Voting is now closed

Enter your garden next year

Learn More about us!

2022 Native Garden Contest Winners & Finalists

Stefan Dehaseth

Homegrown National Park®

When Stefan moved into his home two years ago, the yard was overrun with non-native (and invasive) English ivy and privet. Like many native gardeners, he decided to plant a native garden after reading several of Doug Tallamy’s books. Because water was ponding on a section of his yard which was continually wet, Stefan decided to take nature’s cue, and he dug out a pond. Because the soil is clay, the pond did not need a liner or artificial rock perimeters. The pond acts as an accumulator and captures a majority of the storm water, while drainage channels the rest. Native wetland and bog plants are planted around the pond, including Cardinal Flower (a favorite visited often by hummingbirds), Swamp Milkweed, Buttonbush, Blue Flag Iris, Rose Mallow, and Sensitive Fern. He and his wife were excited to find a 250-year old Northern Red Oak on the property, which they have treated for canker disease. Other highlights include a large area of flowering perennials, which were in full colorful bloom during our visit, as well as a large diversity of young native trees and shrubs planted around the property. 

Bellona Avenue, Pinehurst

Homegrown National Park®

Homegrown National Park®

CATEGORY: 

Winner!

Roland Oehme

Homegrown National Park®

Soon after moving into his home 8 years ago, Roland decided to plant only native plants in his yard after reading Doug Tallamy’s Bringing Nature Home. He has planted a wide diversity of native plants that are densely planted in his yard.  A favorite project he completed last year is the fish pond and waterfall, which is now a home for several frogs. Nearby is a native meadow in the back yard. This is replacing the lawn and is planted with native flowering perennials and grasses designed to mimic meadows in the Midwest. There is also a rain garden that captures runoff from uphill neighbors. Roland grows vegetables, herbs and berries in raised beds and has planted fruit trees. like apple, cherry, fig, peach, and pear. He has even planted the “hellstrip” area between his yard and the curb with native flowering plants.

Seabrook Court, Campus Hills

Homegrown National Park®

Homegrown National Park®

CATEGORY: 

Finalist

Richard & Martha Eskin

Gaining Ground

When Richard and Martha Eskin read Doug Tallamy’s Nature’s Best Hope, they immediately added a pollinator garden to a side yard of their Riderwood home. Richard is a nature photographer, and they knew that growing native plants would attract butterflies, other insects, as well as birds to their garden. Last year, they hired a local contractor (F & M Contractors) to create a pollinator garden on a steep hill behind their home. The hill was once a fun sledding hill for their young son, but it had become weedy and hard to mow. A winding path on the new garden showcases native plants and bushes and leads to the top, where three tree snags now stand, acting as a framework for flowering vines like native honeysuckle. Tree stumps and branches are incorporated throughout the garden as steps and borders for the native flowering plants that provide nectar and pollen. Many native flowering shrubs are pollinator magnets for native bees, tiny native flies, and butterflies and moths, and will provide berries for birds in the cold months. Richard begins each morning walking the path and checking on what visitors are in their garden. Both he and Martha are thrilled with the beautiful garden they have created on what had once been a difficult hill behind their home.

Jeffers Road, Riderwood

Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground

CATEGORY: 

Finalist

Adreon Hubbard

Gaining Ground

Adreon began planting with natives 20 years ago and has them throughout her property. Some are more established, and some newly planted just this year. Adreon is very knowledgeable about plant and pollinator species as well as ecosystem interactions, and this is evident in her approach with her landscaping. For example, she takes care to leave bare dirt areas for ground-nesting bees, and she leaves hornets' and birds' nests be, even when their placement is an inconvenience to humans. Adreon also has significant runoff issues with which to contend, and this spring she had a bioswale/water retention garden professionally installed by a local contractor(Great Blue). A series of swales begin at the base of her driveway, where rainwater pours down from the street during heavy storms. The swales are dug deeply, one after another, and contain a diversity of native plants that have the ability to hold and eventually absorb the rain water.

Overbrook Road, Idlewylde

Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground

CATEGORY: 

Finalist

Jessica Lehson

Gaining Ground

Jessica has worked wonders to remove the masses of “Victorian weeds” and many invasives on the property of the large Victorian house she and her young family moved into 7 years ago. The only insects the yard attracted at that time were Japanese beetles, and they were quickly demolished by six chickens, who continue to provide chemical-free pest control. Jessica has created a very attractive and neighborhood-appropriate native garden in front of her house, using native plants in traditional design features to help introduce the neighbors to the concept of native gardening. She has planted nine native trees in the front and side yard, and dozens more native and fruit trees in an area behind the house that also includes a vegetable garden. She designs permaculture gardens in her spare time, and has drawn up a ten-year plan for the property, including plans to identify the location of a spring on the property and address resulting drainage problems.

Lutherville

Gaining Ground

Gaining Ground

CATEGORY: 

Winner!

Angela Haren

Breaking Ground

Angela lives in an attached townhouse style house in Rodgers Forge. A problem with water pooling in her backyard led her and her husband to design and implement a rain garden to handle excessive water during storms. They worked with a local contractor (Great Blue) to bury their two downspouts under a patio and take rainwater from both their and their neighbor’s roofs and carry it out into the rain garden. The company built the rain garden and helped them select interesting plants that look good in many seasons. Angela and her husband feel really good about keeping their stormwater on their property and not contributing to stormwater pollution.

Murdock Road, Rogers Forge

Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground

CATEGORY: 

Finalist

Tanya Ray

Breaking Ground

Tanya has wonderful memories of her grandmother’s garden, and it was only natural to plant some of her favorites, such as black-eyed susans, garden phlox, creeping phlox, and bee balm in her garden. She and her family moved into their home last summer, and she has planted a front garden bed with a very pleasing aesthetic and considerable diversity. An area of river rocks has been placed under the downspout to ease and direct runoff into the native garden plantings. She is the epitome of a native garden ambassador, and has gotten her neighbor across the street started with native plants. She also has a group at her church getting started gardening with native plants, and she is considering approaching other churches.

Lackawanna Avenue, Parkville

Breaking Ground

Breaking Ground

CATEGORY: 

Winner!

Trinity Preschool

Seeds of Change

This is a special recognition category for Trinity Episcopal Preschool. Their recent garden projects are promoting native plants and educating others within their local community. In just 6 years, volunteers have created an inspiring outdoor learning landscape from what had been an unkempt, unused space next to the Trinity Episcopal Preschool on Allegany Avenue in downtown Towson. Tressa Andrews, the preschool director, coordinated the transformation with a lot of help from parishioner Melissa Jenkins, whose husband Rob Jenkins is the manager at Herring Run Nursery.


There’s a meditation garden designed by Herring Run with 80 natives, and also a large area in front of the school with more than 80 natives planted by students and families as an Earth Day beautification project. The fenced Outdoor Classroom features raised beds where students plant vegetables and herbs, along with bird houses and feeders, pollinator houses, a rain barrel and compost bin. The fence that faces Allegany Avenue has signs promoting it as a BayWise landscape and an Audubon bird-friendly habitat, and the gardens designed by Herring Run have signs explaining the benefits of natives. The next project will be planting a pollinator meadow to replace lawn between Allegany Avenue and the fence.

Allegheny Avenue, Towson

Seeds of Change

Seeds of Change

CATEGORY: 

Special Recognition

THE CATEGORIESHomegrown National Park® is for yards that approach or have exceeded 70% native plants, and also have made strides in reducing the lawn. Gaining Ground is for gardens where homeowners have been making significant progress to raise the percentage of native plants and still have room left to expand in the future. Breaking Ground is for new native plant gardens that may be fresh but are sure to make an impact! Seeds of Change is a category of special recognition for gardens that impact both the ecosystem and the greater community. 

The Towson Native Garden Contest is now in its second year, and we are pleased with some of the amazing gardens we are continuing to see, along with the commitment of the gardeners to share their knowledge with others and cheer up their neighborhoods with pretty summer blooms and the butterflies that invariably come with that. Our categories have changed to reflect the gardens themselves rather than property size. Usage of the name Homegrown National Park® in this category is with permission.*

The 2022

Native Garden

Contest Finalists

THE CATEGORIESHomegrown National Park® is for yards that approach or have exceeded 70% native plants, and also have made strides in reducing the lawn. Gaining Ground is for gardens where homeowners have been making significant progress to raise the percentage of native plants and still have room left to expand in the future. Breaking Ground is for new native plant gardens that may be fresh but are sure to make an impact! Seeds of Change is a category of special recognition for gardens that impact both the ecosystem and the greater community. 

THE CATEGORIESHomegrown National Park® is for yards that approach or have exceeded 70% native plants, and also have made strides in reducing the lawn. Gaining Ground is for gardens where homeowners have been making significant progress to raise the percentage of native plants and still have room left to expand in the future. Breaking Ground is for new native plant gardens that may be fresh but are sure to make an impact! Seeds of Change is a category of special recognition for gardens that impact both the ecosystem and the greater community. 

Towson Native Garden Contest Winners & Finalists

We thank all who participated this year and hope you gardens continue to prosper

back to the Native Garden Contest page

The Native Plant Guide is a personal project of designer Amanda Wray to assist people in getting started with their own native plant gardens. If you would like to help expand and develop this directory, please get in touch.

*Homegrown National Park® and Start a new HABITAT® and the HNP Firefly icon are used under license or with expression permission from Homegrown National Park, Inc. 

Start a New HABITAT® Homegrown National Park®
QR Code for Homegrown National Park®