Boyertown and Pottstown residents with green thumbs left the 6th Annual Home Garden Contest awards ceremony hundreds of dollars richer since winners received cash prizes for their accomplishment.
The ceremony was held on July 22 at the Brookside Country Club where participants were treated to a luncheon and winners were announced. First place winners received as much as $200. There were also money prizes for people who placed in second, third or received an honorable mention.
The six categories of this year’s contest were young gardener, “a lot with a little” garden, general garden, bees and butterflies garden and flower garden. The annual contest first began in the Pottstown Borough but has also been open to Boyertown Borough residents for the last three years. Each borough has separate judging and prizes, but all participants attend a joint awards ceremony.
“This contest is really about bringing two boroughs together for the community, for gardening and for the beautification of where we live,” said Daniel Price, Mosaic Community Land Trust garden manager.
A total of 51 home gardens were entered in this year’s contest. There were 13 entries from Boyertown and 38 entries from Pottstown. David Kraybill, Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation president, said he hopes to see that number doubled next year.
Kraybill said the contest is meant to “encourage and support gardening, both beginners and experienced gardeners.”
Tracy Purdy, Mosaic Community Land Trust board president, was one of the judges for the contest and said she loves seeing what everyone has planted at their homes.
“It is by far the best thing I do all year,” she said.
There were a few first-time contest entries that ended up winning a prize. This was the case for 7-year-old Lexi Oswald. Oswald came in first place for the young garden category in Pottstown. She’s been gardening for about two years. Oswald fills her garden with flowers, elves, and of course tiny home structures to attract the fairies.
When asked what she likes best about going in her garden she responded with “I like to get in the dirt.”
Oswald wasn’t the only first place winner in her home. Her mom, Nichole Leone, won first place in the flower garden category for Pottstown. Leone said her garden is full of variety. Her parents loved to garden so it was a skill that was passed down to her at an early age.
“It’s very hard work but it’s very relaxing as well and it pays off when people walk by your home and you tell you how nice everything looks,” Leone said.
Michael Myers, of Boyertown, was another first-time contest entry that took home a first-place prize for the general garden category. Myers has a garden with a little bit of everything including shade plants, sun plants, potted plants, vegetables as well as annual and perinneal flowers.
“I was actually born into a landscaping family so horticulture has always been in my family. It’s kind of in my blood,” Myers said.
“I think I get a lot of happiness just having someone walk through my garden. Just seeing someone smile when they walk in makes me really happy and makes it all worth it,” he said.
A full list of winners and photos of the home gardens entered in this year’s contest will be available on the website www.homegardencontest.com.
The Home Garden Contest is made possible through a collaboration between Building a Better Boyertown and the Mosaic Community Land Trust as well as the main sponsor, the Pottstown Area Health & Wellness Foundation.
The contest was also possible with the sponsorships of Jermacans Style, Inc., Boyertown Holiday Open House Tour, certified financial planner Carl W. Landis, Jack and Linda Lignelli and Barbara T. Winter.