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Gold Medal Garden Cheat Sheet

By Phran Novelli

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - While you may never win one for athletic feats, you can have lots of Gold Medals in your garden. Every year since 1978, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has bestowed its Gold Medal Plant Award on outstanding trees, shrubs, and woody vines, selected for all-around excellence, beauty and performance.

Chosen by a volunteer committee of horticulturists, Gold Medal plants are evaluated for best pest- and disease-resistance, and are also assured to be easy to grow around here.

Beyond vigor, the plants are chosen for their beauty throughout the year - for distinctive foliage, flowers, form, and bark.

A good example is the 2006 Gold Medal winner pictured here, an American native Wisteria 'Amethyst Falls,' which is not only pretty, it flowers much younger and is not invasive the way alien Asian wisteria can be.

Not necessarily new, Gold Medal Plants are tried and true and easily available for home gardeners like me and you.

See a list of all the past Gold Medal winners at and photos of them at Then, see the 2014 award winners at the Flower Show, coming up the first week of March.

Yay! You know when we start talking about the Flower Show, spring can't be too far away….

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