The European Garden Heritage Network EGHN with its partners in 14 European countries (France, UK, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Spain and Russia) started the European Garden Award in 2010.
The European Garden Award does not solely focus on spectacular garden art or traditional highlights, such as well-maintained herbaceous borders. According to the traditions of EGHN and based on its objectives and specific skills and experiences, the award follows a broader approach.
Nominations are based on innovative implementation and management, on urban development aspects, on sustainability, on good visitor services or voluntary work as well as on high quality of restoration or modern design of a park or garden. The winners are sought after as inspirational and as models for other projects.
Within two categories, this award will annually honour exceptional achievements in garden culture and in making use of parks and gardens in urban and regional development policies.
The first category will look at historic parks and gardens that have been subject to exemplary restoration, enhancement or development measures or activities related to social inclusion, education, environment or visitor services.
The second category will identify high quality and innovative contemporary concepts and designs of parks and gardens already implemented or in progress of realisation.
In a third category with an annually changing theme, the Special Award of the Schloss Dyck Foundation, Centre for Garden Art and Landscape Design, is focussing on a new theme each year, e.g. the creative use of plants or an inspiring kitchen garden.
Since 2014, a fourth category awards innovative large scale green policies, measures or concepts that – for instance – safeguard green values or enhance green public areas for the revitalisation of a city or region.
The selection of winners will not at all be limited to the sites, partners and countries within the EGHN network.
The members of the international jury nominate parks, gardens, urban spaces, initiatives, projects, single persons etc. and then – during a joint meeting, normally in May or June – make a decision about one 1st Prize and two 2nd Prizes within each category.
The winners are announced and all winners receive their awards in September during a festive event, often at Schloss Dyck (Germany), but also at other places such as Hamburg (2015) and Berlin (2017).
Since 2012 the European Garden Award is supported by Nurseries Lorenz von Ehren in Hamburg.