Following the Noordhoek Open Gardens event earlier this month, organisers have awarded the owners of the 12 gardens that were on display at this year’s event.The annual garden show is organised by On The Verge, a community initiative to beautify the spaces in Noordhoek. It provides jobs for six gardeners who work in the area. Keeping the leafy, green community beautiful may seem an easy task, but the residents have put significant effort into thoughtful gardening.Andy Mills, a member of On The Verge, explained: “Silvermine nature reserve is the backdrop of Noordhoek, so there’s a sense of responsibility, of being a custodian of the ground on which you live. People here are quite passionate about the flora and fauna. Noordhoek is special in this way. It is a caring community.”The idea of thoughtful gardening, which considers sustainability and ecosystems, is epitomised by Tristan Holme, who received recognition for his permaculture garden. Permaculture, he said, is “a conscious design system for sustainable human living”.He built his garden in response to unsustainable living. “It’s about seeing connections. How can we look to nature and draw principles that will allow us to come back into alignment with nature, have all of our needs met, enhance our quality of life, and not only be sustainable, but regenerative on the environment?”The answer is his garden. He allows the chickens to live in a mobile chicken coop (a chicken tractor) which he places strategically so they can feed naturally on the leftover greens after a harvest, eat the pest eggs which reduces the need for pesticides and provides fertilizer to the area in the form of their droppings. He received his award at an intimate ceremony hosted at the Maesteg Garden Retreat in Noordhoek.The recipients of excellence awards were: . Angela Gomes for outstanding effort and excellence in the food category; . Tone Alexander for excellence in the formal garden category; . Nola Viotti for outstanding effort and excellence in the indigenous garden category; . Antje and Bernard Madden for excellence in the indigenous garden category; . Penny and Dirk Fyfe for their magnificently planted new garden; . Tristan Holme for informative tours and an excellent permaculture garden; and . Joy Nightingale for outstanding effort and excellence in the small garden category.Award recipients not in attendance were: . Samantha and Andrew Hart for excellence in a large garden and clivia breeding; . Kim Baxter for excellence in a medium garden; . Louise and Bruce Fyfe for excellence in viticulture; . Metro Organic for excellence in a food garden; and . Kathy and Gavin Fish for excellence in a large garden.Angela Torrente, who assists in organising Open Gardens, said: “Thank you to everyone here; without you, we wouldn’t be able to run On The Verge.” She added that they were able to clear R50 000 this year, and while it was R13 000 less than last year, this money will be well spent to employ the gardeners and to keep the community beautiful. She also thanked all those who contributed towards the awards and Noordhoek Tourism.