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Mayor's Garden Contest

The annual event is a citywide celebration of urban gardening.

Note: The submission period for the 2023 Mayor's Garden Contest is now closed. Congratulations to all the winners!

We recognize gardeners who have landscaped, planted flowers, vegetables, trees, and shrubs, helping beautify Boston's neighborhoods.

2023 Mayor's Garden Contest Awards Ceremony

About the contest

The Garden Contest is part of Mayor Michelle Wu's citywide beautification initiative.

Contest timeline
  • Entry deadline: Wednesday, July 12, 2023 (applications close at 11:59 p.m.) 
  • Finalist notification: Thursday, July 20, 2023
  • Judges visit gardens: Week of July 24, 2023
  • Awards ceremony: Mid-August

First place winners in the garden categories will receive the "Golden Trowel" award from Mayor Michelle Wu. They will also be entered to win a grand prize of two round trip tickets on JetBlue for non-stop travel from Boston, provided by JetBlue. Additional support provided by Mahoney's Garden Centers

Garden Contest Hall of Fame

Mayor Michelle Wu will recognize Garden Contest Hall of Fame inductees at the awards ceremony. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a gardener must have won three or more times.

Photos of Winning Gardens

Photos of Winning Gardens

Eligibility and categories


The contest is only for Boston residents who are amateur gardeners. But, businesses and other groups can submit an entry in our “Storefront, Organization, or Main Street District Garden” category.

General information

The first round of judging is completed via submitted photos. Please include whole photos of the garden (not close ups of individual flowers, vegetables or plants.) Any photos or images you submit to us become City of Boston property. We may use these images for press or marketing purposes. Finalist gardens will be judged in person.

Please keep in mind: You can only enter into one category each year.

  • Porch, Balcony, or Container Garden
  • Shade Garden
  • Small Yard Garden (250 square feet or less)
  • Medium Yard Garden (250 to 500 square feet)
  • Large Yard Garden (larger than 500 square feet)
  • Community Garden (individual plot)
  • Vegetable or Herb Garden
  • Age Strong Garden Category (Senior 65 and older)
  • Storefront, Organization, or Main Street District Garden
Judging criteria

When judging a garden, we’re paying attention to:

  • general appeal and neatness
  • natural or formal layout
  • use of color
  • plant material
  • variety and quality of plants, and
  • sustainable features and methods used to create the garden.
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