Do You Bloom?


Oberlin, Ohio had a "garden of the week" contest and handed out awards to residences and businesses.  Now, I like this because with 52 gardens a year getting awards, you’re going to be able to get beyond the showboat gardens and acknowledge some smaller, more out-of-the-way gardens.Fayetteville_1

Fayetteville, Arkansas got an award for the "tidiest" city.  Tidy?  I quote:  "Fayetteville’s tidiness  efforts are being recognized. This is a very tidy, neat community. Over the course of their visit, the judges were impressed with the general lack of both litter and graffiti throughout the community."   Tidiness and tulips.  Wasn’t it Ann Richards who said that she didn’t want her tombstone to read, "She kept a really clean house" ?

And finally, among the Special Awards, is one that proves that street trees, when done properly, can be spectacular.  Check out this photo taken in Ocala, Florida.  Street_trees According to the AIB website:

Ocala was the first city in Florida to become a Tree City USA and has maintained this title for 15 years. As part of this it has an extensive ordinance, first created in 1985, concerning all aspects of tree planting through maintenance. All aspects of urban forestry are overseen by an advisory board and the city ISA certified arborist.


  1. Having grown up in Gainesville just north of Ocala and knowing my home town has been a Tree City USA for much longer than 15 years I had to do a little research.

    Florida cities listed by number of years as Tree Cities with Orlando the oldest at 29.

    I was there last June and Gainesville rightfully still holds that title. The Florida forest is impressive enough for a blog post.

  2. We have Buffalo in Bloom. I–and almost everyone else who has any kind of perennial garden in front of their house–received an award this year and last year.

    It used to be competitive–only one house would win in each council district–that’s only 15 awards–but now they give them out like parking tickets.

  3. This post reminded me of Buffalo, of course, and I was wondering if they’d applied for a prize for community involvement. Speaking of which, I spent four years in Oberlin and I’d be shocked if their Garden a Week Program lasts even 5 months, seeing as how their fall and spring each last about a week.

  4. Our neighborhood association gives out yearly garden awards. Being both new to the neighborhood and new to gardening, I was quite surprised to be among the recipients.

    Anyway, I do think any effort to celebrate gardens and their gardeners is a good thing. I certainly appreciated the positive reinforcement… and I know my garden has a long way to go!

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