AASDOWNERS GROVE, IL In 2012, All-America Selections (AAS) launched a contest for its nearly 200 Display Gardens to encourage new landscaping ideas using AAS Winners.

This contest is a landscape design contest using AAS Winners announced in the last five years with the option to incorporate more than 80 years worth of past AAS Winners. A wide range of garden types participated in the contest for 2015: large and small public gardens, seed companies, community gardens, master gardener programs and university gardens. The 2015 contest theme was “Geometry in the Garden.” Photos of all of the winners can be viewed here.

The contest judges, industry experts in the field of horticulture and landscaping:

Jeff Gibson, Landscape Business Manager, Ball Horticultural Company

Bruce Hellerick, Senior Horticulture Specialist, The Brickman Group

Susan Schmitz, Trials and Education Manager, Ball Horticultural Company

Barbara Wise, Author and Sales and Marketing Manager, Crescent Garden

The winners:

Category I: fewer than 10,000 visitors per year

First Place Winner: Kishwaukee College, Malta, Illinois. The Kishwaukee College Horticulture Department used the Landscape Design Contest as an opportunity to collaborate with the Mathematics Department. Within each bed they created a geometric theme including circumference, diameter, octagon, perpendicular lines, parallel lines, radius, perimeter, right triangles and trapezoid. They were used during the growing season by various student clubs and and departments for projects in horticulture, math, photography, creative writing, biology and early childhood education.

Second Place *TIE* Winner: Pima County Cooperative Extension, Tucson, Arizona. The Display Garden used a total of 77 AAS Winning varieties including vegetables, herbs and flowers. The judges were also impressed by the garden’s informative signage and their promotion of the garden, including a plan of the Pima garden on MotherEarthNews.com.

Second Place *TIE* Winner: University of Wisconsin Spooner Ag Research Station, Teaching and Display Garden, Spooner, Wisconsin. A multi-year entrant and last year’s first-place winner in this category, Spooner’s gardens are recognized for their reliability and creativity. As the AAS Winners matured, they grew into the shapes of objects such as a kite, star, hot air balloon and a tic-tac-toe board.

Third Place Winner: Kenosha County Center Demonstration Garden, Bristol, Wisconsin. The theme was based on Geometry in the Kitchen Garden, and the garden displays incorporated kitchen items such as a rectangular bread box, circular plates and triangular hangers.

Honorable Mention Awards:

  • Meredith Public Library, Meredith, New Hampshire
  • William Dam Seeds Unlimited, Dundas, Ontario, Canada
  • St. Louis Community College-Meramec Horticulture Department, St. Louis, Missouri
  • Parker F. Scripture Botanical Gardens, Oriskany, New York
  • Breckenridge Endowment Farm and Display Garden, Twin Falls, Idaho
  • Cutler Botanic Gardens, Binghamton, New York
  • Jennings Park, Washington State University Master Gardener Demonstration Gardens, Marysville, Washington

Category II: 10,001 – 100,000 visitors per year

First Place Winner: Noelridge Park Gardens, Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This year’s garden display was a collaboration of the local parks department, Goodwill and the Friends of Noelridge. As a result, the garden was host to many groups, including a photography event and garden tour.

Second Place Winner: Mississippi State University Truck Crops Experiment Station, Crystal Springs, Mississippi. With 75 AAS Winning varieties incorporated into the 30 raised beds and three-tiered hexagonal mound, this AAS Display Garden is the focal point of MSU’s Fall Flower & Garden Fest each October. The fountain bed is flowed with cascading flowers rather than water.

Third Place Winner: Le Jardin des Graminées, Jardin Daniel A. Seguin, Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec, Canada. The vertical garden is a consistent submission to the Landscape Design Contest.

Honorable Mention Awards:

  • Idaho Botanical Garden, Boise, Idaho
  • Boone County Arboretum, Union, Kentucky

Category III: Over 100,000 visitors per year

First Place Winner: Norseco at the Botanical Garden of Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The triangular flower bed was separated diagonally with a grass path for better viewing from all sides. Inside the triangle visitors could see other planted shapes—circles, squares and triangles. The vegetable beds incorporated both color and textural contrasts.

Second Place Winner: Boerner Botanic Gardens, Hales Corners, Wisconsin. A good execution of the geometry theme, the garden had a quilt-like patchwork of triangular plantings. This “Triangulation” theme was anchored by two antique topiary forms planted with AAS Winner Scarlet O’Hara morning glory. A path for maintenance and harvest turned this bed into a living peace sign.

Third Place Winner: State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. AAS Winners were planted in rectangles, circles and diamonds, with two planted towers. The Botanical Garden’s staff noted that the three-dimensional aspect brought to the plantings by the towers prompted visitors to linger longer to view the mingling of varieties.