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Landscape Awards delayed

The Landscapes of Distinction and the Young Landscaper of the Year have been delayed due to Covid-19. The delay gives landscapers time to focus on getting back to work following lockdown, before turning their thoughts to how to win the awards for the country’s best landscapers

The Landscapes of Distinction entry deadline is now 31 November. The gala dinner awards ceremony is set for March 2021, with the date to be released soon.

The Young Landscaper of the Year Award will also take place in March to coincide with the Landscapes of Distinction Awards Dinner. Entries open in August.

What is a winning LOD entry?

The judges look for the highest standards within the landscape projects submitted, whether the focus is on construction, design, planting or maintenance. Innovative approaches, unusual solutions to overcoming a problem and exceptional level of craft skills are all highly valued.

The judges need to be able to assess the spatial and aesthetic qualities of the project, material selections, construction methods, attention to detailing and maintenance standard, as applicable to the different categories.

With the new system of online applications, thorough project documentation and photographs are even more important than in the past, including before and after photos. In addition, video is also considered by the judges to be a powerful tool to demonstrate the spatial quality of design projects.

‘Head Rake’ at Natural Habitats, Graham Cleary, says winning the overall award at the 2019 awards felt like “the affirmation the team deserves”.

Having competed in the awards since 2014 and won a number of smaller awards over the years, Graham says it was quite the milestone.

“There were a lot of very high-quality and deserving entries, so to come away with the overall win is something the team and I are very proud of. It was also just a really fun

evening to be a part of – we’re already looking forward to competing again this year!”

Graham says the awards provide excellent marketing for winning businesses and any landscaper that competes.

“Even just by competing, companies are confirming that they are proud enough of their work to put it forward for consideration. That in itself is testament to quality workmanship.”

Find out more on the Landscape of Distinction awards, and register to enter, on the Registered Master Landscapers website.

The Young Ones

The Young Landscaper of the Year competition, created by Register Master Landscapers (RML) in association with Prebbles Turf World, offers opportunities for the best young talent in the industry to put their skills to the test. For many previous winners, the award stands as a defining moment in their young careers, putting them in a position to learn more and take the next step in their team and the wider industry.

The 2019 winner, George Trower from Goom Landscapes, says participating in the competition the year prior provided him with the motivation to come back stronger.

“Having been involved in 2018, I got to see what it was all about and understand what was tested. It pushed me to come back better the next year,” said Trower.

Contestants must perform a range of tasks, including profile set-out, laying pavers, irrigation, painting, operating a digger, plant and weed identification, and a three-minute speech.

Darren Barrett, now Natural Habitats Landscapes Auckland’s regional manager, is another past winner. Like Trower, he had also participated the year prior to his win.

“I earned second place in 2007, which motivated me to learn more and improve my work before returning the next year,” Barrett said.

“Winning was a big achievement for me and provided the invaluable opportunity to compete against and learn from experienced business owners from other industries at the Young Horticulturalist of the Year. It increased my confidence, especially public-speaking, and has since put me in a position to better appreciate the planning and hard work that goes into being successful.”

This year’s competition will provide another opportunity for new and returning young landscapers looking to prove their abilities.

Registered Master Landscapers believes that putting your best work forward in the current climate is good business practice.

“With Covid 19 having put a big question mark over the financial performance of many businesses this year, now is the time to draw the attention of potential clients to your business and the quality of work you and your staff can produce for them,” says RML Board of Directors Chairperson and Goom Landscapes GM Anthony Washington. “The marketing and sales benefits that come with entering, let along winning these awards are now more highly valuable than ever.”

Applications are now open! You, or your employees, can apply at


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