Our first digital gardening competition is in the books, and you knocked our gardening clogs off! Our social media feeds were flooded with Great Gardening Contest2020 entries from Upper Midwest gardeners of all skill levels, backgrounds and growing styles. A panel of credentialed judges reviewed all the entries, and we’re excited to share this year’s champions in each category. You can see more about the contest in the November/December issue of Northern Gardener.
Outdoor Gardens – Amy Kainz (@milkweed.and.daisies)
Amy Kainz’s backyard pollinator garden is a certified Monarch Waystation and a suburban oasis for wildlife. This horseshoe-shaped bed is full of different varieties of milkweed and defined by a living fence of forsythia and common lilacs. Her entire half-acre yard is herbicide- and pesticide-free, and she gardens with these two priorities in mind: organic and sustainable. A fan of edible plants and flowers, Amy is working toward her goal of incorporating more than 20 herbs and other edible flowers that are both delicious for humans and attractive to pollinators.
Second place: Mary Cielinski (@marycielinski)
Third place: Boupha Phomma (@bouphaphomma)
Container Gardens – Quinn Venstra (@quinn.s.v)
Each season, Quinn Venstra fills large 20-by-22-inch outdoor planters in her Brookfield, Wis., yard. This winning container features coleus she cut back this spring and summer and repurposed for a fall Día de los Muertos theme. Committed to composting and never using harsh fertilizers or chemicals anywhere in her yard, she focuses on keeping her plants healthy with rich soil, lots of sunshine and regular watering. Quinn’s gardening skills captured the hearts of both her neighbors and her 3-year-old, who loves exploring nature in their yard.
Second place: Simone Schneegans (@plants_are_my_people)
Third place: Jean Januschka (@jeanjanuschka)
Indoor Houseplants – Isabel Pereira (@isapereira)
A sunny bay window is one of Isabel Pereira’s favorite spots in her home. Judging by this photo, her houseplants love this space, too! Oxalis, sansevieria and orchids add texture and colorful blooms and foliage to her home and give her a reason to dig in the dirt all year long – even during those long Minnesota winters.
Second place: Laura Cleary (@loumarie233)
Third place: Sally Koski (@sallykoski)
A big thank you to all who joined our first annual Great Gardening Contest, and a special shoutout to these entries that also caught our eye:
- The Pros (the contest was open only to amateur gardeners but these two pros have social media feeds worth following): @fleur_de_louise_flower_studio and June Spanier (@junealltrades)
- Best Use of Space: @phytoaddicts
- Most Resourceful: @plants_are_my_people
- Best Window Box: @jeanjanuschka