Princeton gardener receives awards from Pennsylvania Horticultural Society

Eric Sucar
Some of the various flower displays at Matawan World of Gardening in Old Bridge on May 5.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society (PHS) announced the winners of its 2020 Gardening Contest, an annual gardening competition that typically attracts hundreds of entries from amateur gardeners around the Philadelphia region who submit their gardens in a competition celebrating the region’s collective gardening efforts.

This year, entries to the contest increased by more than 25% compared to 2019, reflecting a spike in gardening interest and appreciation during the pandemic.

Locally, Louise Witonsky of Princeton received the Proud Participant award for a Public Space Garden.

For the first time in its 45-year history, the 2020 Gardening Contest was conducted fully online, with contestants sharing photos of their outdoor gardens, houseplant collections, or public space gardens, and answering detailed questions about their entries, according to the statement.

With just over 500 completed entries received in 2020, 122 were recognized with a Blue Ribbon Award; 160 entries were deemed Gardens of Distinction; and 259 were awarded a Proud Participant.


In reviewing the variety of entries in this year’s contest, Sam Robertson, PHS program manager of Gardener Engagement, said, “As always, PHS staff and our contest judges enjoyed viewing the beauty of each garden submission – but during this challenging summer, we were particularly impressed by the creativity and resourcefulness showcased. With many of us spending more time at home, we were delighted to see how gardeners recruited family members to support their garden work. All of us at PHS congratulate the hundreds of participants who took the time to bring beauty to their communities and to the larger gardening audience in the area.”

Complete results from this year’s competition are available on PHS’s website, and select gardens will be spotlighted on the PHS Home Gardening Facebook Group.