Time to head to the polls once again, Chicagoans. Online voting is now open through Tuesday in the annual Bungalow Garden Contest.
The Chicago Bungalow Association has winnowed entrants down to 10 finalists in each of three categories: front garden, rear/side garden, and planter boxes and beds. Photos and descriptions can be viewed online.
This year’s finalists come from every corner of Chicago and their styles run the gamut, from folks who’ve learned how to make the most of their shady lot to new homeowners testing their green thumb for the first time. Voters will have some tough decisions to make choosing between mini flower farms, vegetable gardens, pollinator-friendly designs and gardens that incorporate a little bit of everything, including koi ponds and fountains.
The thread that connects them all is the sense of calm and relaxation they provide, gardeners said.
The winner in each category will receive a $500 cash prize and runners-up will each receive $200. Five randomly selected entrants will receive a free rain barrel donated by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago.
Winners and runners-up will be announced on July 25.
For each entry received, Chicago Bungalow Association donates $25 to South and West Side community gardens. In 2022, that amounted to $2,125, which will be divided among: CCA Academy’s PermaPark Food Forest in North Lawndale, Englewood Veterans Garden and Heritage Community Garden in West Englewood, Peace in the Valley Garden in Austin, Rosemoor Community Association Garden in Roseland, and Urban Growers Collective in Bridgeport.