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Winners of each of the major flower categories. It was difficult to choose but with using the considerations of hardiness, growth rate, blooming and plant appearance I was able to choose the top three from each of the following categories.

Number one on the list is annuals. Annuals need to have hardiness, quick growth and an abundance of bloom. Since they are only a one season plant they must produce quickly. I also considered issues like water requirements, flower size and bug resistance.

Perennials were judged differently than the previous annuals. Winners must be hardy and since they typically do not bloom throughout the summer, they must have a nice appearing foliage as well. Other primary considerations were length of bloom time, flower intensity and water requirements.

Closely related to both annuals and perennials, wild flowers are the next category. Winners must have brilliant flowers and the foliage must be attractive. There are other considerations like length of blooming and whether or not they offer anything unique.

The much smaller category of bulbs was much easier to select. This is probably the section with the smallest number of choices. I have worked with bulbs for years so I already had my favorites. Still I gave equal consideration to all the bulbs I had listed. Bulbs need to be hardy and their bloom must be spectacular. Added benefits are long and later season bloom.

Shrubs are the opposite of the previous category. There are many great shrubs and unfortunately I had to leave some very nice plants out of the top three. Since most shrubs bloom one time a season, the appearance of the shrub must be attractive all season. Also considered was fall color and hardiness. A shrubs form and low maintenance is also important.

The next category is very similar to shrubs. Trees are ranked on almost all the same issues as shrubs. Other issues like root systems, growth rate, and fall color were also considered. Most flowering trees tend to bloom in the spring so special consideration was given to those that bloom later in the season.

Vines with a smaller selection and less popular are equally important to review. Vines must be very hardy and have a good growth rate since their primary purpose is to create a living wall. The flowers must be showy and profuse. Even with a smaller field to choose from, it was a difficult choice since so many have beautiful bloom.

Last but not least was ground cover. Although many people do not even consider ground cover in their landscapes, it is every bit as important as any other classification. Ground cover must be hardy, have a good growth rate and be attractive even when not in bloom. It must be full and dense to complete its intended purpose.

Winners must be exceptional at reflecting their intended purpose. I have tried to provide the best performers, my top three choices in each category based on my experience. I welcome anyone who strongly disagrees with my selections to send me an e-mail by clicking the contact button on the navigation bar. Please let me know what your selections are and why.