Andrea Doonan

President, Association of Professional Landscape Designers

John Clements

Horticulture Manager, San Diego Botanic Garden

Willie Valdez

President, California Landscape Contractors Association

Chris Stebbins

President-Elect, American Society of Landscape Architects

Steve Gerisher

Past President, Pacific Horticulture Society

Award Criteria for Garden Masters Exhibition

Execution of Purpose
Gold, silver or no award based on Statement of Purpose.

Judges’ Choice
Awarded to the garden selected from among the judge’s favorite gardens.

Peoples’ Choice
The public will be allowed to vote for their favorite garden electronically by registering their email. One vote per email address.

Pacific Horticulture Award for Horticultural Excellence
Awarded to a garden with outstanding horticultural display by Pacic Horticulture magazine.

Design Excellence Award
Awarded to a garden with outstanding design.

Water Smart Award
Awarded to the garden with the best design for education in landscape water conservation.

Award of Excellence (up to 16)
Awarded for outstanding features best meeting the award description and demonstrating excellence in the category. If no garden presents a strong value in a category, that award will not be presented. Judges have the discretion to add awards if a garden demonstrates a strong aspect not covered by categories specified.

  • Most Educational
  • Most Dramatic
  • Best Appeal to Children
  • Best Specialty Garden
  • Best Interpretation of Theme
  • Compatibility of Plant Materials
  • Combination of Plant Materials
  • Best Home Landscape
  • Best San Diego Adapted Garden
  • Most Creative Use of Space
  • Best Intimate Garden
  • Best Water Feature
  • Best Use of Hardscape
  • Best Interpretive Signage
  • Best Topiary

Perfection in Nomenclature
Awarded to each garden that perfectly identifies and labels all plants in its garden with proper botanical nomenclature.

Outstanding Plant Specimen
Additional awards will be made by a team from the San Diego Horticultural Society for outstanding plant specimens. Criteria include health and overall appearance of the plant, rarity, and horticultural merit.

Judges decisions will be final