(AUGUST 2017) HARRISBURG, PA – The Association of Professional Landscape Designers (APLD) recently released the award winners of its annual national landscape design competition. A panel of judges reviewed the entrants’ work anonymously – looking at before and after photographs and project summaries – without knowing the names of the designers. Categories included Small Gardens, Show Gardens, Residential Landscapes (under and above $100,000) as well as Non-residential Projects/Commercial.

  1. Gary Smith of W. Gary Smith Design, Toronto, won a SILVER award for a non-residential residential project (over $500,000) for work completed on the Orchard Gardens (Phase 1) at the Santa Fe Botanical Garden in Santa Fe, New Mexico. One judge said Smith’s work was, “A great public project that illustrates good site and landscape design. It’s well executed according to the spaces, paths, places and plantings.”

Another judge said of Smith’s work, “I loved the more intimate spaces.  Good use of stone to give feeling to regionalism.”

With more than twenty-five years experience in public garden design and master planning, W. Gary Smith has distinguished himself as a landscape architect who celebrates plants and the connection they offer between people and nature. Smith says, “For me, it was a great pleasure to learn all about plants that are well suited to the climate of Northern New Mexico – delightful to discover that there were so many different species with such a diversity of color, form and texture. We all owe many thanks to horticulturists Linda Churchill and Tracey Neal, and to Linda Milbourn for bringing us all together on such a challenging site.”

Throughout the gardens native plants are mixed with appropriate non-natives, all selected to demonstrate the variety and richness that can be achieved even in this region of scarce water.

Visitors enter the Botanical Garden through the Orchard Gardens. The centerpiece fruit orchard is flanked by a meadow garden and a dry garden.

The winners received their awards at the APLD annual conference in July in Boston.

More information on the contest or APLD is available by contacting Kathy Geller Myers at 717.903.3716, or by visiting