Master Gardener Project wins national award

Article by Jeanne Hilinske-Christensen, Interim Horticulture Educator, Kenosha  and Racine counties
Originally published in the Kenosha News.

The Kenosha County Center All-America Selections (AAS) Display & Demonstration Garden in Bristol was awarded third place in the 2017 AAS Landscape Design Contest!  This garden is an approved project of the UW-Extension Master Gardener Program.

This landscape design contest is hosted by the national office of All-America Selections (Downer’s Grove, IL) and judges from around the country select the winners.  In order to participate in this contest, the garden has to have the distinction of being an AAS Display Garden.  This contest urges the use of AAS Winners announced in the last five years with the option to incorporate more than 80 years worth of past AAS Winners.

Criteria for the contest included adherence to the 2017 theme, “Foodscaping”, utilization of past and current AAS winning plant material, designation of variety names with AAS logo, completion of the entry form with written description and photos of the design, and the inclusion of public events at the garden to promote the AAS winners.

Judges weighted their scores as follows:

  • 20% on the overall attractiveness of garden design
  • 20% on the creativity of design and/or design story
  • 20% on the promotion of AAS and this contest to local media and garden visitors
  • 20% on the photo quality and design description/explanation
  • 20% on the quantity of AAS Winners used and proper signage used

Upon completion of the judging, the comments from the judges included, “Novel idea to use the satellite dish (as a planter).; Fun description ties in theme.; Great publicity!; Well done!”

All-America Selections noted that a broad range of garden types participated in the contest for 2017: large and small public gardens, seed companies, community gardens, master gardener programs and university gardens.  Gardens were divided into three categories based on the number of visitors per year.  The Kenosha County Center AAS Display & Demonstration Garden won the award in Category 1: 10,000 and under visitors.

A dedicated group of nine Master Gardener volunteers along with the UW-Extension horticulture educator plan, plant, and maintain this award winning garden. Once per week during the growing season, they meet at the garden to water, weed, and groom the plants.   The produce harvested from this garden is donated to the Sharing Center in Trevor.  This Master Gardener project is possible due to the support of County Executive Jim Kreuser, the building and grounds staff at the Kenosha County Center, and Kenosha County.

Jeanne Hilinske-Christensen is the UW-Extension Interim Horticulture Educator for Kenosha and Racine Counties.   Submit plant care questions to the Master Gardeners Plant Health Advisors.  Phone: 262-857-1942 or email: