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Nov 30, 2018 6:53 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
Is there an appropriate spot for discussing the photo contest? Suggestions, clarifications, questions, etc. ? Extremely lovely photos, hopefully most of them will migrate into the database if not already there.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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Nov 30, 2018 9:46 PM CST
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Japanese Maples Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Pollen collector Peonies Lilies
Irises Hybridizer Hummingbirder Dog Lover Daylilies Clematis
I would say you started a place. As long as nobody mentions what picture is theirs, then I would think it's okay.
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Dec 1, 2018 12:32 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
I would like to see narrower categories rather than broader. In general, any time there were more than 200 entries, I found it difficult to choose a favorite. Maybe that could be a loose criteria to rethink a category.

Not sure why Annuals and Perennials (234 entries) were combined this year, other than the usual confusion regarding perennials that are treated as annuals due to zone tenderness. I'd like to see them split again, knowing the stray perennial will wind up in annuals.

Wildlife (225) was hard for me. I found it difficult to compare a buffalo to a butterfly. Perhaps adding an Insect/Spider/Bug category would make sense. And maybe Birds? That would effectively limit wildlife to mammals and reptiles. Not sure where the domestic farm animals should go, but they seem miscategorized as wildlife.

To corral the pet/kid photos, perhaps just have a category for them, with the caveat that at least one plant should be included in the photo. Those of us who have little interest in Muffin or Susie could just skip that one. Or glance through knowing there will be minimal focus on plants.

Another one I might split up would be the Scenic Landscape (206) category - I was looking forward to seeing pictures of public gardens but found mostly sunsets and such. They were beautiful, but perhaps give Public Gardens their own category.

I agree with the discussion that the Macro category should be renamed to more accurately reflect the entries, which apparently are mostly Close-ups rather than technical Macros. Whatever they are, I really enjoy looking at them.

I don't like the notion of submitting the same photo in more than one category.

I wasn't aware that actual prizes are now being offered. Kudos to whatever the sponsoring company is, although I personally think just the little badges are enough of a prize. And encourages international inclusion.

I think it would be really nice to know the categories prior to the growing season, which would encourage folks to tailor some of their photo shots to match the categories.

I like new categories, especially ones that showcase a specific plant. It would be nice to change those up annually. I enjoyed the new ones this year.

As always, it was a pleasure to look at all the gorgeous photos. I hope most, if not all, of these lovely photos end up as part of the ever-growing database.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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Dec 1, 2018 1:26 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Daylilies Houseplants Foliage Fan Birds Butterflies Bee Lover
There has always been prizes awarded since the 1st contest in 2014, previous contests can be seen under Community tab.
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Dec 1, 2018 2:21 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Zuzu
Northern California (Zone 9a)
Region: Ukraine Charter ATP Member Region: California Cat Lover Roses Clematis
Irises Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Sages Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Master Level
Deb, here are some answers to some of your questions.

Annuals and perennials were combined for the reason you state: the confusion of annuals with perennials. As for the size of that category (234 entries), it's minimal in comparison with last year's numbers (260 entries in the Annuals category and 333 entries in the Perennials category). The entries in the combined category still included many photos that should have been in four of the new categories (Dahlias, Hibiscuses, Vines, and Foliage) and in the Bulbs or Shrubs categories. If those had been entered in the appropriate categories, the number would have been under 200.

I agree that the Wildlife category is too general. Perhaps it would be best to split it into birds, insects, and animals.

I don't think we need a pet/kid category because those who wish to ignore Muffin and Susie easily can do so even if they're not in a category of their own.

Scenic landscapes could be changed in some way. Those seascapes, sunsets, etc. seem to make their way into four or five categories no matter what we do. I do think it was a good idea to distinguish between public gardens and private gardens, though.

The Macro category continues to be misused even when clarification is provided, so it might be best to drop that category altogether.

In some cases, the same photos were submitted in more than one category because they were moved into a more appropriate category and the contest participants then resubmitted them to the less appropriate categories. It really doesn't happen often enough to be bothersome, however.

Sue addressed your comment about prizes.

The categories usually aren't firmed up prior to the growing season, and I'm not sure that many of our members are motivated by contest categories when they take photos of their gardens.

The categories for specific plants are created on the basis of the numbers of entries of specific plants. Changing them annually would create too many problems. If all of the roses, for instance, had no category of their own and had to be added to the Shrubs and Trees category, that category would be huge and more difficult to judge, and I don't even want to contemplate the size of the Bulbs category if all of the irises and lilies had to be entered in it.
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Dec 1, 2018 2:47 PM CST
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Hydrangeas Photo Contest Winner 2018 Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan
Photo contest is always fun. Loved looking at others pictures. We have some talented photographers in this group. I don't think you will ever weed out the photos being in a wrong category.

Thanks for all the work that went into putting on this contest. Lovey dubby
Sempervivum for Sale
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Dec 1, 2018 3:32 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
Greenhouse Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
I agree, there will always be photos in the wrong categories.
I do enjoy looking at all of them, and we do have some wonderful photographers in the group. It's always fun!
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Dec 1, 2018 3:44 PM CST
Name: Connie
Willamette Valley OR (Zone 8a)
Forum moderator Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Sempervivums Lilies Hybridizer
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Pollen collector Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
I hate to be mean, but I just skip over plants posted in the wrong categories. Also kids, Muffins, hands etc. In fact my work on choosing is greatly reduced when I go through and star ones with good composition in terms of what I interpret a photography contest to be. For me, they pop out. Then I check for the other important aspects such as focus, clutter etc.

Typically I quickly end up with 10 of fewer choices to pick my best three.
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Dec 1, 2018 4:01 PM CST
Name: Karen
New Mexico (Zone 8a)
Region: New Mexico Region: Arizona Region: Ukraine Cactus and Succulents Plant Identifier Plays in the sandbox
Greenhouse Bromeliad Adeniums Morning Glories Avid Green Pages Reviewer Brugmansias
That's how I do it, too, Connie. It does make it easier to choose the good ones.
Handcrafted Coastal Inspired Art SeaMosaics!
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Dec 1, 2018 4:50 PM CST
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Hydrangeas Photo Contest Winner 2018 Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan
I agree Connie.
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Dec 1, 2018 7:56 PM CST
Plants Admin
Name: Suzanne/Sue
Sebastopol, CA (Zone 9a)
Sunset Zone 15
Plant Database Moderator Region: California Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Roses Clematis
Daylilies Houseplants Foliage Fan Birds Butterflies Bee Lover
I agree, I try to picture them as part of a calendar, is it something that stands out as special, a pleasing composition, something that makes me want to see it in person?
I sure enjoy the contests every year!
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Dec 2, 2018 12:11 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
Sue and Zuzu, thank you for the clarifications.

I enjoy the photos, and hadn't thought of the repercussions of eliminating any of the 'big four' as I think of rose, daylily, lily, and iris. I feel rather inundated with those on a daily basis (I regularly look at new entries to the database) so it was easy enough for me to just skip or skim through those categories (no offense intended to you aficianados).

I would hate to see closeups eliminated, they are one of my favorites.

Apparently I never realized there were real prizes, my mistake.

And, I think you are right, Muffin and Susie will always sneak their way in -- perhaps the judges can expand their discretion to 'disallow' photos that are clearly not in any way related to gardening? Although as someone said, no real harm done and it's easy enough to scroll past.

I hope my initial post was not taken as criticism, it was not intended to be. Just my random thoughts.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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Dec 2, 2018 12:37 AM CST
Name: Julia
Washington State (Zone 7a)
Hydrangeas Photo Contest Winner 2018 Garden Photography Region: Pacific Northwest Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Forum moderator
Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Sempervivums Container Gardener Foliage Fan
I think it's great to here everyones thoughts. I know what I thinking and always helps to see through the eyes of others. Always learning, like that time thing. Didn't know about that, so learned a new term.
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Dec 3, 2018 10:46 AM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL @--`--,----- 🌹 (Zone 8b)
Region: United States of America Houseplants Overwinters Tender Plants Indoors Garden Sages Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 2
Organic Gardener Composter Miniature Gardening Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tender Perennials Butterflies
Another fun contest! I didn't have time to submit anything but very much enjoyed looking at & voting in a few of the categories.

Great pics, gardeners, and good luck to the entries!!

Like Deb, my following comments are not criticism, just observational feedback.

I would alphabetize the categories.

"Wildflowers and other native plants" is kind of an odd category on a site open to the world. Native to where? "Native and uncultivated plants" might work as an alternative title.

Really wish orchids had their own category, and I think I've asked before about adding a houseplant category.
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Dec 3, 2018 12:14 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Deb
Planet Earth (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Ideas: Master Level
Tiffany, I thought the same re native plants, many did not strike me as natives, but I guess they may be in another region. I like your idea of referring to the category as uncultivated natives. I think, but am not sure, that there is a spot to comment or identify the plants, which maybe does not appear until after the voting is done.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
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Dec 3, 2018 3:06 PM CST
Name: tfc
North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
Yes, there's a place to comment on one's picture but it doesn't show up until after the contest is over.

It would be nice for a number of categories be separated, as in Orchids. I would imagine that the possibilities would be endless.
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Dec 3, 2018 3:53 PM CST
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL @--`--,----- 🌹 (Zone 8b)
Region: United States of America Houseplants Overwinters Tender Plants Indoors Garden Sages Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Level 2
Organic Gardener Composter Miniature Gardening Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Tender Perennials Butterflies
The categories could match the forums here. Some could be combined, but it would be the most fun, IMVHO, if they weren't.
The golden rule: Do to others only that which you would have done to you.
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯
The only way to succeed is to try!
🐣🐦🐔🍯🐾🌺🌻🌸🌼🌹
The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The 2nd best time is now. (-Unknown)
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧🍁🍂🌽❀☀ ☕👓🐝
Try to be more valuable than a bad example.
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Dec 3, 2018 4:35 PM CST
Name: Janine
NE Connecticut (Zone 6b)
Cat Lover Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Connecticut Seed Starter Herbs Plant and/or Seed Trader
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
I personally don't care for the separated out categories: to me it's like looking at the same thing over and over again, just in different colors. The pictures are quite beautiful, though.
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Dec 3, 2018 6:01 PM CST
Name: Ronnie (Veronica)
Southeastern PA (Zone 6b)
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Annuals Bee Lover Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Birds
I don't mind the categories but think it should just be one photo not five.
I would hate to see the macro categorize eliminated as that is my favorite way of taking photos...maybe just rename it as close ups.
Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
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Dec 3, 2018 6:57 PM CST
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Japanese Maples Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Pollen collector Peonies Lilies
Irises Hybridizer Hummingbirder Dog Lover Daylilies Clematis
I believe it's called macro because cameras have macro lenses used specifically for close-ups and to display greater detail.

As someone that entered photos into the contest, I would not want to see it go down to one entry. I had a hard time figuring out 5 each for one category I entered in.

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