Spring Garden Competition


Entries Open

This year’s Spring Garden Competition is expected to attract high quality entries from a variety of individuals, families, schools, community groups/organisations and local businesses.

Entry details

  • All entries must be based in the City of Ryde local government area.
  • Entry to the 2014 Spring Garden Competition is free.
  • Entries open on Tuesday 1 July 2014 and close on Sunday 31 August 2014.

Enter Now

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Competition Details

About the Spring Garden Competition

The City of Ryde has a long and proudly history of conducting the Spring Garden Competition. This established community event has been held annually for more than twenty years. The City of Ryde is one of the few local councils still organising and providing a garden competition for its local residents and local community.

The Spring Garden Competition is a popular community event that has a unique ‘hands on’ quality. Creative and well-tended garden entries are expected from a wide variety of city landscapes including traditional back gardens, courtyards, balconies, river-frontages, corporate green-spaces, community gardens, school yards and large tracts of natural bushland.

This is an inclusive event and we strongly encourage entries from young aspiring green thumbs (children) to older green thumbs (seniors), individual gardeners, families, community groups, different cultural groups, gardeners with different abilities, commercial organisations and small businesses. With ten categories of entry, there is certainly something for everyone.


  • Best Large Garden: large private residential gardens - may be the whole garden or just a section.
  • Best Small Garden: small private residential gardens - may be the whole garden or just a section.
  • Best Courtyard or Balcony: private residential garden using pots, planter boxes, ornaments, walled gardens etc.
  • Best Edible Garden: vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, permaculture gardens etc.
  • Best Children’s Garden: private residential gardens inspired and created by a child, group of children or a family with young children.
  • Best School Garden: gardens within local primary or high schools where students and teachers or the community have worked together.
  • Best Pre-School Garden: gardens within local pre-schools where students and teachers or the community have worked together.
  • Best Community Garden: garden projects where the local community, groups or community organisations have worked together.
  • Best Commercial Garden: gardens within local businesses and commercial organisations eg. hotels, retirement villages, commercial premises, small businesses, universities etc.
  • Best Bushcare Site: for an outstanding contribution made by volunteers to a Bushcare site.

Judging and Judging Criteria

All entries will be personally judged by a panel of appointed garden judges and horticulture professionals. The City of Ryde will contact entrants to coordinate a suitable time for the judging panel to view each Spring Garden Competition entry. Wherever possible judging will take place during mid to late September 2014.

It is preferable that Spring Garden Competition entrants are present at their allocated judging timeslot and during the judging of their entry. Judging generally takes between 10 – 30 minutes depending on the size and nature of the entry. Entrants are encouraged to show the judges around their garden. The judges may ask the entrant some basic questions about their garden and gardening practices.

For most categories, judging will be based on three main factors:

  • Maintenance - the lack of elements such as dead and diseased plants, well presented lawns and clipped shrubs, considered water usage and overall attention to detail.
  • Design - aspects such as layout, colour, use of line, form and texture, plant use and once again attention to detail within this context.
  • Intent - the active participation of the entrant, level of knowledge and enthusiasm and extent of third party assistance.

Some categories will have some additional or specific judging criteria:

  • The Community Garden category will have additional judging criteria relating to community engagement and community participation.
  • The Children’s Garden, Pre-school Garden and School Garden categories will have additional judging criteria relating to the engagement and participation of the child, children or students.
  • The Edible Garden category will have additional judging criteria relating to edible produce and productive practices.
  • The Bushcare category will have slightly different judging criteria as it is a specialist area and will take Bushcare principles and best practice into consideration.

All entrants will be invited to attend a Gala Presentation Evening for the announcement of the 2014 Spring Garden Competition winners.

Key Dates

  • 1 July 2014: Entries open for 2014 Spring Garden Competition
  • 31 August 2014: Entries close for 2014 Spring Garden Competition
  • Early September 2014: City of Ryde Council Officer will contact entrants to confirm their allocated time and date for judging.
  • Mid-late September 2014: Garden judges accompanied by a City of Ryde Council Officer will visit and judge all Spring Garden Competition entries on the allocated date at the allocated time slot.
  • October 2014: Date to be confirmed. All entrants will be invited to attend the Gala Presentation Evening where you can meet and mingle with fellow gardeners, community representatives and supporters of the event. The highlight of this evening will be the announcement of the 2014 Spring Garden Competition winners and place getters.

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More Information

For further enquiries call Council's Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222.

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Page Last Updated: 11 July 2014

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