Back in 1996, the Star Tribune’s Home & Garden section tried something new — inviting readers to send in photos of their favorite gardens. By 1999, this summer ritual had a name — the Beautiful Gardens contest — with the winners showcased throughout the non-gardening season when Minnesotans are eager to look at something green and beautiful during the long winter months. This annual contest has been one of our most popular and enduring features. Over the years, more than 130 gardens have been chosen Beautiful Gardens. We’ve featured tiny city plots where gardeners have made the most of their small urban spaces. We’ve featured sprawling country gardens with acreage to spare, where gardeners have created their own private arboretums. We’ve brought you Asian gardens, vegetable gardens, cottage gardens and sculpture gardens — we’ve seen and celebrated them all. Once again we’re seeking the best residential gardens in Minnesota and western Wisconsin by asking readers to share their favorites. It’s easy to nominate a garden. Just send a brief description of the garden, where it’s located and who tends it — along with a few snapshots showing the garden in its glory. A panel will re...