For the first time, the Trogir Tourist Board organised a competition to select the most beautiful garden and balcony in the Trogir area in 2023.
The competition, based on preservation, promotion, and investment in the landscaping of horticultural elements in the city centre and all green areas around Trogir, follows the example of other sustainable cities.
The story of this year’s project began symbolically on the first day of spring, March 21, 2023, when the competition was announced. The residents of Trogir were invited to submit their invested time and effort in decorating gardens, yards, balconies, and windows.
With this project, the Trogir Tourist Board also announced the first flower fair (April 28 – May 1, 2023), during which Trogir truly became the Centre of Flowers for four days. Numerous exhibitors set up stalls on the Trogir waterfront, offering a wide range of seedlings, flowers, and ornamental plants for sale.
The array of flowers and plants from exhibitors all over Croatia motivated and inspired the fellow citizens, as the competition submissions started pouring in, categorised as “Balcony and Window” and “Garden and Yard.” One of the main goals of this project was to encourage citizens to create creative solutions in beautifying their gardens and balconies, contributing to a greener and more orderly living environment.
It aimed to demonstrate a concrete action for the long-term and sustainable preservation of the environment in and around the city of Trogir.
Marin Piveta, Director of the Trogir Tourist Board, highlights, “This project is extremely important to raise citizens’ awareness and encourage them to enhance the appearance of gardens and balconies in the Trogir area. It also serves as a promotional aspect that emphasizes the city’s commitment to sustainable tourism and sustainable destination management, focusing on content quality while mitigating tourism’s massiveness. That’s why I hope this project will continue in the coming years. I would like to thank everyone who entered the competition, as well as the expert committee that, based on visits to gardens and balconies, awarded prizes to the best applicants. We also gave the audience the opportunity to have their say and choose the third-place winners.”
Further motivation for participation in the competition undoubtedly came from the valuable cash prizes for the top three places, and the winners by category are as follows:
“Balcony and Window”
1. Julia Radović – €700
2. Marija Berket – €500
3. Valentina Vukman – €300
“Garden and Yard”
1. Dinka Borjan – €700
2. Ana Betica Restović – €500
3. Marijana Stipčić – €300
The first two places were chosen based on assessments by the expert committee, consisting of Marin Piveta, mag.oec., Director of the Tourist Board; Jasna Popović, dipl.pov. of arts and ethnologist, Head of the Conservation Department in Trogir under the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia; Nikolina Tomaš, mag.ing.agr., Head of the Public Space Maintenance Sector at Trogir holding d.o.o.; and Mihaela Milat, mag.ing.arch., architect representative of the company GEOART d.o.o. They visited gardens and balconies after the application deadline.
Jasna Popović, Head of the Conservation Department in Trogir under the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia, says, “Congratulations to all the winners and candidates who allowed us into their little green oases, which are not easy to maintain. From a conservation perspective, I was professionally interested in whether the claim that there’s no architectural mistake that horticulture can’t hide holds true. But what surprised me is that there’s no architectural success that a flower can’t further beautify, and that’s most noticeable in the historic core. Also, it seems to me that many people participated in the voting on social media, showing that citizens consider this topic valuable and significant. Some studies show that green infrastructure here in the Mediterranean can be a good response to the challenges of climate change because we’re always in need of shade. What we hope for in the future is a green promenade from the ferry port all the way to Pantana, where people could walk under trees continuously.”
Criteria for evaluation in the “Garden and Yard” category were grouped into three main criteria: horticulture and maintenance (plant health and garden maintenance), design (composition, arrangement of elements, and their placement in space), and originality. Plant health and lushness, plant diversity, and tidiness (regular removal of withered flowers and leaves) were evaluated. Additionally, special attention was given to successful pruning, pest control, and the use of ecological methods in garden maintenance, such as rainwater collection or composting. In terms of design, the committee considered the complexity of planting (color, texture, scents) and creativity in applying horticultural elements like dry stone walls, rockeries, garden paths, etc. The overall aesthetic impression, the impact on the overall appearance of the facade, was also assessed.
The criteria in the “Balcony and Window” category were grouped into the same main criteria, but here, additional attention was focused on selecting appropriate flower pots.
After selecting winners for the first two places in both categories, the remaining finalists were announced on the Facebook social network, where the audience, with several hundred positive reactions to the images, chose the winners of the third-place prize for the “Garden and Yard” and “Balcony and Window” categories.
At the end of the competition, the winners were invited to the award ceremony at the Trogir City Hall, where, along with signing contracts and awarding plaques, they were also presented with a lovely bouquet of flowers whose succulents can be replanted, promoting sustainable garden and flower maintenance methods.
The expert committee emphasized that next year, they will try to allocate more time for visiting gardens and balconies to make the assessment even more thorough. This year’s winners were also invited to join the committee to provide a fresh and different perspective. The winners also suggested open educational sessions to present suitable plants for summer and winter months to other citizens and businesses operating in the city, with the goal of reducing the use of plastic and artificial flowers.
“The Trogir Tourist Board extends its gratitude to all residents who invest their effort and time in maintaining and decorating their floral arrangements, seedlings, and flower pots, which are symbols of effort and unique ornaments of the city of Trogir. It also invites all citizens to participate in this wonderful project next year and demonstrate their creativity in botanical design to contribute to the aesthetic and ecological presentation of our city.”