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Altadena Heritage To Present Annual Golden Poppy Awards During Online Celebration of Altadena Gardens

Published on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 | 7:51 pm

Altadena Heritage members join together for an online awards ceremony and celebration of Altadena gardens that “give to the street” on Sunday May 17.

The annual Golden Poppy Awards celebrate the creativity of all Altadena’s gardeners, and bring special attention to four of the community’s best front gardens. Judges from the Board of Altadena Heritage tour all of Altadena’s streets every spring to select gardens that enhance neighborhoods with their beauty and design, with special reference to environmental sustainability – drought tolerance and native species are encouraged.

This year’s winners featured a Japanese-inspired garden, a minimalist modern cactus garden, a native cottage-style garden, and a drought tolerant garden with exceptional color all year round.

The 2020 Golden Poppy Award winners are:
1. Gil and Joan Acosta – 2951 Santa Rosa Avenue
2. Maita Prout – 2787 Highview Avenue
3. Paul Schimley – 2122 Grand Oaks Avenue
4. Taylor Jacobson and John Knuth – 471 W. Mariposa Street

The awards have been held for seventeen years and over a hundred gardens have been awarded the coveted bronze Golden Poppy plaques.  Winners get to proudly display the plaque for two years before each is handed over to a new set of winners. The awards celebration is usually held in a beautiful Altadena garden but due to Covid 19 the event was moved online, where each garden was featured in a short video presentation.

Sharon Sand, Chairman of Altadena Heritage said, “We all missed getting together to celebrate these wonderful gardens, but it is great to see such community spirit in joining to acknowledge the winners.”

Michele Zack, local historian, chair of the judging panel and long time member of the Altadena Heritage Board said, “This year’s gardens exemplify the amazing diversity of Altadena gardens. Since we don’t know who the owners are of the gardens, we choose beforehand, it is always a pleasure to surprise them with the news. Sometimes they are already members of Altadena Heritage, but usually not. A complimentary membership is part of the award, and many Golden Poppy Winners have gone on to become loyal members, with one even joining our board!”

2020 winner Taylor Jacobson said, “As a first-time homeowner in Altadena and a novice gardener, I’m amazed and thrilled that our garden is being recognized by Altadena Heritage. We are so happy to be a part of this diverse and interesting community.”

After the short video of each winning garden, those joining the online presentation asked questions of the winners, and members were able to socialize online for a while.

“We look forward to celebrating the Altadena Heritage Golden Poppy Awards together in person again next year,” said Sand.

To receive a link for the virtual event, go to

Altadena Heritage is a nonprofit volunteer-based advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and raising awareness of our foothill community’s rich architectural, environmental, and cultural heritage.

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