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Category: Community Garden

1. Burkleigh Square Community Garden | Community Garden WINNER!

This community garden has been in existence for 79 years and there are more than 20 mature native trees on the property, as well as a hardscape walking path, a children’s play area, a community vegetable garden, and an area for barbecues and picnics. Last year, a community grant allowed the community association to add a new pollinator garden bed, create a rain garden, and  remove invasive burning bush plants and replace them with native blueberries, a host plant for hairstreak butterflies. One area of this park has always had problems with flooding during heavy rains, so putting in a rain garden was a priority. The heavy rains we’ve had this spring and summer were absorbed by this new rain garden within four hours, preventing runoff and erosion. These improvements were organized by Melanie Hotham and Tracey Marcantoni, with help from  many community members.

"We strive to make our park a place for all ages to enjoy, from birth through 100 years old.  It's been lived in and loved by so many people. There are trees planted in honor of neighbors who have since passed on.  Walking through this garden, I feel a connection with those neighbors, whose memories add so much to the joy and pleasure this community garden gives to all of us."  —Tracey Marcantoni

2. Roger's Forge Tot Lot Garden | Finalist

“The tot lot garden community space had originally been a neighborhood garden in the past, but had been neglected for quite awhile. My wife Kara and I wound up adopting it at the height of our COVID-imposed isolation—as an excuse to get out of our own yard and interact with neighbors and families visiting the Rodgers Forge tot lot. We’d learned so much after transitioning our own garden to native plants, and have been constantly thrilled with the diversity of insects, birds and animals the new garden now attracts. Transplanting those plants to the community garden space allowed us to share that same experience with a neighborhood we really love. 


"Neighbors have started to contribute their own plants, kick in with watering (the biggest challenge of all in this space), and have started to help with the mowing and keeping the garden tidy. Food trucks use this space monthly, and families eat their meals cross-legged on the grass, sitting among an array of native plants, busy mason bees, jewel-green long-legged flies, monarch caterpillars,  orange and black assassin bugs and many more. We hope that the space brings enjoyment to all!” —Craig Lammes and Kara Silber Lammes

3. Springdale Community Garden Medians | Finalist

Mary Dean had replaced the plants in front of her Springdale home with natives three years ago, so when she learned her community was planning to replant the median strips in two entranceways to her community, she volunteered to organize the overhaul of these gardens. Victor Bennett, owner/founder of Edible Earth Design, helped her to choose plants, and neighbors and neighborhood children worked to remove the existing landscaping and put in plugs of native plants, including milkweed, purple love grass, culvers root, river oat, lyre leaf sage, golden groundsel, hoary mountain mint, blue lobelia, eastern redbud, inkberry, white turtle head (for the Baltimore Butterfly!), and red chokeberry. Dean says that later this summer,  they will also plant native gardens at the brick entranceways nearby and will also be holding a children’s workshop on Monarch butterflies that showcases the Common Milkweed plants that are growing on one of the median gardens. 

"We live close to the Loch Raven Reservoir, so it’s really important to grow the native plants that provide food and shelter to the butterflies, insects, birds and wildlife that are experiencing habitat destruction and the accompanying damage to their food web.  We have a lot of young children in our community and not only do these species need our support, but they provide such an educational lesson in the importance of native plants and metamorphosis."  —Mary Dean

Category: Large Garden

1. Diana Duce, 1208 Saint Andrews Way, Glendale | Finalist

Diana Duce and her husband have planted both their front and backyard with a large number and variety of native plants and trees that present in a pleasing design with group plantings.  What is also notable in this garden is the rain garden and small pond in the front with a  fun hollowed  out log that carries water from the downspout to a gravel run-off area to catch and distribute rain water.  In the backyard there is a pond that contains fish and two rescue turtles.

2. Ashley Reinhart, 516 Holden Rd, Greenbrier | Large Garden WINNER!

Ashley’s native garden encompasses the entire property, with numerous native plant species carefully located for their success and for aesthetic appeal. Over 6 years, Ashley has incorporated an exceptional number of native shrubs, demonstrating that native gardens do not have to depend on non-native shrubs for their structure. Within this primarily native plant garden, she has incorporated three terrace levels, numerous walking paths, raised vegetable beds, espaliered fruit trees, and a hideout for the kids.  This garden is an outstanding example of how native plants can be used to create a beautiful, functional, and ecologically beneficial landscape.

3. Carolyn & Steve Williams, 738 Weatherbee Rd, Knollwood | Finalist

Carolyn and Steve have an attractive, colorful garden full of a variety of native plants with no grass in their front yard along with some native trees that they have planted and a bee house.  What is outstanding about these gardeners is their long-term dedication to native plants and to restoring natural habitats going back 19 years.  They had the stretch of corridor along the Herring Run tributary in Knollwood that is certified as a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Knowing that streams should be protected from erosion and runoff during storms, they applied for and received a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust, which they used to plant native plants and trees along the streambank. Their efforts to improve the ecosystem are inspirational!

1. Ronald Davis, 1510 Cottage Lane, Loch Raven Village | Finalist

Mr. Davis’ rear yard native plant garden reflects 25 years of work, with large masses of blooming native perennials.  He is an avid birdwatcher, and has planted numerous host plants to support pollinators and other insects.  Much of the yard is shaded by two huge white oaks, and a trimmed hedge along the fence presents an organized look to the neighboring community. His enthusiasm for planting natives to support biodiversity is remarkable.

Category: Small Garden

2. Molly Glassman,  626 Dunkirk Road, Anneslie | Finalist

Molly describes her garden as “a pollinator garden.”  She has native plants on all sides of her house.  The front yard includes several large beds of native plants  with a pleasing appearance.  The backyard has several different areas with native plants, including a large arbor with native honeysuckle, an attractive fountain for the birds and a bee house.  Besides the large number of native plants throughout her yard, what is notable is that she had her macadam driveway removed and a porous one put in and she has two rain barrels. She got a Bay Wise certification in 2012.

Category: Emerging Garden

1. Melanie Hotham, 25 Normal Terrace, Burkleigh Square | Finalist

Melanie Hotham’s front yard garden has large beds around the house with a variety of native plants with seasonal interest.  She describes her garden as “a Covid garden” because she started it in March of 2020.  She is  very knowledgeable about the names of native plants and a very dedicated gardener.  It is amazing how much she has accomplished in one year and next year she is starting on her backyard.  What is particularly notable about her garden are the pea gravel trenches and three natural sumps she dug herself to water her garden with rain run-off. She also has a small rain garden.

2. Stephanie King & Jay Larch  2913 Knoll Acres Dr, Cub Hill | Finalist

The yard at Stephanie King’s home in Cub Hill is being transformed into a native gardenscape by her son, Jay Larch, who is a professional landscaper. Larch designed and installed several stunning stone outdoor rooms, including a porch and a fire pit. Nearby is a Tree Circle of seven native Black Gum trees, and a pawpaw tree grove, all connected by stone pathways. The driveway and all of the grass in the front and back yard have been removed and planted with native trees and plants. Larch installed a grassy berm to hold back erosion from rainfall into a stream on one side of the property. He has preserved the mature native trees on the property, and instead of digging in a new garden in the front, he decided to preserve the mycorrihizae, an essential collaboration between plant roots and mycorrhizal fungus that exists in most undisturbed soils and is believed to be extremely beneficial to plants.To do this, he arranged for a “chip dump” - wood chips from tree services to be laid directly on the grass. In the past six years, these wood chips have broken down into rich, loamy soil, ready to be planted with native shrubs and flowering plants in the fall.

1. Craig Lammes & Kara Silber Lammes, 133 Murdock Rd, Rodgers Forge | Small Garden WINNER!