Back to top
Last updated: 4/18/17

Mayor's Garden Contest

The annual event is a citywide celebration of urban gardening.

2017 Entry Deadline: Wednesday, July 12

The contest recognizes gardeners who have landscaped, planted flowers, trees, and shrubs, helping beautify Boston's neighborhoods. The contest was launched as part of Mayor Walsh's citywide beautification initiative.

First place winners in the garden categories will receive:

  • the "Golden Trowel" award from Mayor Walsh, and
  • prize packages from the Parks Department and other sponsors at an awards ceremony in August in the Public Garden.

Mayor Walsh will recognize Garden Contest Hall of Fame inductees this year. To be eligible for the Hall of Fame, a gardener must have won three or more times.

Garden Contest online application

Have questions?

Please call 617-635-4505, or email

Contest timeline
  • Entry deadline: Wednesday, July 12
  • Finalist notification: Thursday, July 20
  • Judges visit gardens: Week of July 24
  • Awards Ceremony: Mid-August
Can't apply online?

Print out and complete our Garden Contest application, and mail it to:

Mayor Walsh’s Garden Contest
Parks & Recreation Department
1010 Mass. Avenue, 3rd Floor
Boston, Massachusetts 02118

Contest information


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

Any photos or images you submit to us become City of Boston property. We may use these images for press or marketing purposes.

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
  • Senior Garden Category (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.