The 2014 annual GHS essay prize has been won by Karen Fitzsimon from Buckingham University.
There was a strong field this year, with entries from as far afield as Cardiff and Kew, Bath and Sheffield, but Fitzsimon’s essay, Order In the Landscape - Rediscovering Preben Jakobsen was the unanimous winner. This important piece of scholarship reassesses the work of the well known but little understood Danish landscape architect. The judges were particularly impressed with the author’s use of primary sources, her exploration of Jacobsen’s influences and inspirations, and her analysis of existing sites and site plans.
Suzanne Patman of RBG Kew was Highly Commended for A New Direction in Garden History – a lively exploration of guerrilla gardening.
Nick Chibnall, a Ph D student at Buckingham, was also Highly Commended for The Palms of the Orient, a detailed and scholarly examination of the hotel gardens of the late nineteenth century Riviera.
This year’s entries encompassed a range of subjects, from Thomas Mawson’s prospectus for a landscape architecture course, through the attitudes of women writers to the C18 English Landscape movement, to the place of the Royal Parks in the national consciousness. The sheer range and vibrancy of the writing demonstrates that Garden History is thriving, and we look forward to another crop of stimulating essays in next year’s competition.