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Spring Garden Competition

Entries have closed

Entries to the Spring Garden Competitions closed on Sunday 20 September 2020.

Jump to: About the Competition - Categories Judging of Entries and Judging Criteria - Key Dates - Past Entries - More Information

The City of Ryde’s Spring Garden Competition is a very popular community event that has a unique hands-on quality and an active nature to it. During this tough and uncertain time, the current pandemic has placed many challenges and pressure on us.

On the flip side, being at home has certainly created new chances to better our gardens and use it to keep active, stay creative and establish a space of relaxation.

At a time when the pressures are gradually easing, this competition has become the perfect opportunity to showcase these amazing spaces that have brought encouragement and joy to many.

Entry details

  • All entries must be based in the City of Ryde local government area.
  • Entry to the 2020 Spring Garden Competition is free.
  • Entries open on Saturday 1 August 2020 and close on Sunday 20 September 2020.
  • We encourage entries in the Children’s Seed Growing category to be made before Monday 31 August 2020 to allow for maximum seed growing time.

About the 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 thirty 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 nine categories of entry, there is certainly something for everyone.


  • Large Gardens: large private residential gardens - may be the whole garden or just a section.
  • Small/Courtyard Gardens: small private residential gardens – Small front yard, back yard or courtyard. Use of pots, planter boxes, ornaments or wall gardens are encouraged.
  • Edible Gardens: vegetable gardens, fruit gardens, permaculture gardens etc.
  • Native & Habitat-friendly Gardens: gardens which feature Australian native plants and include habitat elements to encourage native fauna such as birds, lizards, possums and insects.
  • Children’s Gardens: private residential gardens inspired and created by a child, group of children or a family with young children.
  • Local School Gardens: gardens within local primary schools high schools and pre-schools where students and teachers have worked together.
  • Non-Residential Gardens: garden projects including local community/community organisations or local businesses/commercial organisations.
  • Bushcare Sites: for an outstanding contribution made by a group of volunteers at a recognised Bushcare site.
  • Children’s Seed Growing Competition: Children can enter in the following age brackets: 3 - 7 years and 8 - 12 years. The seeds to be grown are Cosmos Seeds. Free seeds, pot and growing instructions will be available for collection from Eden Gardens. Note: We encourage entries in the Children’s Seed Growing category to be made before 31 August to allow for maximum seed growing time.

Judging of Entries 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 confirm their allocated judging time slot for the judging panel to view each Spring Garden Competition entry. Wherever possible judging will take place during the month of October 2020.

It is preferable that Spring Garden Competition entrants are present at their allocated judging time slot and during the judging of their entry. Judging generally takes between 20-30 minutes depending on the size and nature of the entry.

Judging will be based on three main factors, with extra focus on enthusiasm and how families and communities created/maintained the garden throughout this very different time.

  • 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.

All entrants will be invited to attend a Gala Presentation Evening for the announcement of the 2020 Spring Garden Competition winners. 

Key Dates

  • 1 August 2020: Entries open.
  • 20 September 2020: Entries close.
  • Late September/Early October 2020: City of Ryde council officer will contact entrants to confirm their allocated time and date for judging.
  • October 2020: 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.
  • 11 November 2020: Announcement of the 2020 Spring Garden Competition winners and place getters. 

NOTE: please visit the Children’s Seed Growing Competition page for more information about this competition and key dates.

Past entries

Click here to get some inspiration and view photos from some entries from previous Spring Garden Competition events.

More Information

For further enquiries call City of Ryde’s Customer Service Centre on 9952 8222.

Last updated on 7 October 2020