The best in show landscaping contest judges

 The 2013 judges for the BDN Maine Garden Show and Spring Fling have decades of experience and dozens of gardening and landscaping awards between them. We are truly honored to have had such amazingly knowledgeable professionals judging this year’s competition.

Todd Bangs – Chief Operating Officer for Windswept Gardens

Todd Bangs started his landscape career in his early years (8) by mowing the neighbor’s lawn and assisting his dad in the family business, Windswept Gardens. As he grew older (early teens), his summers were spent working alongside the landscape crews doing any job that needed to be done. He became familiar with all aspects of the business and after attending SMCC for landscape horticulture, he stepped up to the demands presented to him. He has been responsible for elevating Windswept Gardens to its current high level of professionalism and expertise.  Todd holds both of Maine Nursery and Landscape Association’s certifications, one as a Certified Nursery Professional and one for Maine Certified Landscape Professional. He is currently chief operations officer for Windswept Gardens and is responsible for the successful completion of projects, exhibiting a high degree of expertise and professionalism. He is quick to diagnose problems and  is able to figure out remedies and solutions. Todd’s work has been featured in “Better Homes and Gardens”, “Total Landscape Care”, Turf Magazine”, as well as “Organic Gardening” .  His construction prowess has led him to winning The Bangor Garden Show’s best in show every time Windswept Gardens has been entered in the last few years. This excellence has resulted in Windswept Gardens being named one of twelve finalists nationally for landscaper of the year in 2009. In 2011 Todd was named Young Nursery Person of the Year for the Maine Landscape and Nursery Association.  Todd lives in Holden Maine with his wife Jaime and their 2 children, son Griffin (6) and daughter Riley (22 months). He enjoys spending time with family and playing with his children.

When asked whathe is noticing in up and coming home gardening trends she replied with the following:

“One of the biggest trends that I see is the addition of full outdoor kitchens.  Windswept has been installing and designing them since 2004 and has seen the use skyrocket in the past few years.”


Sarah Stanley  –  Landscape Designer at Atlantic Landscape Construction

Sarah Stanley has a Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture from The Pennsylvania State University and has worked as a Landscape Designer in Maine since 1996.  She is currently employed as a Landscape Designer at Atlantic Landscape Construction in Ellsworth, where she’s been since 2006.

She is looking forward to seeing how the Garden Show participants interpret the theme “Our Maine Life” and integrate Maine-sourced and native materials into their creations.

When asked what she is noticing in up and coming home gardening trends she replied with the following:

“As far as up and coming trends, there are new opportunities for landscape designers and gardeners in the trend toward homesteading and edible landscaping.  There is a strong desire to know where the food we consume is coming from and how it was grown.  With the goal to become more food self-sufficient and ecologically sustainable, people are becoming interested in gardening in whatever space they have.  This opens the door for fun and creative adaptations to the classic idea of vegetable gardening.  There are exciting opportunities to play with colors, textures, and scents by blending traditional landscapes and flower borders with edible plants.  These new gardens are not only beautiful but nourishing.”

Diana Walden – Designer at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

Diane Walden got her Undergrad in Urban Planning/Fine Arts at Hamilton College. She then spent 2 years at Temple Ambler Horticultural/Design Program.  David Culp was an early and long-time mentor and inspiration. She spent over 20 years in horticultural profession in the Philadelphia area. She was a Perennial Grower, then Perennial Buyer for major design/build landscape firm, J Franklin Styers Nursery, which was a long time major exhibitor at Philadelphia Flower Show, winning numerous awards (including many Best in Show/Landscape Division). Worked on ~10 exhibits, including assistant to Penelope Hobhouse when she designed and installed the central feature at the Philadelphia Flower Show.  Diane moved to Thomaston, Maine in 2006. She’s worked at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens since 2009. Ran CMBG CSA 2011-2012. Currently Diana designs Burpee Kitchen Gardens at CMBG.

Gardening trends that interest Diane include,  Vertical Gardening, and certainly Vegetable gardening has taken off.  Mixing vegetables into ornamental plantings is trending as well as increased interest in container gardening.  Sedums and succulents in pots and troughs and as small table arrangements popping up on lots of design websites.



First place = Hickory Dickory Decks, NewLand Nursary

Second Place = Stonescapes and Watergardens

Third Place = Cozy Acres greenhouse

Hardscape Award = Mainely Hardscapes

Best Use of Color Award = Stonescapes and Watergardens