The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society awarded my garden the blue ribbon in the 2015 Garden and Greening Contest!! I was selected from over 250 entries this year in three states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. This contest invites backyard gardeners, community gardeners, and anyone passionate about greening our public spaces to enter. I am grateful to my friend, Pat, who persuaded me to submit an application. A few years ago Pat, along with her Women's Club, received an award for a local community flower garden they maintain. She visits my garden often, and one day last spring, she arrived with literature from the Horticultural Society, assuring me my garden was worthy -- I guess only the gardener sees the warts. I submitted the application online by the deadline in June. Of course, I hoped for some recognition, but never dreamed of attaining the blue ribbon.
I filled out a simple form having determined which category I should enter: Combination Garden- Any size garden with both vegetables and flowers where both have significant impact. I wrote a brief narrative and submitted some photographs. This is what I wrote:
My gardens are ten years in the making and continue to evolve. Born and raised in England, I am trying to create an English cottage garden in the Poconos, facing such challenges as rocky ground, numerous deer and a short growing season. I designed five distinct areas: a pond surrounded by cottage garden borders, a shade-garden retreat, a container garden, a Woodland Walk, and a kitchen garden with a unique potting shed. I grow a wide variety of perennials, annuals, shrubs and vegetables. My many native plants attract pollinators in this certified wildlife habitat and pollinator friendly garden. I practice sustainable gardening: making compost and collecting rainwater in five water barrels. I am a Penn State master gardener volunteer who retired to indulge my gardening passion.
The judge (and his sister) arrived in the middle of August. My garden was passed peak, but when we learned the judging date, H.H. and I tidied the beds, added new mulch, refreshed the containers with new plants, cleaned up the fish pond and did whatever else was necessary to make the gardens sparkle inspite of the heat and lack of blooms.
It was a long wait until I heard from the Society a few days ago. I received a beautiful letter and a certificate. The letter says they will honor my accomplishments at a reception hosted at PHS in Philadelphia in December. I may bring one guest to the reception. Of course, my guest must be the wonderful Undergardener, H.H., who does so much of the grunt work. One tiny disappointment: the PHS sometimes holds the reception at the Governor's Mansion in Harrisburg, but not this year. I don't know if this is because our governor is not living there in his attempt to save taxpayers' money.
Photographs of the winning gardens will be shown at the reception. (The photographs in this posting are some of my favorites taken spring through fall this year. They are in no particular order.) In addition to a certificate they will present me with two tickets to the 2016 PHS Philadelphia Flower Show to be held next March.
At a meeting of my master gardener group last night, I shared this information in the hope of encouraging some of them to enter in future. Individual gardeners may enter in-ground gardens or gardens grown exclusively in containers. Community gardeners may enter vegetable and flower gardens, garden blocks and public-space plantings and parks. I hope some of my blogger friends in the three state area will consider entering this contest, too.
It was a wonderful year in my garden, and my blue ribbon award is the icing on the cake!
Happy Gardening, dear friends,
~~ I love reading your comments. I hope you leave one so I’ll know you visited!
I look forward to visiting your blog in return.
Congratulations! An honor well deserved! Your gardens are beautiful and ever an inspiration to me.ReplyDelete
Pamela, your garden is AMAZING and I congratulate you on your blue ribbon! From what I can see, it's well-deserved! :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations Pam. No one deserves this more. Your gardens are inspiring and gorgeous.ReplyDelete
Congratulations Pam, not surprised when I look at the pictures of your garden.ReplyDelete
Oh wonderful, well done!ReplyDelete
We can see your garden is a cherished and thoughtful place.
What an honor for you and your garden. Congratulations, and thank you for sharing your wonderful garden with us.ReplyDelete
Wow, congratulations! You deserve it. How wonderful to receive the recognition--particularly in a fabulous garden year. :)ReplyDelete
Congratulations! WOW! A wonderful award for a beautiful garden.ReplyDelete
Oh my gosh! I am so proud to know you. Truly Pam, that's impressive stuff. Congratulations! I hope you enjoy the show next year and your well-deserved honor.~~DeeReplyDelete
How wonderful. Congratulations! From the pictures you've posted, I agree 100% with the judges.ReplyDelete
Well-deserved -- congratulations! Your garden is truly a beautiful creation and those of us who follow your blog are not at all surprised that you won. The photos in this post are absolutely lovely -- thanks for sharing your gardens with us! -BethReplyDelete
You've accomplished quite a bit in ten years. I'm impressed. And it certainly does look like an English cottage garden.ReplyDelete
Congrats ! This has taken you some time to create but well worth it. Your giving me ideas.ReplyDelete
Many many congratulations, this is such a well deserved award. I know how much you enjoy your garden and working in it is a pleasure to you, but to be recognised in this way is the icing on the cake.ReplyDelete
What a wonderful honor, but not really a surprise to any of us who follow your blog! You deserve every bit of it, and then some!ReplyDelete
Very many congratulations, Pam! This post is lovely because it is filled with great news and you show so many photos of your wonderful garden. I am sitting here in England beaming from ear to ear for you! This is such joyous news - and so very well deserved!ReplyDelete
Congratulations on your well deserved award! Such a beautiful garden and blog!. A true pleasure to watch.ReplyDelete
Jannicke from Norway
Congratulations, Pam! Never was there a more well-deserved award, your gardens are absolutely gorgeous! I'm so happy for you. Can't wait to hear how the reception in December goes. :-)ReplyDelete
Congratulations to you Pam and so well deserved! It is always a pleasure to visit your beautiful gardens and I am so happy for you!ReplyDelete
How did I miss this post....my goodness Pam, I can see why you won the award....just an amazing heaven on earth I hope to visit one day!ReplyDelete