to raise awareness of the importance of bio-diversity and the inter-connected web of life in healthy gardens
to increase the amount and quality of habitat and sustenance for birds, pollinators, beneficial insects, and wildlife of all kinds
to improve the sustainability of gardens via: healthy ecology; wise water use and conservation
to challenge the dominant vision-centered aesthetic in garden design with one that acknowledges scent, sound, and touch
to promote creativity and personal expression in garden design, free of the constraints of conventional, human-centered aesthetic “rules”
to promote the social value of sustainable gardens as points of collective awareness, neighbourhood cohesion, and community resiliency in the face of climate change.

Monarch on Goldenrod. Photo: Bruce Bolin

Monarch on Goldenrod.
Photo: Bruce Bolin

2017 winners have been announced! Read the media release and the blog post with winners’ profiles.

The Monarch Awards recognizes  gardens and gardeners in Hamilton Ontario for their contribution to a bio-diverse, sustainable environment.
Originating with a group of gardeners, the idea for an “alternative” garden awards program quickly gained momentum. The organizing committee includes staff from the Hamilton Naturalists Club, Environment Hamilton, along with volunteers from the Royal Botanical Gardens, the Crown Point Garden Club, as well as individuals.

Properties in wards 1-10 and 13 (Dundas) are eligible. Here’s a ward map on the city’s web site (opens in new tab). Both front yard and back yards are considered. Gardens must be residential, not on business or commercial properties. Entrants do not need to own the property but do need to be primary person responsible for how the gardens look and function.

Gardeners need to complete a simple questionnaire and submit photos to enter the contest. A volunteer committee reviews all the entry questionnaires and forwards the best ones to our four judges. The judges decides which gardens they will visit. If your property is chosen for a visit, you are encouraged to be on hand to showcase your work and your goals.

A winner and finalists will be chosen based on judges’ scores over the six criteria categories.

2017 Dates and Rules

Entry deadline is midnight Sunday June 18, June 25, 2017.
The selection of finalists happens between June 15 and 25 June 26 and July 10.
Judges’ site visits are scheduled between Monday July 3 and 17, 2017 July 10 and July 17
Members or families of the volunteer committee and the judging team are not eligible to enter.
Residential gardens in Hamilton are eligible.