Nov 16, 2017
Community Gardeners Are Good Landscape Customers!
For the past four years I've had the chance to participate as a judge for the All-America Selections Display Garden Contest. For those of you not familiar with the All-America Selections organization, it is the only national annual and perennial public trialing and evaluation program in the United States and Canada. Each year, over 50 gardens sites are sent seed or plants of new varieties from plant breeders to evaluate in their locations. They are judged for performance over time and then awarded points. The winners are nationally recognized and promoted to the garden writer community as well as to the industry at large.
The AAS trial program was created to allow public gardens that are not necessarily a trials site to have access to AAS winner and help in the promotion of the AAS program.
The contestants for this program are public gardens, large and small, across the United States. The gardens are judged on a number of categories, use of All-America Selections, both flowers and vegetables, theme, publicity and community engagement, and appearance.
I am always stuck by the amount of community engagement there is for these gardens. All of the gardens rely on volunteers. Only the largest public gardens have staff. So this is truly a "grass roots" effort nationally! I take judging these gardens very seriously as there are many folks at the sites that have spent hours on planning, planting and maintaining their public garden spaces.
These folks tend to be enthusiastic gardeners, but not always. They all, however talk about gardening and landscaping.
For a list of AAS display gardens click here.
As a landscaper, you to can get inspiration from these plantings. I encourage you to reach out to the local organizers. They all have event days, all of which involve local community businesses. What better audience could you find to get in front of for your landscape Design/Build, or maintenance services!