Absolutely not Ė there's no such thing as a perfect garden. Also, last year we introduced a kinder, gentler approach to judging garden maintenance. Why? Because gardening is changing.
All gardeners are struggling with pests and diseases now that chemical controls are no longer an option. More gardeners are incorporating environmental practices into their garden maintenance e.g. leaving grass clippings on the lawn; leaving seedheads on plants as a wildlife food source etc. In recognition of these issues, Streetscape judges will be more lenient when judging general maintenance, in the following ways:
- Gardens will not be penalised for spent flowers, fruit or leaves on the ground, unless they are diseased, as these are part of the natural garden cycle.
- So long as a lawn is generally healthy, some lawn weeds are acceptable. Weeds in flower beds are not.
- Widespread insect infestations e.g. Japanese beetles, will be taken into account.
- Spent flowers and seedheads may be left on plants if they have a decorative quality or if they provide a food source for wildlife. General deadheading will still be required.
What we are expecting is that you use judgement and common sense in maintaining your garden, without necessarily striving for a pristine appearance.