Local residents really bloom in Citywide Garden Contest

More than two dozen North­east res­id­ents were among the win­ners of this year’s Pennsylvania Hor­ti­cul­tur­al So­ci­ety’s City­wide Garden Con­test.

An­nounced last month at the PHS Fall Garden Fest­iv­al at the Phil­adelphia Navy Yard, the win­ners took hon­ors for grow­ing flowers and ve­get­ables in everything from con­tain­ers to large gar­dens.

About 300 garden­ers entered the con­test, said Flos­sie Nar­ducci, the hor­ti­cul­tur­al so­ci­ety’s edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies man­ager. A third of the North­east’s win­ning garden­ers took first place in their cat­egor­ies:

Joseph Am­maturo took a first place for his large com­bin­a­tion ve­get­able and flower garden on the 9700 block of Wyn­mill Road. He’s been mov­ing up in the rank­ings. Last year, Am­ma­turo took second place; the year be­fore, he fin­ished third.

Nilsa Laya, for her large flower garden on the 11600 block of Proc­tor Road. 

• Also awar­ded a first in the flower garden cat­egory was Scott Wil­li­ams of the 2200 block of Faunce St.

F. Mc­Dou­gal of the 9200 block of Wooden Bridge Road got a first place for his mid­size flower garden.

• First place in the same cat­egory went to Jason Craw­ford of the 7800 block of Lor­na Drive, and Mark and Kristen Ladz­in­ski of the 3500 block of Teton Road. Craw­ford won a first last year, too. In 2009, the Ladz­in­s­kis won second place for their mid­size com­bin­a­tion garden. 

Carlyn Mul­derig of the 300 block of Fuller St. got a first in the small flower garden cat­egory. Last year, Mul­derig got third place.

Ar­mando Di Toro was awar­ded first place for his mid­size ve­get­able garden on the 1900 block of Good­naw St.

Eight North­east gar­dens were awar­ded second-place hon­ors in their cat­egor­ies:

Joan Smalarz of the 1000 block of Borbe­ck Ave. won for her large com­bin­a­tion garden. She won third place last year.

• For the second year, Jac­queline Rucyn­ski took a second for her deck con­tain­er garden on the 12000 block of El­more Road.

Kar­en Ess­linger’s large flower garden on the 2100 block of Rhawn St. took a second place.

Don For­tune once again won for his mid­size flower garden on the 9200 block of Wooden Bridge Road. He won a second in the large flower garden cat­egory last year, and took first the year be­fore.

Sheree Kopple of the 500 block of Lark­spur St. won for her mid­size flower garden. She took a third place in the small flower garden cat­egory last year.

San­ti­ago Cruz was honored for his small flower garden on the 2100 block of Friend­ship St.

Rosa Mir­i­ello of the 4300 block of Dis­ston St. won for her mid­size ve­get­able garden. She took first place last year and third place the year be­fore that.

Sid Dor­f­man’s small ve­get­able garden on the 8500 block of Bridle Road also won.

Five loc­als took third-place in their cat­egor­ies:

Tania Ci­olko of the 9100 block of Ry­er­son Road for her mid­size ve­get­able garden. She took third place last year, too.

John Wis­niewski for his small flower garden on the 3400 block of Holy­oke Road.

Mi­chael Tauscher, 8200 block of Win­throp St., for his large flower garden.

Jeremy Raf­ferty for his con­tain­er garden on the 3200 block of Long­shore Ave.

Randee Stevens’s large com­bin­a­tion garden on the 3100 block of Welsh Road.

Hon­or­able men­tion went to:

Mari­anne T. Miller of the 2000 block of Vista St. for her large com­bin­a­tion garden. In 2009, she got third place.

Una Coyle of the 4600 block of Hawthorne St. for her mid­size flower garden. She took third in 2009.

Mar­garet and Sydney Kanef­sky for their mid­size flower garden on the 7200 block of Kindred St. 

From early Ju­ly to mid-Au­gust, 265 vo­lun­teer judges were or­gan­ized in­to 60 pan­els and eval­u­ated the entrants’ gar­dens. They used a point sys­tem to de­term­ine the best, Nar­ducci said. Judges looked for a vari­ety of healthy plants. They wanted to see neatly kept and well-main­tained gar­dens. They also wanted to see space put to good use and they looked for ima­gin­at­ive ideas, Nar­ducci ad­ded.

Judges also awar­ded points for good hor­ti­cul­tur­al prac­tices, such as com­post use. City­wide Garden Con­test win­ners re­ceive Phil­adelphia Flower Show tick­ets, cer­ti­fic­ates, rib­bons and hardy plants for their gar­dens, said PHS spokes­man Alan Jaffe. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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