New Ideas from Landscape Winners

The Noelridge Park Gardens in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the top prize for mid-sized gardens. Image courtesy of All-America Selectsions

The Noelridge Park Gardens in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the top prize for mid-sized gardens. (Image is courtesy of All-America Selections)

If you’re thinking of refreshing your landscape next gardening season, you might like to see the 2015 winners of All-America Selection’s Landscape Design Contest. These award-winning gardens are sure to inspire you to create your own winning landscape.

All-America Selections (AAS) is North America’s oldest independent testing organization for trialing new plants. Every year AAS announces new varieties of bedding plant and vegetable plant winners that are known to grow well in certain regions or across the country.

In 2012 the organization started a landscape design contest among its nearly 200 open-to-the-public display gardens. The challenge is to use the plant winners in new and interesting ways. This year’s winners certainly met that challenge.

AAS announced the winners in three categories, based on the gardens’ number of annual visitors. Each garden must have at least half of the landscaped area planted in AAS winners and follow a common theme. This year’s theme was Geometry in the Garden. To see all of the contest winners, visit the AAS website.

The first-place winner in the category of 10,000 visitors a year is a design called What’s Your Angle at the gardens at Kishwaukee College, Malta, Illinois. The college’s Horticulture Department collaborated with the math department to create planting beds in different geometric shapes. The college made the most of the contest by inviting student clubs to use the gardens for projects.

The Noelridge Park Gardens was a collaboration of the local parks department, Goodwill and the Friends of Noelridge. (Image courtesy of All-America Selections).

The Noelridge Park Gardens was a collaboration of the local parks department, Goodwill and the Friends of Noelridge. (Image courtesy of All-America Selections).

In the category of 10,001 to 100,000 visitors, the first-place winner is Noelridge Park Gardens, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Besides designing a beautiful garden, the group got the community involved and played host to many groups through the season.

The large garden winner (over 100,000 visitors annually) is Norseco at the Botanical Garden of Montreal in Canada. According to AAS, this garden had a “fantastic interpretation of the geometry theme and stunning displays.” The design included a triangular flower bed and vegetable beds filled with color and texture.

The AAS Display Gardens in Colorado can give gardeners plenty of ideas for adding bedding and vegetable winners to their landscapes, too. The gardens include:

  • CSU’s Annual Flower Trial Garden, Fort Collins
  • Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver
  • Happiness Gardens, City of Wheat Ridge
  • Horticultural Art Society Demonstration Garden, Colorado Springs
  • Hudson Gardens & Event Center, Littleton
  • Welby Gardens, Denver

Now’s the time to start planning either a landscape redesign or a trip to visit some of these award-winning display gardens.

By Jodi Torpey
Denver Master Gardener

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