How Does Your Garden Grow?

What does your garden say about you? Identifying (and celebrating) neighborhood gardeners with skill & style. 

Let’s celebrate all the neighbors who make our community such a lovely place to live!

Introducing… East Falls Neighborhood Beautification Contest

The brainchild of Sunnyside resident and Keller Williams realtor Scott Frith, the contest aims to promote community involvement and support neighbors who help make East Falls such an appealing place to work, live, and play.

“It’s important that we recognize folks whose properties reflect an aesthetically pleasing appearance and community pride,” said Scott, “Well-tended homes are great for property values. They boost community morale and harmony. Let’s recognize those who are helping make East Falls the best neighborhood in the city.”

Nominations will be accepted in the following categories:

  1. Rowhome
  2. Twin
  3. Freestanding house
  4. Kids/Beginners (any type of home)

Submit your nomination to by June 30th. Include address, category, and a photo of the property and/or any details you think are especially worth noting. For every property nominated, we’ll send out our photographer to capture a beautiful “home portrait” that we’ll feature to our 3900+ followers on Facebook. Voting is simple: the home that gets the most shares & likes in each category wins.

Winners will be profiled in August’s Local. Winners will also receive an attractive yard sign recognizing your property as an outstanding yard in East Falls. (Note: bragging rights apply even if you opt not to display).

Never judge a book by its cover, but yards? A whole different story. What we plant and how we nurture it speaks volumes about who we are, and how we engage with the world around us.

While back yards tend to be our own private dens, front yards are social hubs. Neighbors often take a collective pride in living near a home known for its garden, it’s porch, its welcoming arrangement of plantings, ornaments, and furniture. A beautiful yard is a gift to the community, and to everyone who passes by.


Every yard has its own distinct charms! Look around the Falls, it’s like a “Breakfast Club” of personality types. What does your yard say about you?

THE DREAMER: You favor untamed tapestries of wildflowers, and don’t mind that your landscaping looks a little haphazard (you prefer the word “organic”). Birdfeeders hang from accessible branches, and that showy blooming vine you’ve been cultivating is probably home to some feathered and furry friends. Succulents in colorful handmade pottery? Totally. There’s a good chance art was your favorite subject in school (though you were never one for coloring in the lines). One day you dream of filling out the paperwork to get one of those “Certified Wildlife Habitat” signs.

THE PERFECTIONIST: Your walkways are edged straight as a razor. Your flower beds are impeccably coordinated with the colored trim on your home. Order reigns, and in fact you feel a little twinge when plants bloom out of synch or grow asymmetrically. You have strong opinions on height and spacing, and what plants will never have a place in your yard. You probably own grid paper and make lots of lists. You’re the friend everyone turns to when they need someone to proofread spelling or check tax calculations. People scoff at your wheelbarrow organizer, but they’re obviously just jealous.

THE NATURAL: You can’t really say why your yard looks great, it just sort of happens. You have a sixth sense for where to plant free cuttings from neighbors and the flats of impatiens you find discarded outside Home Depots. Somehow, that hydrangea bloomed the exact same color as your house shutters, and your zinnias keep re-seeding themselves year after year. Those “toadstools” you discovered on an old stack of firewood turned out to be delicious chanterelles. You were probably voted “Best Hair” in high school. No matter where you are when you see a Clearance rack, they have your size.

THE SHOW BOAT: Hello, color! If it blooms big and bold, you’ve gotta have it. Fragrance? Even better! For every inch of your yard, you’ll fit flashy flowers and foliage in. You’re a fan of trees with colored leaves and dramatic textures. Roses, orchids, exotic irises – you plant these and say stuff like, “I should mix some white blooms in for pop!” That fleet of tropicals needs to winter in your mudroom every year, but for you, they’re worth the trouble. You’ve at least dabbled in community theater. You can be high strung, but when you apologize with a bouquet from your garden all is forgiven. You likely own a lot of shoes.

THE RULE-BREAKER: You’ll plant tomatoes and peppers right in with your petunias — coax sunflowers from the shadiest part of your yard. Somehow, you make Christmas lights work year ‘round. Neighbors might cast a side eye at your pink flamingos, but you love how their whimsy plays off the staid architecture of your historic home. Each of those glass globes and windchimes on your porch is one-of-a-kind treasure collected from your many travels, or Target. Of course you let your cats outside, and it’s pretty much impossible to know where you stand politically from your social media posts. You fantasize often about driving for Uber.

THE SCIENTIST: We can spot you a mile away by the fluorescent green glow of your immaculate lawn. Trees and flowers boast an almost other-worldly vigor thanks to your own proprietary fertilizer blends customized for each species. Slugs and Japanese beetles, ha! You’ve devised a whole playbook to vanquish every garden pest. You know the pH of various mulches off the top of your head, and the difference between “sapwood” and “heartwood.” You read reference materials like novels, and consider a home incomplete without at least one well-placed barometer. You have no idea what sign of the zodiac you are, and have been known to troll Flat Earth forums for fun.

THE NOVICE: You’ve always admired your neighbor’s gardens, and this year you took the leap. You spent an entire weekend (and half your paycheck) amassing an arsenal of tools, gloves, totes, containers, self-waterers, storage bins, knee savers, soil test meters, and one of those cool coiled garden hoses with a 10-pattern spray nozzle. You plant random annuals and perennials on a wing and a prayer, leaving the tags on everything so you know what’s where.  Gardening, for you, is a learning experience: Is that a good bug or a bad bug? Are those yellow leaves normal? Is that manure odor coming off me, or am I smelling residue in my own nose? Chances are you have a very patient spouse.

Whatever style your yard, find out if it’s award-winning this August. Send nominations to by June 30th (you can nominate anyone in East Falls, you don’t have to be the homeowner).

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About The Local 162 Articles
The Local byline reflects community-created content (usually from social media, often from audio/video sources) that we've collected and edited into an article for our website/newspaper.

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