Calling all green thumbs for citywide garden contest

Re­peat win­ner: Jason Craw­ford has won a first place prize for his mid­size garden in the PHS City­wide Garden Con­test three years in a row. TIMES FILE PHOTO

The Pennsylvania Hor­ti­cul­tur­al So­ci­ety is in­vit­ing green-thumbed com­pet­it­ors to enter the 2013 City­wide Garden Con­test.

It’s a com­pet­i­tion in which North­east Phil­adelphi­ans an­nu­ally have shined. Last year, 20 of them proved just how great the North­east is by tak­ing top hon­ors. For the past few years, they’ve been mak­ing a habit of win­ning.

Jason Craw­ford, for ex­ample, in 2012 won his third first-place rib­bon for his mid­size flower garden on the 7800 block of Lor­na Drive. 

The green com­pet­it­ors vie in sev­er­al cat­egor­ies. In­di­vidu­al garden­ers may enter front yard or back­yard flower gar­dens, ve­get­able gar­dens and con­tain­er gar­dens. Com­munity garden­ers may par­ti­cip­ate by en­ter­ing ve­get­able and flower gar­dens, parks and garden blocks.

“Oth­er cat­egor­ies are chil­dren’s garden or school garden,” PHS an­nounced in a news re­lease, as well as gar­dens “main­tained primar­ily by chil­dren un­der adult su­per­vi­sion; green­est block in town, a tree-lined block where res­id­ents garden in their front yards; and urb­an farm, an en­tre­pren­eur­i­al garden that grows and sells pro­duce and flowers and donates a per­cent­age to the loc­al com­munity.”

Last year, a few new cat­egor­ies were in­tro­duced, in­clud­ing green roof garden; rain garden; wa­ter gar­dens; garden fea­tur­ing nat­ive plants, and gar­dens that fea­ture art or re­cycled ma­ter­i­als.

The con­test began in 1975. Last year, there were 250 entrants, ac­cord­ing to Flos­sie Nar­ducci, the hor­ti­cul­tur­al so­ci­ety’s edu­ca­tion­al activ­it­ies man­ager.

The most pop­u­lar cat­egory in 2012 was flower garden­ing.

Win­ning garden­ers and judges will be in­vited to a re­cep­tion later this year. Pho­to­graphs of the win­ning gar­dens will also be show­cased at the event.

The dead­line for ap­plic­a­tions is June 30, a little later than it’s been in the past. For in­form­a­tion, con­tact Nar­ducci at 215-988-8897, or fnar­ducci@pen­, or vis­it www.phson­

Vo­lun­teer judges will eval­u­ate the entrants. They look for a vari­ety of healthy plants in well-kept gar­dens in which spaces are put to good use. They look for ima­gin­a­tion, and award points for sound hor­ti­cul­tur­al prac­tices such as com­post­ing or rain bar­rel use.

Judging will take place between Ju­ly 18 and Aug. 9, and win­ners will be an­nounced Sept. 21. ••

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