The Society of Garden Designers has published a Manifesto for Sustainable Gardens & Landscapes. It aims to encourage members to create gardens and landscapes where sustainability comes first.


This move comes after the SGD's symposium earlier this year, where members and experts gathered to consider how to design and specify gardens with a lighter footprint, that sequester carbon, provide healthy ecosystems and offer diverse habitats.

The Society will also publish a Manifesto Support Guide that will offer practical advice and ideas on how to work more sustainably. The Manifesto has been divided into four main categories: materials, water, soil and plants.

The Society of Garden Designers Manifesto for Sustainable Gardens & Landscapes

SGD - Re-purpose & recycle - Garden by Tracy McQue
© Tracy McQue


Amongst the points that the SGD will be encouraging members to consider will be:

  • conserving, recycling and upcycling materials
  • reducing hard landscaping
  • education around the carbon footprint and the varying environmental impacts of different materials
  • advocation of renewable materials


Their Manifesto also includes advice on water use, and the ideas include:

Garden by Lynne Marcus MSGD
© Lynne Marcus


When it comes to soil, the Manifesto includes:

  • valuing the soil
  • working with the soil we have when it comes to pH
  • trying to minimise modifications to the soil, using only materials found on site where possible
  • reducing the use of peat-based products


The largest section of the Manifesto looks at plants, planting, increasing biodiversity and restoring ecosystems. Their pledges include:

  • increasing biodiversity
  • establishing and encouraging wildlife corridors between gardens and landscapes
  • retaining existing planting
  • encouraging the appreciation of wilder landscapes
  • encouraging the use of biological and mechanical controls over pesticides and herbicides
  • promoting greener play areas
  • striving to ban artificial grass
  • working with suppliers to develop products that are recyclable and environmentally friendly

Overall the Society of Garden Designers Manifesto states that members need to reduce the environmental impact of gardens and landscapes that they create and reverse the decline of biodiversity which has accelerated over the last fifty years.


To read the full manifesto, visit


Molly Blair
Molly Blaireditorial and digital assistant

Molly is the Gardens Illustrated's editorial and digital assistant. She has a roof garden and has her RHS level 2.