The upcoming Society of Garden Designers (SGD) conference, titled "Crossing Cultures - Globally Inspired, Locally Focused," will delve into the intersection of global design trends and local environmental and cultural considerations, emphasizing the principles of sustainable gardening. This timely theme is particularly relevant in today's interconnected world, where designers are increasingly drawing inspiration from diverse cultures and landscapes while incorporating sustainable practices to create environmentally friendly and culturally sensitive outdoor spaces.

Importance of the Theme

There are several reasons why this theme is important for garden designers today:

  • Global design trends and sustainable practices: Garden designers are constantly exposed to new ideas and styles from around the world. This can be a source of great inspiration, but it is also essential to integrate these trends into a local context while adhering to sustainable principles. Sustainable gardening practices, such as water conservation, native plant selection, and organic pest control, should be at the forefront of every garden design.
  • Local environmental considerations: Gardens are not just about aesthetics; they are also vital ecosystems that play an important role in biodiversity and sustainability. Garden designers must be mindful of the local environment when selecting plants and materials.
  • Cultural considerations: Gardens are a reflection of the people who create and use them. It is important for garden designers to understand and respect local cultures and traditions, incorporating elements that reflect the unique heritage of the area. Sustainable gardening practices often align with traditional cultural practices, creating a harmonious blend of design and cultural expression.

The SGD conference will provide a forum for garden designers to discuss these important issues and share their experiences. The conference will feature a variety of speakers from around the world, including Tony Kirkham MBE, VMH, FICFor (Hon), Tomoko Kawauchi MSGD, Jim Fogarty, Wambui Ippolito, Sophie Walker, Tommaso del Buono FSGD, and Paul Gazerwitz MSGD.

Topics to be Covered

The conference will cover a wide range of topics, including:

  • The ethics of borrowing from other cultures
  • The impact of restrictions on importing plant material
  • Lessons learned from travelling through foreign landscapes
  • How diverse cultures think about and nurture nature
  • Balancing cultural heritage with client interests and style

We Discuss the Sustainability of Stonecast Paving

Westminster Stone are delivering a talk at this years conference on the sustainability of using stonecast paving. Our stonecast paving can offer a low carbon footprint compared to quarrying and transporting natural stone from across the globe and has been chosen by the Eden Project and The National Trust for these credentials. Our stonecast paving is 30 years in the making. Each flagstone is hand crafted from sourced original masters, ensuring the heritage and tradition of UK architecture can be preserved for years to come.

Our Sustainability Journey

Like any business, we must always look towards the future. We have national distribution but have always strived to acquire materials as locally as possible and create minimal waste through our manufacturing.  We have a clear sustainability strategy but are mindful that we can do better to create eco-paving for every space.

We are extremely careful with our retail procurement, ensuring that we source from sustainable quarries that follow the Ethical Trading Initiative, and increasing our investment in Europe rather than Asia to reduce our carbon footprint on long-haul imports.

To meet our annual goals set out by Planet Mark we are looking at initiatives that include ways to eradicate our use of single-use plastic, renewable energy sources for our offices and manufacturing plant, concrete substitutes and moving our fleet to electric vehicles. Planet Mark supports educational sustainability programmes throughout the globe and we are proud to have been awarded our first Certificate with them.

Explore Stonecast Paving

Westminster Stone has been manufacturing and retailing its Stonecast paving and flooring products for over 35 years. Stonecast is an award-winning highly refined, and exceptionally high-quality concrete paving product - the best on the market!