2016 Great Gardens Contest Rules

Previous Entries

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden are sponsoring the 13th annual Great Gardens Contest for gardeners living in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland counties.

There are two judging periods:

  • Summer -- entry deadline is August 10.
  • Fall/year-round -- entry deadline is Sept. 19.

There are three categories of competition:

  • Small - gardens of 2,000 square feet or less
  • Medium - between 2,000 square feet and a quarter acre
  • Large - gardens larger than a quarter acre

Entrants can make use of professionals in design or maintenance of the garden. Depending on number of entries, prizes may not be awarded in each category for each judging period.

Entries must be submitted online at http://biz.post-gazette.com/gardencontest/. No mailed entries will be accepted. The online form will allow you to upload up to 10 photos of your garden. Please include the names of the most prominent plants in each photo with your essay (captions do not count against the 250-word limit). If there is a problem uploading photos, email them to kkirkland@post-gazette.com and submit the online entry form without them.

In 250 words or less, describe why you think your garden is great. Consider factors such as how well you’ve used the available space, your plant selection, creative solutions for problem areas, your gardening experience and some of your goals for the garden. Include any other information you think is important for judges to know. Please include at the top of your essay which category, Small, Medium or Large, you are entering. Entries must be submitted by midnight on the deadline day. Finalists may be contacted by judges and their gardens visited at any time before the entry deadline or within 30 days after the entry deadline.


Winners will receive a one-year membership to the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden and two tickets per winner to next year’s Botanic Garden annual tour.

Questions, comments or concerns can be directed to PG garden editor Susan Banks (412-263-1516 or sbanks@post-gazette.com) or homes editor Kevin Kirkland (412-263-1978 or kkirkland@post-gazette.com).

General rules

  • To enter you must be 18 years of age or older and live in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Greene, Washington or Westmoreland counties. Only homeowners or tenants may enter gardens in the contest. Employees of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or Pittsburgh Botanic Garden are ineligible, as are members of their immediate families. The judging panel is made up of local gardening experts, designers and garden writers. Void where prohibited by law.
  • All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. All entries become the exclusive property of the Post-Gazette. Incomplete entries will be deemed null and void.
  • The odds of winning depend upon the number of eligible and accurate entries received. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette may publish the name, photographs and any information provided with entries, in print and on the Internet, including any advertising and promotion.
  • Winners must sign a statement that they have fully complied with the rules and terms outlined. Acceptance of prize offered constitutes permission to use winner’s name and likeness for commercial purposes without further notice and compensation, unless prohibited by law. Any specific contest rules and/or addendum may be picked up at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, at its discretion, may add additional rules, so long as the rule change is published in the Post-Gazette and is not implemented until the day following the change.
  • Entrants acknowledge and agree that they have entered the contest of their own free will, that the full rules and details of the contest have been made available to them in writing and they, therefore, understand and agree that the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette or its agents, affiliates, sponsors, representatives or employees do not have any liability with respect to the contestants’ participation in the contest or winning a prize and are not liable for any damages of our acceptance and use of the prize. By entering this contest, participants agree to be bound by these rules and the decision of the sponsoring newspaper, which are binding in all respects.
  • One entry per household per judging period.

Click to enter