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Soft Landscape Workshop 2019


 Green Connections


Empowerment through collaboration


Wednesday 23 January 09:00-17:00

Ashford International Hotel
(Please note the programme for the day is subject to change. Full programme for the day is still to be finalised and a number of other speakers and representatives to be announced).

*New Speakers Announced*


More TBC and full programme to follow


Within the world of horticulture our innate need to connect to our landscape underpins everything we do. Many believe that human beings are genetically predisposed to want to find connections with the natural world (commonly termed as 'biophilia'). As human beings we are also tribal animals, craving social interaction and gaining pleasure and motivation from our interactions with each other. When we inhibit or remove our connections with the natural world and with each other we are limiting our potential and limiting the opportunities available for us to find a balance between modernity and nature. In an age where the importance of green in our landscapes is under threat and we are becoming more and more isolated in our lives, the need for collaboration and communication is paramount.

In this years Soft Landscaping Workshop we will be discussing the importance of our ‘green connections’ and how through interaction with each other we can work together to create a much needed balance in our landscape. We believe that through industry collaboration each and everyone of us can be empowered to create a greener future.

Along with a stimulating line up of speakers arranged for the day there will also be a number of mini-workshops taking place, some designed to impart practical advice and led by key figures in their respective areas and others led by representatives of horticultural organisations who will be explaining why collaboration is so important to developing connections within the industry. There will also be a large number of exhibitors and industry professionals who will be offering advice and guidance throughout the day.

This year's event will take place from 09:00 to 17:00 on Wednesday 23 January 2019. We have a full schedule of speakers and events organised so we have extended the traditional timings to accommodate such a full and rich programme.

The event will be held at its traditional venue, the Ashford International Hotel in Ashford, Kent. A large number of companies from across the industry will be exhibiting on the day. The delegate fee including a buffet lunch and refreshments costs just £36 + VAT. For delegates travelling by rail there will be a shuttle bus meeting the fast train from London St Pancras to transfer you to the venue and back.

Soft Landscape Workshop 2019

Sarah Morgan (SGD)

John Wyer

Helen Elks-Smith

Andrew Wilson

Anca Panait

Adam White

John Adlam

Dr Ken Thompson

Speakers for the day include
more to be announced and subject to change...


John Adlam

John Adlam of Dove Bugs is an in-demand consultant for the horticultural industry. He will be part of a panel discussing dispute resolution and assumption of knowledge within our industry.

Helen Elks-Smith

Helen Elks-Smith is an award winning garden designer and her work is regularly featured in books and magazines. Helen will be our workshop compère, introducing the day's events and helping to steer the days speakers and events. Helen will also be chairing our panel discussion.

Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan, an award winning garden designer and current chair of the Society of Garden Designers. Sarah will be part of a panel discussing dispute resolution and assumption of knowledge within our industry and will be presenting a short talk on the SGD in one of our afternoon sessions.
Anca Panait
Anca started her journey as a landscape architect in Bucharest, Romania. She was one of the three finalists chosen by the RHS for the 'Young Designer of the year 2017'. She recently built her first garden at Hampton Court. 

Dr Ken Thompson

Dr Ken Thompson, is a lecturer and author of multiple books on gardening and popular science. In 2016 Ken was awarded the RHS Veitch Memorial Medal for his contribution to the advancement and improvement of the science and practice of horticulture.

Adam White

Adam White (Landscape Architect) whose energy and enthusiasm wowed delegates at the last workshop is returning. Now President of the Landscape Institute, Adam will be discussing cross-industry collaborations and the importance of networking. Adam will also be summarising the days events.

Andrew Wilson

Andrew Wilson of the London College of Garden Design will be speaking on the design and planting of the space between buildings. He will be drawing from his landscape architect background his garden design and design lecturer experience to deliver an interesting and thought provoking talk.

John Wyer

John Wyer (Landscape Architect and 'thinker' behind the successful landscaper Bowles and Wyer) will be looking at the importance of collaboration and will discuss his views on how planting our future urban areas will work when faced with competing demands for housing and population.

A full speaker line up for the day will be announced shortly but include the above. A full list of exhibitors will be included closer to the event.


Trains departing from Ashford International to London St Pancras/Kings Cross - 17:16 arrives in London 17:54, 17:43 arrives in London 18:23. Coaches will take delegates to the station but only for the 17:43 train.

Please click here to register for your ticket

Alternatively, if you are a government body or organisation that wishes to raise a purchase order and pay on invoice then please click here to process your registration.