The six-acre Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden, set around Maryland's state office buildings in Annapolis, is one of 32 national winners in the American Society of Landscape Architects' annual awards. The announcement was made yesterday at ceremonies at the National Academy of Sciences Auditorium.

The botanical garden is planted with native Maryland plants in a naturalistic setting. The site has no barriers to hinder access by the handicapped. It includes an education building. The garden, winner of a merit award, is named for a former Maryland first lady.

Three other local planning projects also won merit awards:

Land Design/Research, Inc. of Columbia won an award for a program developed to change Fairfax land use, zoning, planning, and transportation to save energy.

EDAW Inc. of Alexandria was honored for the Fairfax Center Area Study, which plans the land use for a 5,340 acre area for the Rte. 50/I-66 Task Force.

Donald P. Bowman of Washington won an award for "Design, Art and Architecture -- A Study of Airports," a book that looks at 40 airports and suggests ways to "provide an attractive gateway to the community while improving safety and efficency."

Honor-award winners across the country were: Flint Riverbank Park, Flint, Mich., a plan by CHNMB Associates, Inc. of San Francisco; "Great Highway/Ocean Beach Reconstruction Plan," San Francisco, by Michael Painter & Associates of San Francisco; "The National Ice Age Reserve: The Protection of Scenic Beauty in an Adversarial Setting," Cross Plains, Wis., by Bernard J. Niemann Jr. and Bruce H. Murray of Madison; and "Landscape Perception: Research, Application and Theory," by Ervin H. Zube, James L. Sell, and Jonathan G. Taylor of Tucson, Ariz.