Sanpete Beautiful Yard Contest winners announced

Tristy and Kevin Christensen of Ephraim sit in their gardens with their 5-year old son, Luke. The couple won the first-place spot in the Sanpete Messenger’s 2nd annual “Most Beautiful Yards of Sanpete” contest, earning them $500 in gardening-related merchandise and gift cards from the contest’s generous sponsors.

Sanpete Beautiful Yard Contest winners announced

Robert Stevens

Managing editor

July 20, 2017


The results are in for the Sanpete Messenger’s 2nd Annual “Most Beautiful Yards of Sanpete” contest, and it’s easy to see why the top three made the winners’ circle. Click here to take you to the full, four-page special section with dozens of photos.

With more than a dozen entries, the winners—all or which have unique qualities—are local gems that highlight the hard work, resourcefulness and eye for aesthetics their Sanpete-resident owners are capable of.

Tristy and Kevin Christensen of Ephraim received the first-place award with their immaculate property, peppered with a large variety of local and artisan vegetation, a bevy of fruit trees and berries, and a meticulous approach to the aesthetic and stewardship of their yard and gardens.

Claudia and Blaine Nielson of Axtell earned second-place with the sprawling property that is their family legacy—a farmhouse surrounded by botanical garden-style growth that is a constant work-in-progress nearly 30 years in the making.

Dee and Jim Rosser of Ephraim took third-place by transforming a flat and generic property into a beautiful and clean tribute to both old and new growth and building methods in only a year and a half. Making thoughtful use of limited space, repurposing with every opportunity and implementing some novel growing concepts made their landscape seem uniquely attractive, Spartan and sturdy—all while standing out from their neighboring properties.

The winners were decided using a mathematical scoring system, judged be experienced independent contest judge Jason Gibbens of Manti. Gibbens has an academic background in horticulture, botany and soil science, and ran the Snow College greenhouses for five years. He also helped found the Snow Roots Gardening Club five years ago and has acted as a county and state fair judge in horticulture and gardening many times.

The contest is part of an effort by the Sanpete Messenger to promote pride in the properties of Sanpete residents. “An event like this has a lot of value to the community,” Giobbens said.. “We live here, so we should take every opportunity to improve if we can.”

Through the generous donations of contest co-sponsors, the winners will receive $500, $300 and $200 prizes, respectively, in gardening merchandise and gift cards.

The first year of the contest was a resounding success. It not only drew many beautiful entries but won the Sanpete Messenger first-place in the “Best Community Event” category of the Utah Press Association’s (UPA) Better Newspaper Contest, as well as first place in the UPS’s “Bright Ideas” competition at the association’s Winter Convention.

Contest sponsors were IFA of Ephraim, Horseshoe Mountain Home Center of Mt. Pleasant, Lindsay Gardens of Manti, Rasmussen Ace Hardware of Gunnison and the Walmart Garden Center.