The Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize

This prize is to honor a single young or emerging design professional who contributed significantly to the design and implementation of a completed garden either by themselves or under the guidance of a mentor.

Entries for the 2023 Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize are due on September 15th, 2023, with nominations due by August 1st, 2023.

The Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize recognizes the excellence and creativity of a project from an emerging garden or landscape design professional that furthers the ICAA’s mission that design and craftsmanship are vital to lasting and meaningful places. Further, the prize honors a project from an emerging professional that demonstrates skilled knowledge of horticulture in a design that holistically considers the symbiosis between outdoor environments and physical structures and is in the spirit of Bunny Mellon’s “ceaseless interest, passion, and pleasure” in gardens, horticulture, and design. This Prize is presented annually as part of the Bunny Mellon Landscape Curricula at the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

There is one Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize awarded each year to the emerging professional for a singular project that best meets the prize’s criteria. Submissions should feature a completed or nearly completed garden. The winner will receive a $1,500 dollar cash prize, and will be recognized at the ICAA's 2024 Garden Symposium, announced on ICAA social media, website, and other external media, publications, promotional materials to be determined. The runner-up will receive the recognition of “Highly Commended” from the jury as they see fit.


The Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize is the result of the Gerald B. Lambert Foundation's landmark gift that created and supports the study and practice of the landscape arts as part of the ICAA's Bunny Mellon Curricula. The Curricula honors Bunny Mellon, visionary garden designer and leading contributor to the horticultural arts, with programming that addresses the importance of garden and landscape design as part of the traditionally built environment.

The ICAA is very grateful to the Gerard B. Lambert Foundation for its generous support of this program, along with the Curricula's Lead Co-Sponsor Hollander Design Landscape Architects, Film Series Co-Sponsor Janice Parker Landscape Architects, Landscape Prize Co-Sponsor Harrison Design, Continuing Education and Public Programs Co-Sponsor Charlotte Moss, and Garden Symposium Co-Sponsor Kathryn M. and Ronald J. Herman Charitable Foundation.

Award categories
Recognition at ICAA Wethersfield; $1,500 Prize
Highly Commended Runner Up
Recognition at ICAA Wethersfield
Winners from
Justin Willard, Hollander Design
Douglas Clark, Janice Parker Design
Highly Commended Runner Up
Alexandra Bolinder-Gibsand, Christine London Ltd.
Winston Grant-Preece, M.J. Suttie Architects
Highly Commended Runner Up


The submission deadline for the 2023 Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize is September 15th, 2023.


Established professionals are encouraged to nominate potential eligible entrants from their firms or networks for consideration for this prize. To nominate an emerging professional, email [email protected] by August 1st, 2023 with the name and contact information of the nominee, and a brief note in support of the nominee. Then ICAA staff will contact the nominee to provide submission instructions.

Entrants are also welcome to self-nominate, and can do so by submitting all materials by the September 15th submission deadline. The above August 1st deadline does not apply for self-nominees.

Entry Materials

Please submit all documents in a single PDF, emailed to [email protected].

  1. Entry Form
  2. Professional Statement: In 500 words or less, describe the project submitted for consideration and how it fits the prize’s intent
    1. Please specify the entrant’s role in the project
  3. Project submission:
    1. Required: PDF with a minimum of five 11x17 sheets of a single completed project. Sheets should include:
      1. Hand sketches, site plans, digital renderings etc. High quality photographs of completed projects are required.
      2. A planting plan that outlines specific horticultural choices. This must be at least one of the submitted sheets.
      3. Before/after images, plans, or surveys to demonstrate what existed prior to the design being implemented compared to what has been created (for applicable projects)
  4. CV: (maximum 2 pages)
  5. References: Name, contact information, and affiliation of two references. At least one must be a professional referee. References will only be contacted for shortlisted finalists.
  6. Interview: with member of the education team and jury chair (interviews will only be offered to the top five shortlisted finalists)

Applications must be emailed to [email protected] in a single PDF by 11:59 PM, September 15th, 2023. Hard copy applications will not be accepted.


The jury will judge each project both by its conception and execution.

Competitive projects must:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding and exploration of historical garden and landscape precedents within their work
  2. Demonstrate inventiveness, adaptability, and creativity in planting choices and garden design to ensure its suitability and sensitivity to its specific site, climate, and local surroundings
  3. Feature a garden and/or landscape design that employs thoughtful linkages between surrounding physical structures, hardscape elements, and natural environs
  4. Create a space that welcomes and responds to human usage of the landscape


The ICAA reserves the right to publish, electronically post, distribute to media outlets, or display at its national headquarters images of the projects of the winner and any Highly Commended finalists. Images may be used in future promotion of the Bunny Mellon Garden Design Prize for subsequent application rounds. Such work results will remain the property of the entrant but permission to so reproduce or display both by the ICAA and other media outlets must be granted by the prize recipient upon receiving the prize; decisions about where and how to so show will be made by Institute staff in partnership with the Prize jury. Entrants must have publishable images ready to provide to the ICAA for distribution upon receipt of the prize, with all necessary permissions secured. It is the responsibility of the ICAA to cover any and all related display costs as deemed most appropriate.


  1. All entrants must have been 35 years old or younger on January 1st, 2023 OR be within the first seven years of their relevant design career, which is measured from graduation date from a related secondary education program, first position held in the field, or another relevant parameter.
    1. Entrants will be asked to provide proof of age or confirm their eligibility with ICAA staff.
  2. Emerging garden designers, landscape architects, design professionals, horticulturists, and interested people with relevant experience can participate in this prize.
    1. Entrants can either be nominated, or self-nominate.
  3. Both international and domestic US entrants are encouraged to apply.
  4. Entrants may submit up to 2 projects for consideration.
  5. Entrants should be a primary or significant contributor on projects that were worked on by a team. Entry materials must specify the entrant’s role in the project and that of other contributors. The prize is awarded to an individual, so additional team members, besides the entrant, will not be recognized.
  6. Entries are required as digital files only. No hard copies.
  7. Projects for consideration must be either completed projects, or those that have already undergone significant construction. Both should include information about the existing site previous to design.
  8. Projects for consideration may include new construction, historic preservation, or restoration projects.
  9. All entry materials must be submitted by 11:59 PM, September 15th, 2023 to be considered.

Please Inquire

Contact Mollie Wohlforth ([email protected]) or call 212-730-9646 ext. 115 with questions.