There are six categories: soil, water, plants, materials/hardscaping, cultural practices, and aesthetics. Categories are not equally important; judges will use a scoring matrix to fairly evaluate each garden.

Soil How healthy is your garden soil?
Water How do you conserve water and deal with runoff from roofs?
Plants How many plants? Lots of variety? Some natives?
Materials and Hardscaping Chosen wisely? Used carefully?
Cultural Practices What do you do in your garden to enhance natural systems?
Aesthetics Does it look like a garden? A pleasing effect?

Your garden doesn’t need to excel in ALL these areas– if you’re doing most or even some of them well, please apply! It’s not about “winning”– it’s about recognizing gardeners who are doing what they can with the resources they have.

All entrants will receive a “We’re Helping Pollinators” garden sign. If you already have a sign we have special “Monarch Award entrant” stickers to put on them.