Judging Criteria

The competition committee reserves the right to issue no award if the entries are deemed undeserving. JUDGES’ DECISIONS ARE FINAL.

Judges will consider the following when selecting a winning yard:

Overall Attractiveness

  • Curb appeal
  • Pleasing color, form, texture and contour
  • Plants are well maintained
  • Weeds kept to a minimum

Appropriate Plant Selection

  • Climate-appropriate plant palette
  • Minimal or functional turf
  • Functional landscape
  • Plants meet needs of owners


  • Landscape is able to thrive with less water
  • Adequate plant coverage and permeable soils
  • Takes advantage of site features like shade, micro-climates, or low-lying flood areas
  • Landscape also meets needs of owners

Appropriate Maintenance

  • Mulch
  • Weeds kept to a minimum
  • Plants are neat, tidy and attractive

Efficient Methods of Irrigation

  • Uses appropriate irrigation equipment for plant material such as drip irrigation or efficient rotating spray nozzles
  • Water consumption is appropriate to area
  • Uses smart controllers or irrigation sensors
  • Irrigation is supplemented with rainwater capture or other water

See Tips to learn how to improve your chances of winning.