The Charleston Horticultural Society, made up of 1,400 members who are dedicated to Lowcountry plant cultivation, is partnering with Charleston Magazine to host the first annual Charleston Window Box Contest.

Both professional designers and homeowners are invited to submit their window box photographs to chashortsoc.org. The fine print: all window boxes should be created between November 2012 and March 24, 2013 within a 30-mile radius of peninsular Charleston. Professionals may submit as many different designs as they want from as many clients as they desire, so long as permission is obtained. Homeowners may only submit one design.

On March 24, professionals in fields like landscape design, architecture, horticulture, and garden writing will select five finalists from both the professional and homeowner categories. Other professionals in the field will choose the finalists in the professional category. But for the homeowner category, the finalists will be listed on the Charleston Magazine website, where everyone can vote for their favorites from March 25 to April 10.

Now for the fun part: All winners will be announced on Thurs. April 11, between 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Fete, the preview party of PLANTASIA. PLANTASIA is the Charleston Horticultural Society’s annual springtime green market for plant lovers, and it is free and open to the public, but tickets for Fete are $50 each. Guests attending Fete will be able to shop with PLANTASIA vendors early and mingle with plant enthusiasts from all over.

This is the Charleston Horticultural Society’s first citywide contest, and the organization looks forward to sharing their love of gardening with the Lowcountry. Executive director of the Horticultural Society, Kyle Barnette, explains that a window box contest is the perfect event because they are already popular Charleston garden accessories. “Simply walking down any street in Charleston you can appreciate the vibrant creativity of the window boxes,” says Barnette. “Gardening, and in particular these window boxes, allows anyone to express their personality and emotions in a very specific way, which is what makes this contest so exciting.”

Check out chashortsoc.org for more information.