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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.phsonline.org.
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. ••