Victory blooms in the River Wards

Eight River Wards-based gardens took honors in this year’s Philadelphia Horticultural Society Citywide Garden Contest.

About 250 Philadelphia gardens were entered into the contest, which began in the spring, according to Flossie Narducci, the horticultural society’s educational activities manager. Citywide, the most popular category was flower gardening, she said.

Some winners have vegetable gardens or combinations. Some winning plots are community efforts. Still others used their green thumbs in containers.

Contest winners will be announced during a ceremony at the PHS Fall Garden Festival, on Saturday, Sept. 22, on the parade grounds of the Navy Yard at the foot of Broad Street in South Philadelphia. Winners get certificates from PHS, plants for their gardens and tickets to the 2013 Philadelphia International Flower Show.

Debbie Rudman won a first place for her small urban farm on the 700 block of North Front St. She was the only first-place winner in Star’s circulation area.

A community combination garden on the 2600 block of Frankford Ave. took second place as did a community garden block on 1500 E. Berks St.

Third places were won by Christine Mambauer’s mid-size combination garden on the 3300 block of Emerald St.; Damean Snyder’s patio container garden on the 600 block of Miller St.; Almee Thrasher-Hanson’s patio container garden on the 1200 block of East Susquehanna Ave.; and Jamie F. Boburchock’s midsize flower garden on the 2600 of East Somerset St.

A midsize community park on the 2200 block of East Dauphin St. won an honorable mention.

Volunteer judges evaluated the gardens. Judges looked for healthy plants and variety. They didn’t want to see weeds. They wanted to evaluate well-kept gardens in which spaces were put to good use.

Judges looked for imagination in gardening and awarded points for good horticultural practices such as compost or rain barrel use.

Reporter John Loftus can be reached at 215–354–3110 or