Congratulations to Marlow-based Garden Designer and OV, Tabitha Rigden (née Teuma) (Ch 95-97) who has won a national award for her Contemporary Woodland Edge Garden in Chesham Bois, which was named joint winner in the Student Design – Domestic category at the Society of Garden Designers Awards 2020 ceremony, held at The Landmark Hotel in Marylebone.
The Contemporary Woodland Edge Garden uses trees to create an immersive experience, the trunks forming a kind of living sculpture to be admired all year round. Tabitha says: “There is no need to shy away from using trees in smaller gardens, provided the species are well considered. I hold the Chiltern woods close to my heart, and I used their interplay of light and shade as the inspiration for this garden.” Other features include a generous cantilevered deck for entertaining, an open ‘glade’ laid to lawn, a sheltered ‘den’ that captures the last of the evening sun, beehives and a foraging garden, which answered the brief for low maintenance productive planting – a more achievable spin on ‘grow your own’ for those with less time on their hands.
The judges said of Tabitha’s design: “A bold, purposeful design demonstrating a thorough understanding of the site and a particular lightness of touch. Comprehensively presented with persuasive and atmospheric images that perfectly capture the design intention.”
Tabitha says: “I was over the moon to win the award – it’s a real boost to know that a panel of experts think highly of my work. Having decided to make a radical career change last year, this win reinforced to me why the attention to detail – and all those late nights at the drawing board – were so important!” After 15 years working in the Art World, Tabitha quit her job as a Paintings Conservator following the birth of her second child, and decided to retrain as a garden designer. She enrolled herself on the prestigious diploma course at The London College of Garden Design, based in Kew Gardens, graduating last summer with distinction.
“My job as a Paintings Conservator was practical, but not creative – I had largely accepted that and always managed to ﬁnd creative outlets outside of work. However, after I had my children and family life took hold, I realised that the day job needed to become my creative outlet. I had a long standing interest in interior design and architecture, as well as a love of plants and a dream of spending more time outdoors. When I pieced it all together, the next move seemed obvious!”
“It’s never too late to make a change and garden design seems especially relevant right now – I truly believe that a well considered design and carefully chosen planting can help combat the eﬀects of climate change at a local level without compromising on aesthetic.”
Tabitha is now a partner at garden design practice Rigden Saunders, based near Marlow. You can find more information about her winning design here.
Photos and Images courtesy of Tabitha Rigden