Entry Procedures and Guidelines
All projects submitted for PLANET’s awards program are reviewed only through the photos submitted and the accompanying script. Only the information contained on the entry form is made available to the judges.Photo Selection – (see Tips for a Successful Awards Entry)
- It is important that your photos be of the highest quality and provides a thorough view of your project.
- Review your selected photos carefully and don’t show anything that could defeat the credibility of your project as an award recipient; for example, nursery pots should not be showing
- Leaves should not be covering the lawn/patio
- Garden hoses should not be left out
- Photos must be current.
- Multiple views within one digital image are not allowed.
- Always lead off and end with beautiful “after” photos rather than “before” images. The first and last photos will be viewed longer than any others in your presentation — the first one is displayed during the project description, and the last is displayed while the judges are scoring.
- Be sure your company name does not appear in any of the photos (uniforms, trucks, etc.).
- Pay careful attention to lighting when taking photos — poor lighting will result in poor quality images, which will hurt your chances of receiving an award.
- Be concise with the verbiage, especially with special features, obstacles, timelines, etc.
- Avoid overly dramatic language.
- Do not use your company name in the description.
- Have someone else proof the submittal to ensure it makes sense.
CATEGORIES and GUIDELINES
For installation or contracting projects, it is helpful to the judges to include two to three “before” and “in-process” photos and explain the installation’s special challenges. For example, if access was difficult, show the judges how difficult it was, and how you managed the plant material. If you had to use heavy equipment or inventive ways to access the building, be sure to show this. Your photos and descriptions should focus on the installation and the final result, not the design or selection of materials. In addition, the judges will look at how you used the space, so be sure to provide photos that show the overall areas of the project, rather than only close up shots.
In this category, you must submit a photo depicting the landscape design plan (delete your company name from the plan). The entering firm must have created the landscape design as well as the installation or construction of the project. Your description should focus on the client’s request, and how your landscape design met his or her specific needs. Do not forget this is a design/build project — include two to three photos about the actual installation of the project and any special challenges.
Landscape Management, Lawn Care, and Interior Maintenance
For the projects in these categories, the entering firm must currently be managing the project and must have managed it for at least 12 months prior to the entry date. Photos should be taken at least 12 months after the firm assumed the project and must show sufficient detail to allow the judges to adequately determine the quality of the work performed. Be sure to include the date that the project was assumed on the entry form. You should show a range of photos that clearly portray the turf and/or plant material. Talk specifically about the project’s scope and the maintenance procedures involved at the site — particularly if this involves some out-of-the-ordinary constraints. Give the judges information about disease and pest control programs, maintenance schedules, and any unusual or significant challenges associated with the project, and what steps you took to correct any problems.
Photos must show the current quality of the work performed. “Before” photos are not required but are sometimes helpful to judges. The entry form must include the date that the project was assumed and the year the project received the Grand Award. PLCAA legacy members who have received an award through PLCAA and have managed their project continuously for 10 years or more may submit their project in this category.
Interior Containerized Plantings
For projects in this category, be sure the project you are entering is unique in some way or demonstrates creativity in selection of plant material and containers. The entering firm must have provided and installed all plants and containers and must have played a significant role in the design process. Your project description should focus on the client’s requests and how you satisfied them. Your photos should show the entire space where containerized plantings were used so that judges can realize their impact.
Erosion Control/Ecological Restoration
Entries in this category are unique. You should show all phases of the project in your photos — before, during, after — and describe the process you went through. Be sure to explain the project’s intent and how you fulfilled the client’s requests. Also include in your project description the impact this project has had on the environment, and how you coordinated the work with any outside agencies. Projects in this category should contain similar values and functions of native landscapes.
For this category, focus on the project’s unique aspects and the special challenges you overcame. These projects are defined as short term, such as seasonal displays, banquets, weddings, or exhibits, and must not have been completed within your own facilities (e.g., a showcase room or flower show held at your nursery for prospective clients). Include in your project description the project’s intent and how you satisfied the client’s requests.