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Last week, I helped judge the entries for the Ohio Landscape Association’s annual awards. A group of very talented designers and plant experts (and I) sat in a conference room to look at some tremendous projects.

Most entries were great, but a few threw us for a loop. They had out-of-focus photos or the descriptions didn’t match with the submitted plans.

So here, from my perspective behind the curtain, are a few suggestions as you plan your 2012 award entries.

  1. Take a look at the rules and category criteria, so you know how your project will be judged.
  2. Use better photos. You don’t have to drop a lot of money on high-end photography, but at least make sure you’re entries are in focus and tell a good story. Take the photos yourself, or hire a local college student for half a day.
  3. Set up your shots. Open patio umbrellas, put away hoses, sweep leaves and sticks off paths. These little things can take attention away from your project.
  4. Tell better stories. If you enter the maintenance award category, mention in your paperwork what exactly you do to maintain the property well.
  5. Have someone read your entry to make sure it’s clear and to the point, and that your images match up with your narrative.

For more, check out this piece from our April issue. Good luck!


January 9th, 2012 at 12:23 pm

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