer of the naturalistic or ecological approach to planting, he creates gardens and public landscapes that teem with plants and wildlife, bring multiple environmental benefits and enrich people’s lives. Science and art come together in his approach that draws on decades of experimental work and close collaboration with architects and artists to create gardens that are dramatic and beautiful as well as being fully functioning, sustainable plant communities.

    Notable examples include his extensive new woodland and meadow plantings at Trentham Gardens in Staffordshire; the Beech Gardens and High Walk at the Barbican Centre in London which are brilliant exemplars of ‘designed plant communities’ (and won both the Landscape Institute's Planting Design Award 2018 and the Landscape Institute Fellows’ Award 2018 for most outstanding project); and the London 2012 Olympic Park (now the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park) where huge swathes of brightly coloured meadows first changed our perceptions about public planting.

    Nigel is dedicated to bringing his ideas and methodology to a wide audience as evidenced by this book and by his responsibilities as ambassador of the RHS campaign ‘Greening Grey Britain’ and Professor of Planting Design and Vegetative Ecology at Sheffield University. His award-winning show gardens for RHS flower shows at Chelsea (Gold Medal 2013) and Hampton Court showcase green roofs, rainwater harvesting and ecological planting and have inspired many gardeners. He is author of several books on his specialist subjects and lectures at universities, design schools and plant societies throughout the world.

  • Sarah Price

    Sarah Price

    Sarah Price has rapidly established herself as one of the most prominent and sought-after garden designers in Britain. Drawing on a prior training in fine art and a life-long love of wild and natural environments, her gardens have an immersive quality and are often described as ‘painterly’.

    Her practice is unusual for its breadth and scope of work. Sarah co-designed the 2012 Gardens at London’s Olympic Park and was a planting consultant for LDA Design on the post-Games legacy design. Price continues to work on a number of large public planting schemes as well as private projects. These include new community gardens and an exciting ‘play’ landscape designed in collaboration with MUMA for Cambridge University; an “Art Garden” at Manchester’s Whitworth Art Gallery sponsored by Jo Malone; and a garden inspired by the New Forest for a new Maggies Centre in Southhampton designed by architects AL_A and recently, a new Horatio's Garden for Llandough Hospital, Cardiff .

    Price’s designs have collected numerous awards, most notably Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2012 for the Daily Telegraph Garden and in 2018 for M&G Investments. Sarah is a contributing editor for Gardens Illustrated and also writes regularly for House and Garden and The Telegraph. In 2016 Sarah was awarded Garden Columnist of year by the Garden Media Guild for her monthly series on landscape design for Gardens Illustrated.