UPDATE: The winner of this year’s Mollie Salisbury Cup is Tallulah Street, with her entry ‘Tomatoes for the Broken-Hearted’. The two runners-up are Suzanne Raine and Sean Pritchard.
We are delighted to announce this year’s Mollie Salisbury Cup, an award for garden memoirs sponsored by the Cecil family in memory of their mother, the Marchioness of Salisbury and founding president of the Garden Museum.
The memoir celebrates our personal experience of gardens – big or small, real or imaginary – and its theme changes each year. This year’s theme is ‘Sanctuary’, inspired by our current exhibition, Sanctuary: Artist-Gardeners 1919-1939.
Please note: In May The RHS Garden kindly published a news item about the Memoir competition, but unfortunately gave the wrong date as a deadline for submission, stating 19th June when it was, in fact 15th May. This led to a number of people writing and submitting entries too late to be considered for the prize and The Garden magazine apologises for any disappointment caused.
How to enter
Candidates are invited to write up to 1500 words on the theme of ‘Sanctuary’, then pay the £10 registration fee below, and send entries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Update: the deadline for entries has now been extended until Monday 25 May. Winners will be notified by 7 July 2020.
First prize: £750, and their winning entry will be published in Hortus.
Two runners-up: £250 each.
All three winning entries will also be published on our website. You can read last year’s winners, on the theme of “The Problem with Gardening”, here. The winning entries from 2018, on the theme ‘My First Garden’, can be read here.
The Mollie Cup is judged by a member of the Cecil family, a Trustee of the Museum and an independent author. This year the judges will be Lady Rose Cecil, the daughter of Lady Salisbury; Lady Egremont; and Alice Vincent, the author of the applauded horticultural memoir Rootbound.
THE 6TH MARCHIONESS OF SALISBURY
Mollie Salisbury (1922 – 2016) 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, as well as rooftops and balconies in London. 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.