UPDATE: Phipps is now open for your visit. All tickets must be purchased in advance, and new safety protocols are required. Learn more about how you can join us!

Know a neighbor or friend with a beautiful, organically managed garden?  Nominate their garden (or yours) for a Phipps Sustainable Garden Award!

Sponsored By


To inspire Western Pennsylvania residents to design and maintain gardens that are both environmentally friendly and beautiful, we have developed the Phipps Sustainable Garden Awards program that highlights residential gardens and their gardeners that exemplify the principles of sustainable landcare.

Sustainable gardens can look very different from one another, so nominations may be made in one of five categories listed below; however, all garden nominations must, at a minimum, be managed organically and be free of invasive plants. Winners will have their garden professionally photographed and will be featured at our Native Plant and Sustainability Conference in October 2020.

Nomination Categories

  • Native Plantings and Wildlife Gardens – gardens featuring native plants that provide habitat for wildlife
  • Gardens that Manage Stormwater – gardens that feature rain gardens, rain barrels, swales, etc.
  • Micro-Gardens – container gardens, vertical gardens, gardens that make the best of very small spaces
  • Abundant Edible Gardens – gardens that feature annual and perennial edibles, vegetables, fruits, nuts and herbs.
  • Gardens for Personal Retreat – gardens that have seating, birdbaths, garden art, and other distinctive items that create a garden refuge.

Submission Guidelines and Information

We are NOW accepting submissions, so get yours in soon! Final date for submissions is Tues., July 21. The Sustainable Garden Awards are open to residential gardens. Gardens should represent the climate and conditions of our area; participants should reside in and their projects should be located in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Armstrong, Beaver or Butler County.

A panel of judges, including Phipps staff, Master Gardeners, instructors and local horticultural figures will choose one sustainable garden for each category. We will announce all of the Sustainable Garden Award winners at the Native Plant and Sustainability Conference in October 2020.  Each gardener selected will receive free admission to attend the conference. 

Please retain an original copy of your complete entry for your records; we will not return materials. We may share your garden images online and in our promotional materials. In addition, we may send a professional photographer to capture images of your garden. Gardens must be accessible to review committee and photographer. 

Users with a Google account can submit their entries through our online form:

Submit Your Entry

NOTE: if you do not have a Google account, you will still be able to submit by completing and emailing our PDF form.

Tips for Making a Good Entry

  • Take your photos on a slightly cloudy day or in the morning or evening.
  • Show us the whole garden or garden bed — don’t send close-ups of flowers.
  • Limit your photos to the very best ones and send only ten.
  • Get more great garden photography tips here and here.

Questions? Contact Sustainable Landcare Program Coordinator Juliette Olshock at jolshock@phipps.conservatory.org.