Spotlight on excellence

Highlighting the know-how of horticulture and botanic arts is the primary purpose of “Les Journées des Plantes”. To do this, the organisers focus on three categories of prizes awarded by juries of international experts: Merits, Recommendations and Botanic Certificates awarded to plants, Selection awarded to objects and creations, and Prizes awarded to stands.

Merits, Recommendations and Botanic Certificates

Awarded since 1989 by a unique, diverse, prestigious and independent jury – made up of ten leading European gardeners – the Merits, Botanic Certificates & Recommendations are the counterparts, in the “Botanic and Horticultural” category, of the Selection.


The principles

Plants likely to receive prizes/awards are classified in the following categories:

  • trees
  • shrubs
  • conifers
  • roses
  • climbing plants
  • ornamental grasses
  • ferns
  • perennials
  • annual/biennial plants
  • alpine plants
  • bulbs
  • temperate greenhouse tropical plants
  • orangery tropical plants


Plants are observed with “gardening eyes” by the jury members according to their beauty, charm and originality; the jury’s selection criteria are:

  • usefulness for the garden,
  • rarity and botanic or horticultural interest,
  • quality of presentation,
  • availability in nurseries.

Naturally, the “competing” plants may be horticultural innovations, but they may also be forgotten plants that deserve to be rediscovered, interesting specimens (in shape, blossoms, foliage, etc.) of well-known common plants or especially attractive plants.

Some of them have already been bred, others are the breeding ground for up and coming varieties to be put on the market.

Merits do not define a classification, they indicate a level: a category can therefore be awarded several Merits, whereas another may be deliberately deprived of any distinctions.


A Merit is the highest award for new or rediscovered plants with recognised qualities that are especially interesting or likely, in the long term, to be widely distributed.

A Recommendation is the award given to new or recently introduced plants that are not yet sufficiently tried and tested to aspire to a Merit.

The Botanic Certificate is the highest award for plants of great botanic or horticultural interest that are difficult to produce or market.

Lastly, we would like to point out that, provided they are sponsored, plant lovers can enter their plants in the show whether they are collectors, nursery professionals or knowledgeable novices.


All stands compete for all of the awards given at “Les Journées des Plantes”. Prizes are completely independent from one another. One can only be a member of a single jury. The deliberations of each jury are secret, including from the other juries.


The Domain of Chantilly Award

This award will be given for the “About the Garden” and “Botanic and Horticultural” sections to the stand that best complies with the requirements and recommendations of the Exhibitors’ Charter (quality, pedagogy and labelling) and more generally that is most in keeping with the spirit of “Les Journées des Plantes”. The Jury is made up of members of the Selection Committee.


The Roger de Vilmorin Award – A.P.B.F

This award is given for the botanic quality of the entire stand, both for the choice of plants and the accuracy of labelling. The Jury is made up of members designated by the APBF – the Association of French Botanic Parks.


The Domain of Courson Award

This award is given for quality of presentation, more specifically for the aesthetic and creative aspects.


The Theme Award

This award is given for quality of presentation of the stand relating to the theme of the session. It is voted by the “Botanic and Horticultural” Committee.


The Press Award

This award is given to an exhibitor who, by choice or presentation of products, generated an appealing written or audiovisual communication. The jury is made up of journalists specialising in horticulture and gardens.


The Collections Award

This award is given to an exhibitor at “Les Journées des Plantes” for presenting a specialised plant collection that is as exhaustive as possible. The jury is chosen by the C.C.V.S. – the French Conservatory of Specialised Plant Collections – whose judgement criteria it applies.


The Catalogue Award (annual)

It is given once a year at the spring session and is aimed at encouraging nurseries to raise awareness, in a specific manner, of their plants and to highlight their entire production. The jury is made up of gardening specialists and is chaired by the chairperson of the C.P.J.F. – the Committee of French Parks and Gardens.


The Worshipful Company of Gardeners Award

This award is given at the spring sessions by the Gardeners’ Guild of the City of London. It is given to an expert who significantly contributed to developing “Les Journées des Plantes”.


Since May 1992, the “About the Garden” Selection Committee has been distinguishing a certain number of creations for the garden that make up the Selection.

These products, which can be classic or recent creations, useful or the jury’s “special favourites” are selected based on innovation, usefulness or type of use.

The Selection covers: garden furniture, decorative objects for terraces and gardens, material, equipment and some “gardening and botanic” artists…