Will your garden bloom red, white, and blue in 2007?

Virginia Cooperative Extension is encouraging Virginians to plant red, white, and blue America’s Anniversary Gardens as part of the statewide commemoration of the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and enter the 2007 statewide America’s Anniversary Garden Contest.

Any type of garden including residential, neighborhood, municipal, business, school, church, hospital, park, airport, racetrack, and arboreta is eligible, as well as commercial garden-center and farmers-market displays and landscape design/installation/maintenance projects.

Inspired by a local contest developed by the Historic Triangle 2007 Beautification Committee, the statewide contest was developed to help pull all Virginia horticultural groups together during 2007.

“With a great start last year, we wanted to culminate the America’s Anniversary Garden™ efforts in this commemoration year with a project that could involve all Virginia gardeners,” said Bonnie Appleton, Virginia Cooperative Extension nursery specialist, who is leading the contest efforts. “Our industry and outreach partners have really stepped up to support the statewide contest. We are looking forward to great participation in planting red, white, and blue across the commonwealth.”

Co-sponsors of the contest include Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Virginia Society of Landscape Designers, Virginia Master Gardener Association, Virginia Flower Growers Association, Virginia Tech’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Virginia Federation of Garden Clubs, Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association, Mid-Atlantic Chapter of International Society of Arboriculture, Virginia Native Plant Society, and Virginia 4-H. In addition, the Historic Triangle Jamestown 2007 Host Committee Beautification Task Force will award the Best In Contest. These sponsors will provide the awards for each category and the judges to review the entries and select the winners.

Complete contest rules, garden categories, and the entry form can be found on the America's Garden website. Contest entries must be submitted by Sept. 1, 2007. Winners will be announced during the 2007 State Fair of Virginia in late September.

For more information about the America’s Anniversary Garden program, contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension Office.

About the America’s Anniversary Garden Project

The America’s Anniversary Garden Project was developed by the Virginia Cooperative Extension and faculty members in the Virginia Tech’s Department of Horticulture to help individuals, communities, and groups mark America’s 400th anniversary with a signature garden planting.

The project features publications on how to plant landscapes in public spaces, such as roadside corridors and around municipal buildings, as well as around homes and businesses. Plans for a container garden are also included. In addition to engaging gardening enthusiasts in commemorating the nation’s 400th anniversary, the project, which is supported by a grant from the Jamestown 2007 Foundation, will also give a boost to the green industry in the commonwealth.

About Virginia Cooperative Extension Virginia Cooperative Extension brings the resources of Virginia’s land-grant universities, Virginia Tech and Virginia State University, to the people of the commonwealth. Through a system of on-campus specialists and locally based agents, it delivers education in the areas of agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, community viability, and 4-H youth development. With a network of faculty at two universities, 107 county and city offices, 13 agricultural research and extension centers, and six 4-H educational centers, Virginia Cooperative Extension provides solutions to the problems facing Virginians today.

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