This year’s beautiful spring produced a bumper crop of beautiful gardens, judging from the entries submitted in this year’s annual contest.

We received more than 150 nominations, showcasing gardens urban, suburban and rural, big and small and from formal manicured gardens to naturalistic gardens designed to support wildlife.

With so many diverse gardens to choose from, it was difficult to pick just a few winners. A panel of seven judges reviewed the submissions, and ultimately narrowed the field to the following seven winners: 

1. Mark Addicks’ and Tom Hoch’s garden in Minneapolis’ Lowry Hill neighborhood is just minutes from downtown. But you’d never know it in their backyard, where they’ve created a tranquil retreat filled with flowering perennials and a classical fountain. They also share their gardening expertise with Twin Cities passersby, by tending a nearby public garden located between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun.

2. Miles and many moods away, in Cornucopia, Wis., Ellen Akins has spent more than 20 years transforming a field of fireweed and an overgrown orchard full of buckthorn into a series of gardens with a medley of colors and textures, connected by curving paths and walkways.

3. Starting with a 1929 farmhouse on a 3 ½-acre lot in Woodbury, Lisa Moran has created a sweeping garden that includes perennials, a vegetable plot, a water garden with koi pond and a pergola-topped patio with rustic dining and a wood-fired pizza oven. She’s also converted the farm’s original granary into a quaint artist studio.

4. Sharing gardening honors are a pair of side-by-side, front-yard gardens in north Minneapolis. The neighboring gardens are very different in style — Renee Allen tends a cottage-style garden that includes perennials from her grandmother’s long-ago garden plot, while Sheryl Hybert has created a pollinator and wildlife habitat. The two gardeners swap plants and tips, and together, beautify their block.

5. Tammy Jorgenson doesn’t keep her garden to herself. Her home in Bayport has roads on three sides. So she’s created a three-sided garden that offers distinctive views from all three vantage points, including exuberant blooms and intriguing stonework.

6. The flowers grown in Mary O’Brien and Duane Miller’s garden have found their way into many bridal bouquets. But flowers are only part of what’s in their expansive garden in Grant, near Stillwater. They also have a landscaped pond, flagstone paths, a vegetable garden and distinctive statuary.

7. Hosta are the foundation of Lois Waldowski’s garden in Ramsey. The retired art and math teacher uses her artistic eye to combine different colors and textures of the popular foliage plant. Then she accents with hundreds of annuals she starts from seed, and tropicals produced from bulbs and cuttings.

Watch for stories and photos featuring the winning gardens in coming issues. And a heartfelt thank you to all our readers who took the time to nominate a garden this year.