Congratulations to long-time Westlake gardener Rita Briggs for taking home the top prize in this year’s Westlake in Bloom competition.
Rita was honored with the Lu Walter Award, presented each year to the top gardener in the Westlake civic beautification contest.
Winners in all categories were announced at an awards ceremony hosted at LaCentre on Wed., Aug. 12. It was the 15th year for Westlake in Bloom.
Rita came away with two awards – first place in the Window Box category and also the grand prize, the Lu Walter Award for Best in Bloom.
The Lu Walter Award is the top honor bestowed by Westlake in Bloom, heralding the best of the year’s gardens and named after the beloved late member and leader of the Westlake Garden Club.
A trip to Rita’s home in eastern Westlake provides ample evidence of her gardening skills and artistry. “I have lived here 60 years,” she reports. “I love the window boxes because they are easy to sprinkle and prune. And you can create individual landscapes.”
Rita’s window boxes are just a small part of her inviting whole-yard landscape. Statuary invites meditation in one area, a serene deck calls for reflection in another, and a large shaded lawn brings a deep perspective to the lush beauty of her care. “I do have trouble with deer, though,” said Rita, pointing to a side bed. “And it takes a lot of weeding!”
She admits to spending ‘hours’ in the yard each week, caring for her gardens. It is all worth it when you see the portrait of nature she has created, a harmony of light and color, and interplay of shadow and design.
Inside her home, a series of past Westlake in Bloom awards line a hallway wall. Not surprisingly, Rita has enjoyed success before. But the Lu Walter Award is something she never expected.
“I was so honored,” she said. “I am still going to garden. But I am not going to enter next year.”
Like many champions, Rita Briggs is retiring undefeated!
Westlake in Bloom
Westlake in Bloom is a friendly competition among residents, organizations and businesses in the Westlake community competing in categories ranging from window boxes to residential landscaping. Each year, hundreds of participants compete for first, second and third place awards. Special efforts are recognized with Awards of Distinction.