AAS Gardens 5_Virginia-Beach-Master-Gardeners

Oct 28, 2021
AAS Announces 2021 Design Challenge Winners

All-America Selections’ 2021 Landscape Design Challenge theme was Diversity in the Garden, inspiring the AAS Display Gardens with a platform to create their own diverse garden using the resources they choose to represent the theme.

For the challenge, AAS provides the gardens with recent AAS Winner seeds and plants. The gardens have the option to incorporate older AAS Winners in their design to illustrate the theme. Gardens are encouraged to generate publicity and hold events to share the story of All-America Selections and AAS Winners.

Gardens are divided into three categories based on the number of visitors per year:

Category I: fewer than 10,000 visitors per year
Category II: 10,001 – 100,000 visitors per year
Category III: Over 100,000 visitors per year

All-America Selections recognizes and thanks the contest judges who are industry experts in the field of horticulture and landscaping:

  • Jeff Gibson, landscape business manager, Ball Horticultural Company
  • Ron Cramer, retired, Sakata Ornamentals and AAS former president
  • Barbara Wise, sales and marketing manager, Crescent Garden

A complete collection of photos from all contest entrants can be found on the All-America Selections website.

AAS has announced the following winning gardens from the 2021 Design Challenge:

Category III: Over 100,000 visitors per year
First place winner: Ashton Gardens at Thanksgiving Point, Lehi, Utah

Ashton Gardens

For a garden that already follows the principles of Biodiversity in their garden every season, Ashton Garden simply added another element this year. They highlighted the people in the community who had experiences with cultures and plants outside of Utah. That ranged from living in other states or countries to experiences with memorable plants throughout their lives.

Second place winner: Montreal Botanical Garden, Montreal, Quebec

Third place winner: State Botanical Garden, Athens, Georgia

Category II: 10,001 to 100,000 visitors per year

First place winner: Purdue Extension-Marion County Demonstration Garden, Indianapolis, Indiana

Purdue Extension

Extension Master Gardener volunteers worked with the local Purdue University Extension office to plan, plant, maintain, and harvest the Purdue Extension Marion County Demonstration Garden. In planning the Diversity in the Garden theme, they focused on using a variety of plants and cultivars as well as using a greater mix of colors. To help promote plant diversity this year, they also used AAS Winners from several of National Garden Bureau’s 2021 “Year Of The” plants in the garden. They also used AAS cultivars of three native plant species (Echinacea, Rudbeckia & Gaillardia).

Second place winner: Powell Gardens, Kingsville, Missouri

Third place winner: Domaine Joly-De Lotbiniére, Saint-Croix, Quebec

Category I: fewer than 10,000 visitors per year

First place winner: Lee College Horticulture Program, Huntsville, Texas

Lee College

The horticulturists at Lee College looked to different structures, textures, and colors that play off each other to create a pleasing aesthetic to represent diversity. This year’s assortment of AAS Winners for the Diversity challenge provided the Lee College Horticulture Program with some truly unique plants to use in their landscapes and gardens. The AAS Design Challenge provides Lee College students with an opportunity to come together, bringing their own diverse backgrounds and perspectives into a collaboration that produces beautiful effects. It also helps show that diversity is not exclusive, but inclusive and can yield powerful and positive results in the Texas prison system.

Second place winner (tie): Mississippi State University – South Mississippi Branch Experiment Station, Poplarville, Mississippi

Second place winner (tie): Pima Country Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, Tucson, Arizona

Third place winner: Knitting Mill Creek Community Garden, Norfolk, Virginia

Honorable mention winners in each category can be found on the AAS website.