2022 LTT Annual Garden Competitions winners announced

We have awarded prizes to 99 winning gardens in our 2022 Lemon Tree Trust (LTT) annual garden competitions.  

Competitions took place in nine refugee and IDP (internally displaced people) camps across the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI) this year with 11 gardens from each camp being awarded prizes. To take part, residents simply needed to have a love of gardening and to want to share their love of plants with others. Entries were judged by our camp coordinators in the region for their evident love of plants, creativity and passion for nature.  

Winners have been presented with cash prizes and certificates signed by LTT and camp managers, as well as gifts of plants and seeds. All participants have received packets of seeds as a thank you gift for taking part. 

The competitions are coordinated by Aveen Ibrahem, LTT Operations Manager, who lives in Domiz 1 camp. Aveen manages a team of camp coordinators across the region who distribute seeds and plants and encourage people to create home and community gardens promoting mental and physical health and improving local environments. They all help shortlist and select the winning gardens. 

Aveen says:

“We all love seeing how the gardens in our communities can flourish with a little love and attention. We are growing in difficult conditions and with limited resources, but gardening brings us together and helps us all remember our former lives and tell new stories about our future. People have hope when they sow their very first seed at their home shelter; they are investing in tomorrow.” 

Why garden competitions? 

Since 2016, when we first launched our garden competitions, interest from gardeners across the region has grown. In our first year, we received just 50 entries in Domiz 1 camp and in 2022, more than 2,300 entries have been received.  

Jennie Spears, who is based in the UK and helps coordinate all Lemon Tree Trust activities says: 

“Each year, we love seeing the ingenious solutions gardeners come up with to grow so much with such little space. In camps, materials and resources are limited, so it’s always inspiring to see the hand-built water fountains, vertical planting schemes and picket fencing.  

Every garden we see is different and truly reflects the personality of the gardener and how they wish to use their outside space. Whether that is a green sanctuary to pause for a while with a cup of coffee or a busy hub of activity for growing produce or a safe space for children to play.  

And we love hearing how our competitions cause quite a stir of excitement between neighbours who welcome some friendly rivalry. The competitions go beyond immaculate gardens and ‘best in show’ – they encourage conversation and connection, seed swapping and the gifting of cuttings. They are the stuff of real communities and it’s a privilege to support them.”

View all 2022 winning gardens  

Scroll down for a photograph selection of winning gardens from each camp and read details about why the gardens were awarded in our competitions.

For more images of winning gardens and the full list of 2022 winners, visit our Facebook page

Alternatively, browse our photo albums on Flickr

Bersive 1 camp

1st place (joint)

Khafshi Saado Shahin: A stunning variety of flowers, trees and shrubs all ordered in an attractive manner.

⁣Aziz Kajo Kassem: Beautiful flower borders in front of the shelter, providing a lovely view to passers by. 

2nd place (joint)

Hazem Haji Sido: Incredibly tidy space in which various trees and flowers are being cultivated. ⁣

Ghazal Ali Fandi: Vegetables, flowers and trees are being grown in these borders and the garden can be enjoyed by neighbours. Good use of old vehicle tyres which have been planted up. 
3rd place (joint)

Khalaf Kati Ibrahim: The orderly row of planted up containers ⁣ provide a warm welcome to residents.  

Halima Ibrahim Bakr: The pale pink and hot pink hollyhocks look to be reaching for the sky and there’s such a lot of lush green within this small space.

Runners up (highly commended)

Jndi Haji Hamad 
Hussein Saleh Sido  
Walid Kret Kassem 
Ziad Hafo Murad ⁣ 
Eido Haidar Alman 

Bersive 2 camp

1st place (joint)

Sabri Elias Osman: The painted pebbles that edge the flower borders really brighten the space. Great to see the established trees and different flowers. 

Sluiman Ibrahim Khdeda: Fantastic to see so much green with plants being trained for the garden archway. 

2nd place (joint)

Hasan Said Haji: This unique garden, brimming with bright colours and patterns, together with upcycled container planting schemes, showcases a lot of creative flair.

Khalid Khdeda Hussein: The bursts of pink from the hollyhocks which border the tented shelter are incredibly beautiful. This space is enjoyed by all members of the family.

3rd place (joint)

Mahmoud Ali Awsi: Stunning flowers and established trees decorate this outside space.

⁣Siban Atto Ktto: The number of different plants being successfully grown in this garden is exceptional. 
Runners up (highly commended)

⁣Khalaf Khdeda Kassem
Ibrahim Barakat Darwish
Firas Fares Sluiman
⁣Zidan Khalaf Rsho
Barakat Ami Khalaf

Domiz 1 camp

1st place (joint)

Azad Faeq Omar: This garden is wonderful to walk through – there’s so much to look at and admire.

Roshen Ahmad Hasan: A lot of care has been taken to create the flower borders around the patio – a variety of colourful flowers are being grown and decorative tiles edge the borders.

⁣2nd place (joint)

Mohammed Saaid Yousef Mohammed: The hand-built circular raised bed is impressive, as are the many plants being cared at ground level and in upcycled containers.

Stie Bashir Saadoun: Stunning pink roses and daisies which are in full bloom are a highlight in this well-tended garden.

3rd place (joint)

Reber Abdalah Yousef: Shelves upon shelves of plant pots surround the central water fountain. This gardener has created a tranquil and diverse green space with a lovely seated spot.

⁣Rogen Ahmad Seno: Excellent upcycling here – turning an old toilet and basin into plant pots.

Runners up (highly commended)⁣

Qadrie Mohammed Ali
⁣Salma Abd Alkareem Hamza
Saad Ramadan Sarhan
⁣Ahmad Hussein Omar
Sozdan Radwan Tahlo

Domiz 2 camp

1st place (joint)

Bassel Khalil Shaker: The stunning pink flowers which border the edges of the garden offer a welcoming entrance for both residents and guests alike. In addition to the beautiful view, gorgeous honey scents from one of the plants waft across the seated area – making this garden the perfect setting to relax in.

⁣Abdo Kouli Maaloum: This garden has been divided into two. The area on the left offers a green space with shrubs planted in the ground and different beds for growing roses and more; while the right-hand-side offers a space to sit amongst the pot plants and admire the view. Everything is well coordinated and thought out.

2nd place (joint)

Bahzad Akram Abdalrahman: A great entertainment space! The tiled water fountain in the centre of the garden displays plant pots and sculptures and provides relaxing sounds for garden dwellers to enjoy while seated at the table. In another corner, there is a rose garden brimming with yellow, orange, white, pink and red roses which offer a delicate scent for everyone to enjoy, including the kids.

Mahmoud Haji: It’s fantastic to see this garden chock-full with produce. We love how the space has been fully maximised to grow as in every possible area. Everything is incredibly neat and well organised.

3rd place (joint)

Skvan Suleiman: This garden has been well-designed to include a seated area with swinging seat, behind the sculpture. Hedges and trees line the well-manicured lawn.

⁣Nour Aldeen Husein: Despite the lack of space, this courtyard garden is filled with beautiful pot plants of all shapes and sizes. In addition, climbing plants are being trained up the walls and the hand-built water fountain in the corner provides soothing sounds.

Runners up (highly commended)

Nazli Mohammed Mohammed
Fawaz Shikhmos
Saad Suleiman ⁣
Akram Tayeb Ibrahim
Mamlouke Rmadan Sarhan

Essian camp

1st place (joint)

Najman Haji Khalaf: Najman and his wife have an agricultural background and continue to cultivate beautiful flowers and vegetables in their home garden today. The space helps them to enjoy nature and relive memories.

⁣Tayra Jndi Haji: Vibrant sunflowers reach for the sky in this lush green garden, and different areas, such as the lawn and patio area, offer different settings to enjoy the outside space. There’s not a day that goes by when Tayra doesn’t spend time in garden with the family.

2nd place (joint)

Sarira Kassem Khadr: Don’t miss the view of colourful zinnias, roses, and vegetables in front of you! This is a beautiful space with lots to look at and enjoy demonstrating commitment.

Cosi Haji Hasn: A wonderful mix of flowers and vegetables being grown around Cosi’s tented shelter, some of which is kindly gifted to neighbours.

3rd place (joint)

Amshi Ibrahim Haji: You can’t walk by a tent without seeing the view of the pink hollyhocks and orange poppies. This is a well organised space, reflecting Amshi and family’s great love for gardening.

Murad Hasn Taalo: Despite the small space, the front of Murad’s tent is decorated with beautiful varieties of flowers and vegetables, all planted up in cheerful blue pots and containers.

Runners up (highly commended)

Coujar Sluiman Khalaf
Khairi Diban Khlaf
⁣Laila Mahmoud Dakhil ⁣
Dawoud Khlaf Kassem
⁣Sabri Jaso Khlaf

Gawillan camp

1st place (joint)

Fatima Ahmad Jwhar: The water fountain which uses recycled water is the focal point of the garden. We like how a variety of flowers and shrubs have been planted up as a decorative surround to the fountain and plants are being trained up the walls to brighten the grey blockwork.

⁣Lokman Mohammed Mohammed: Pots galore! The cheerful yellow pots and well organised on shelving and at ground-level creating a wonderful display in this small courtyard garden.

2nd place (joint)

Amir Mai Ayo: Yellow canna lilies steal the show in the border dividing the lawn and pathway to the front door. Beautiful coordination and diversity of plants.

Mohammed Zaki Ibrahim Othman: There’s a broad diversity of plants being grown in this backyard – there’s so much to look at and enjoy. We applaud the gardener with their upcycling efforts.

3rd place (joint)

Adnan Mohammed Ahmad: Amongst the many pots, there is a wonderful rose bush, as well as a variety of basil plants. Great efforts have been made here in terms of recycling and organising sections of the garden.

Khalaf Hussein Abbas: There is a wide variety of plants being grown here and the gardener is commended for his use of recycled water.

Runners up (highly commended)

Bouzan Afandi Karao
Mahmoud Mohamme Bakr
Badria Abd Allah Sholo
Sharifa Hasan Alhasan
Kljhan Mohammed Latif Bakri

Kabartu 1 camp

1st place (joint)

Murad Suleiman Ali: Despite the tiny space, there are many beautiful shrubs and flowers growing.

⁣Yasser Shmo Hasan: This garden has a glorious peach tree – such a delight to see.

2nd place (joint)

Omran Abd Ibrahim: There is great success with the roses in this green space, in addition to many vegetables being grown. The gardener also keeps chickens and enjoys a regular bounty of eggs.

Ghzale Khalaf Haji: Fantastic to see the green edge the borders of the shelted tent and the chairs have been positioned in a shady spot with a view looking down the pathway.

3rd place (joint)

Eido Elias Khder: This is a lovely sqaure garden surrounded by trees. Eido is also growing plants in upcyled containers.

⁣Jamal Khalaf Hamad: Great to see the green decorating the entrance to the tent for both residents and neigbours.

Runners up (highly commended)⁣

Azad Mashko Ali
Ahmad Khalid Ali
Dlvan Khalf Hamad
Zaido Khdeda Darwish
Othman Kader Khder

Kabartu 2 camp

1st place (joint)

Mouhin Dahar Dawoud: Grapes galore! Mouhin is successfully growing a variety of fruit trees including grapes, pomegranates, peaches and apricots.

⁣Jaklen Nayef Shmo: Despite limited resources such as water in the camp, Jaklen has worked hard to develop the green area in terms of agricultural diversity and is very well cared for.

2nd place (joint)

Misho Hosam Abdi: We love the curved pathway with green canopy. Even though this area is small, it is a wonderful little oasis.

Imad Said Waado: The hand-built fountain in the centre of the garden brings additional beauty to the garden. Imad and family show innovation through the use of upcycled containers and are growing many different plants, including grapes.

3rd place (joint)

Nawal Mtto Khdeda: Nawal and family are newcomers to the camp and when they heard about the competitions, they planted up their garden. It’s great to see such a lovely arrangement that has been created in a very short amount of time.

⁣Dawoud Hussein Miro: We love the green canopy and other pockets of green in this garden. Dawoud and his wife are sick and they benefit a lot from their garden from the aesthetics as well as the food they grow.

Runners up (highly commended)

Izden Elias Hji
Barjas Rsho Ali
Bakr Hasn Adi
Jamila Dhar Nasser
Hazem Darwish Badl

Khanki camp

1st place (joint)

Hind Ibrahim Kolo: This garden is striking and unique – it certainly catches your attention when walking by. The bright red and black fencing really contrast against the green. In addition, plants have been potted up in old plastic containers and beautifully displayed.

Wedad Khero Khalaf: Another garden with character! We love the distinctive blue and lime green fencing which help to frame the garden like an artistic painting. The seating area provides a wonderful view of the many flowers being grown.

2nd place (joint)

Maher Kassem: This garden is a good size and is incredibly well-tended. The neat lawn is enclosed with beautiful borders and efforts have been made to introduce plenty of height and texture. This garden is a great space for spending time with family and friends, and there is a lovely view and facade of the tent. The budgies enjoy a great view, too!

Sawsan Sllo Kassem: This is one of the most neatest gardens we have seen. The fairly large area is beautifully arranged and contains many different types of flowers, including lots of vibrant zinnias.

3rd place (joint)

Magida Hmid: This integrated garden has many types of plants, including beautiful flowers and trees that give a stunning view of the house. The whole garden is very attractive and planted in a beautiful way.

⁣Saad Kreet Badl: Colour, colour, colour! This cheerful space is organised in a different way and we love the effort that has gone into building and painting the blue and pink picket fence and seating. The delicate floral wall behind the benches is delightful. The hanging pots from the tree and many ornamental plants make for a beautiful view and façade.

Runners up (highly commended)⁣

Fardos Hamd Farza
Kawal Saleh Ahmad
Ismael Khder Nmer
Hussein Ali
Ahmad Barakat Dawood

Want to help us to support more displaced people to create beautiful home gardens?

The Lemon Tree Trust welcomes one-off and regular donations. To make a donation, please go to: lemontreetrust.org/donate.

Our core infrastructure costs are fully funded so 100% of your donation directly supports gardening projects and initiatives in refugee communities.

  • $1 / £1 can give a family a packet of vegetable seeds 
  • $5 / £5 can provide a family a basket of nutritious produce 
  • $25 / £25 can fund a Home Garden Starter Kit for a new family arriving in the camp, containing a Home Garden Manual, seeds, tools, a grow-bag and a children’s gardening activity

Thank you.


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