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The Flower Show

PHS Gardening Contest Kicks Off

May 18, 2020
GC2020_ Update Image Gallery 6


David Cheng, Communications Manager
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
[email protected] | 215-988-1631

Annual PHS Gardening Contest Kicks Off

PHS invites gardeners of all skill levels from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to enter their gardens

[PHILADELPHIA – May 18, 2020] – The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) encourages non-professional gardeners from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware to show off their gardening skill in the 2020 PHS Gardening Contest. The PHS Gardening Contest, an annual PHS event that dates back to the 1970’s, unites a diverse and talented group of individuals from across the region who are passionate about plants and sharing their accomplishments with others. The contest is also fun way to engage and empower gardeners from across the tri-state area to create positive change through horticulture. Contestants are rewarded points for using sustainable gardening practices like composting, planting for pollinators, water-wise techniques and sharing the fruits of their labor with others.

Registration for the annual competition begins May 18, 2020. Participants can enter by submitting photos and answering a questionnaire at PHS Gardening Contest with a deadline for completing registration by June 22, 2020.

“Everyone is invited to showcase their passion for plants, regardless of the type of growing you do.” says Julia Thomé, PHS’s Director of Gardener Engagement. “Every year, more than 400 gardeners from different backgrounds and communities throughout the region come together to share what they’ve grown, meet one another via the PHS Home Gardening Facebook group and be recognized by PHS for their achievements.”

The PHS Gardening Contest provides numerous categories to suit all types of gardening situations from those who tend to gardens in public spaces, including urban farms and community gardens, to front stoop container gardens and backyard vegetable and/or flower beds. New categories in 2020 include “Houseplants” for indoor gardening and, individual community garden plots if a community garden is not entering as a public space garden.

This year, the contest transitions to a fully digital judging platform that requires contestants to submit photos of their gardens for the judges. PHS Members with gardening experience are eligible to participate as judges. Judges will review garden entries and provide constructive feedback to contestants.  PHS provides all contestants with gardening tips and suggestions through the PHS website and the PHS Home Gardening Facebook Group page.

There is no cost to participate in the PHS Gardening Contest. Donations of any amount in support of PHS programs are encouraged to allow PHS to continue to fulfill its important work of advancing health and well-being throughout the region.

2020 PHS Gardening Contest Categories
All gardens must be maintained by non-professionals with photos taken this planting season.

Indoor Houseplant Gardens* (New this year!) 
Display of at least 8 plants in one room 

Outdoor Home Gardens 
Includes food-growing, ornamental, ecological restoration and combination gardens. These may be in-ground, in containers or raised beds. Individual community garden plots may be submitted as Outdoor Home Gardens if your entire community garden is not participating as a public space gardens.

Public Space Gardens
Includes neighborhood and community gardens, streetscape or block gardens, small businesses/storefront gardens and more 

Judging Criteria

  1. Aesthetic appeal including beauty, creativity and effective design
  2. Plant Health & Production
  3. Sustainability Practices & Resourcefulness
  4. Habitat for Beneficial Wildlife Including Pollinators
  5. Connections to Family/Neighborhood/Community

*Indoor Houseplant Gardens submissions will be judged on all criteria except Habitat for Beneficial Wildlife with points prorated.

Exemplary gardens will be recognized in the fall of 2020 by PHS. Photos and highlights of the winning gardens will be shared via the PHS website, social media, and other PHS communications. For more information and to learn how to enter the Contest, serve as a volunteer judge and/or support the PHS Gardening Contest, visit PHS Gardening Contest, call 215.988.8897, or email [email protected].


The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, an internationally recognized nonprofit organization founded in 1827, plays an essential role in the vitality of the Philadelphia region by creating healthier living environments, increasing access to fresh food, growing economic opportunity, and building deeper social connections between people. PHS delivers this impact through comprehensive greening and engagement initiatives in more than 250 neighborhoods; an expansive network of public gardens and landscapes; year-round learning experiences; and the nation’s signature gardening event, the Philadelphia Flower Show. PHS provides everyone with opportunities to garden for the greater good as a participant, member, donor, or volunteer. For information and to support this work, please visit PHSonline.org.