The State Botanical Garden of Georgia’s Christian Fox picked up a first-place prize in the 40th annual National Collegiate Landscape Competition.

Fox took home top honors in Annual and Perennial Plant Identification a year after finishing fourth. He serves as a greenhouse assistant at the garden, a unit of Public Service and Outreach at the University of Georgia.

Fox finished 10 1/2 points ahead of North Georgia Technical College’s Scarlett Kilby in the contest held at Mississippi State University. The field included 83 competitors from across the country.

Fox’s wife, Macy, finished second in Interior Plant Identification, falling a half-point behind winner Logan Castagno of Brigham Young University-Idaho. Both Christian and Macy plan to graduate from UGA in December with degrees in horticulture.

“Christian and his wife Macy are valued staff members at the Garden,” said SBG Director Wilf Nicholls. “And knowing how plant identification skills are waning it is so great to work with a young man who knows his species from his cultivars.”

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition is a three-day event for students pursuing degrees in interior and exterior horticulture programs at two- and four-year colleges. This year, 62 college teams made up of 770 students participated in 28 competitions. The event is conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals.