Chicago couple transforms front lawn into award-winning garden

Who says bigger is better? One city-sized garden is getting special recognition and paying off for a Jefferson Park couple.

Jessica Grzegorski and Bradon Webb won first place in the 7th Annual Chicago Bungalow Association Garden Contest.

"We entered on a whim," said Grzegorski. "I'm surprised we won."

One of 96 entries, the garden is filled with native plants that Grzegorski said, practically take care of themselves.

"During the recent heatwave I think we watered once," she said.

Yet they come back each year attracting pollinators, and neighbors who often ask about the garden, which is exactly how Webb and Grzegorski started their front yard oasis.


"We took inspiration from our neighbors and took note of the things we liked and saw how we could adopt them for our particular yard," Grzegorski said.

The small garden creates big impact with a variety of plants, colors and textures. The first-place prize included a special hand-crafted plaque and $500 that they promptly spent on more plants.

New to gardening, this librarian and designer encourage anyone to give it a try. They said their best advice is to start small and spend some time at a local nursery.