So far, it’s been a very strange growing season, thanks to our late-arriving spring, followed by a plunge into steamy summer. Most gardens are still getting up to speed, but it’s time to kick off the Star Tribune’s annual Beautiful Gardens contest.

Every year, we seek out the best residential gardens in Minnesota and western Wisconsin by inviting readers to share their favorites. A panel reviews all nominees and chooses several standouts, with the winning gardens featured in the Homes & Gardening section and online at

Any type of garden can be a winner. A Beautiful Garden can be edible, ornamental or both — a small urban plot or a big country garden.

– Beautiful Gardens, 650 3rd Av. S., Minneapolis, MN 55488. We’ll be accepting nominations through July 9.