Originally published in the Kenosha News
By Horticulture Educator, Jeanne Hilinske-Christensen
The results are in, and judges have awarded the Kenosha County Center Display Garden second place in the Category 1 division of the All-America Selections 2018 Landscape Design Challenge. This makes the fifth consecutive year the Kenosha County Center Display Garden has received a national award in AAS landscape design contests.
For the 2018 Landscape Design Challenge, AAS went a bit out of the traditional garden comfort zone with a new theme. This year’s theme was “Get Social in the Garden” and it was left up to each garden to interpret how to carry out this theme. Using social media was certainly well-represented, but many gardens went above and beyond with the social theme.
Other winners in Category 1 — gardens with fewer than 10,000 visitors per year — were the Mississippi State University-South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station in Poplarville, Miss., in first place, and the Master Gardener Association at Tippecanoe County Display Gardens in Lafayette, Ind., in third place. Honorable Mention was given to the University of Wisconsin Spooner Ag Research Station Display Garden in Spooner.
AAS summarized the Kenosha County Center Display Garden in these words:
“I scream. You scream. We all scream for ice cream! … and AAS Winners! With a slight twist to the theme, visitors to the Kenosha County Center were treated to an AAS Display Garden tastefully decorated as an old-fashioned ice cream social. By combining an old-fashioned ‘social’ event with the modern interpretation of ‘social,’ Kenosha provided a fun and refreshing break from our fast-paced world.
“Colorful plastic shaped waffle cones and ice cream cone sip cups served as planting containers, as did an ice cream bucket and base of an ice cream maker resembling a cake cone. The repurposed satellite dish became a super-sized Delizz strawberry sundae.
“With inverted cone hats, gnome shaped signs were sprinkled throughout the garden’s raised beds to share the scoop on the history of ice cream gardens and the many different ‘flavors’ of AAS Winners. Judges felt that the plantings of AAS Winners were dense, colorful and in good health plus the garden location was quite prominent and well used.”
Other gardens in Wisconsin that received recognition were the Green Bay Botanical Garden, third place in Category III (100,000 plus visitors per year), and Boerner Botanical Gardens, honorable mention in Category III.
The Kenosha County Center AAS Display and Demonstration Garden is a UW-Extension approved Master Gardener Volunteer project. Ten very dedicated Master Gardeners make this garden “sow” successful.