Winners of the Monitor's first photo contest

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When we set up a Gardening With the Monitor group on Flickr, we weren't sure what to expect, but it wasn't long before members appeared -- and lots and lots of wonderful garden and nature photos. As we clicked from one group of impressive plant images to another, we were impressed.

Each one seemed more appealing than the one before. What about having a photo contest, we wondered, and ask a professional photographer to decide which were the best.

So I approached Alfredo Sosa, the Monitor's director of photography – who's also an outstanding home gardener – to see if he would be willing to judge it.

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He was enthusiastic, so we announced the contest. And now we're ready to announce the winners.

Plus, we're going to announce a new contest.

First place goes to Angela Sevin, whose Flickr photos are tagged angela7dreams. The photo at right is one of her pictures, and you can  click here to view her whole photo stream on Flickr. Wow! You may also read more about Angela here.

We didn't know till after we told her she'd won that she's subscribed to the Monitor since 1990. She was "raised by gardening parents (at one time we had over 70 tomato plants!)," she says.  As her prize, Angela receives a copy of the book "Backyards: A Sunset Design Guide," which includes an interactive DVD.

Second place goes to Jean Wheelerjpotter3 on Flickr. The first photo above is one of her winning images. You can access her photo stream here. She receives "The Ever-Blooming Flower Garden" (subtitled "A Blueprint for Continuous Color"), by Lee Schneller

Third place goes to Ellen Luhman, whose Flickr photos are listed under the name carex grayii. See one of her winning photos by clicking at the arrow the base of the photo above, where it says "Photos 1 of 2." Her whole photo stream is here. We're sending her the book Tropicalismo! by Pam Baggett.

And the next contest? Veggies! Juicy tomatoes, unusual squash. elegant eggplants --  whatever you think will make a good photograph. All vegetable photos up on the Gardening With the Monitor site on Aug. 11, 2009, will be eligible for a prize.

Visit the Flickr group often to see  what photos are going up -- and make comments on your favorites. You can also ask garden questions at the site. And don't forget to bookmark and drop by the main Monitor gardening page -- you'll now find at least one new blog post and two new gardening articles there each weekday. Consider it a mini gardening magazine.

And finally, you can also follow us on Twitter.

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