Gardens of all shapes and sizes have been honored in the Delaware Center for Horticulture’s first virtual garden contest.
“This contest is proof of how healing and powerful the simple act of gardening can be for the mind, body and spirit at any age,” Vikram Krishnamurthy, executive director of the Wilmington nonprofit, said Tuesday in announcing the winners in three categories among the 64 entrants.
The competition was tough among the 64 entrants. Twins Eric and Jason Hoover only merited second place for their inspirational work, “created by tenants who do not own their home, in a very small space in the city, with zero direct access to ground.”
“Our Fairfield Garden has just turned 12 years old,” said Barb Rosen, creator of the winning flower garden and a blogger about it. “When we first moved to this 60+ year old home there were only large pines, a Zelkova tree, some shrubs and masses of pachysandra and English ivy.”
In the front, she stared with a large island bed, a shade garden under the Zelkova, plantings along the driveway and bigger front beds. A gazebo, raised bed vegetable garden, more flowerbeds, a small conservatory greenhouse and cold frames followed. The garden is now a certified wildlife habitat.
““It has been our joy and solace, especially since retirement and during this pandemic,” she said.
The winning vegetable garden was at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Brandywine Hundred. The produce from seven raised beds goes to St. Stephen’s Food Pantry in Wilmington, and people who rent the 30 community garden plots are asked to tithe to the food pantry.
“Its mission has expanded beyond just going vegetables and has become its own community whose members care about food insecurity and each other,” the church said. “In this time of isolation it has been a safe and peaceful place for people to be outside and be involved in serving ministry.”
“Growing houseplants is the closest way to bring home a feel of living with nature,” said Gigi, the winner of the houseplants category.
“In my tiny apartment, I’ve tried to make sure I see a little bit of green anywhere I look,” she said. “My husband and I are from India, and we have large rice fields and coconut groves along with vegetable patches by our house.”
Flower gardens: Our Fairfield Garden by Barb Rosen, first place; Small Wonder Urban Garden by Eric and Jason Hoover, second place; and Rock Garden Sanctuary by Jane Brooks, third place.
Vegetable gardens: Shepherd’s Community Garden by Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, first place; Half Acre Garden by John and Shannon and In the Garden with Gail by Gail Hermenau, tied for second place.
Houseplants: Green Grove by Gigi, first place.