South End Garden Tour Hits Columbus Avenue Area June 15

From roof-decks with flair to Zen corners in garden patios, this year’s South End Garden Tour will have a variety of things to take in for participants during the Saturday, June 15, tour.

From roof-decks with flair to Zen corners in garden patios, this year’s South End Garden Tour will have a variety of things to take in for participants during the Saturday, June 15, tour.The 2019 South End Garden Tour will be on Saturday, June 15 from 10am to 4pm. This year’s tour is centered on gardens and green spaces in and around the Rutland Square, Pilot Block, Claremont Park, and the Chester Square neighborhoods. A mix of public and private spaces including private back yards, front gardens, roof deck gardens, community gardens, and neighborhood ‘pocket parks.’
ROOF DECK GARDENINGOne of the special features in the Garden Tour is the dazzling array of roof-deck gardens that are highlighted on the tour.Two very special entries are those of Carey Erdman and Carl Kraenzel, and that of Michelle Lamboy and Joshua Fiedler.In the center of the block on Wellington Street in the Claremont neighborhood, Erdman and Kraenzel feature a roof-deck that originally sold them on their home more than 20 years ago.When seeing the home for the first time, they discovered that it had been in a fire and major work/renovations needed to be done. It was a buzzkill at first because they loved the area, but they were skeptical.Then they visited the roof deck.“We came up to the roof-deck and saw the view and it was the icing on the cake,” Erdman said.Both he and Kraenzel found the deck with two pots of dirt and nothing much to speak of in them.However, since that time they’ve created an oasis with a 360-degree view of the city. “My family was big gardeners and I had my first garden when I was 6,” he said. “Every place I lived, I have plants on little patios. I’d never been in a place with an entire deck so it wasn’t long before there were a lot more than two pots on the roof.”Both said that roof-deck gardening is rather tough, so it takes more thinking and creativity.For Erdman, they created a drip irrigation system on the cheap, using hoses they devised and putting it on a timer – which keeps them from having to water so often and also helps keep plants alive.“I think a drip irrigation system is a no-brainer for anyone with a roof deck garden,” he said. “You really have to water every day on a roof. One weekend you can lose hundreds and hundreds of dollars in plants. There is only so many times you can ask your friends and neighbors to water for you.”Lamboy, of Chester Square, said they have chosen through process of elimination to learn the plants that thrive in a roof environment, and to invest in annuals so there is very little work at the outset.“A roof deck is almost a different planting zone,” she said. “The roofs get more heat, and there is more wind and extreme temperatures. Something that might be fine at ground level can really struggle on a roof. We’ve found a few species that do well and then do more of them.”For Lamboy, of FieLD Workshop, a key element for their roof garden is keeping a soft edge on the sides.“We have constructed our roof deck so it doesn’t have a hard edge,” she said. “Many have a box feeling with a hard edge. We wanted to have a feeling of the deck being an extension of the larger landscape. We accomplished that by receded planters outside the deck. The idea is it creates a soft edge to the deck. You don’t see plants and then a black roof.”A fun piece to Erdman’s roof deck is have corn grow in planters to frame the edges of the deck.“It’s fun and we don’t do many edibles up here, but we do have corn,” he said. “There certainly are no 4-H specimens to take to the county fair, but we’re happy if we get a few small ears a year to eat.”This year, one of the things Erdman is excited about are some African Daisies he found for the first time. He said they open up with the sun and are very colorful and prolific.Lamboy said one of the plants she is very happy with is Anise Hyssop, which seems to thrive on the roof.“That plant is incredible,” she said. “It does really well on the deck and is always flowering and attracts so many bees and butterflies. It really grows fast too.”
IN THE ZEN CORNERRita Field has found a haven on her patio off of Columbus Avenue.Having the first-floor unit, she moved into the place in 1985 and started her patio garden in 1986.A highlight of the back, sun-splashed patio is a Mimosa tree.“I bought it at Mahoney’s 30 years ago,” she said. “They said it could last 20 or 30 years and I said, ‘Well, I’m not going anywhere.’ It had to be in a southern facing area that is protected from wind. That’s exactly what I have. It’s almost too far north for that tree. Just about too far north.”The tree towers above the patio, but at its height drops a cascading flower effect downward. It’s quite unique for a northern climate, and especially an urban garden.Most of what Field has collected is a collage of things given to her by neighbors or valuable things that people on the street put out in the trash.That goes for the beautiful Japanese concrete pagoda she found on the curb many years ago. She brought it into her patio and created her Zen Corner, where she has decorated the area with many types of plants.“The patio is like an extra room, and a very large extra room,” she said. “I say it is a four-season room. I come out in the winter when its 20 degrees and just sit out here. The dogs think I’m crazy, but to me it’s enjoyable.”
TICKETS, ATTRACTIONSMusicians from the Community Music Center will be playing in the gardens this year, with many great works mingling with the flowery sites. Register at the trustees.org. Tickets are $24 in advance for Trustees members or $28 at the door, and $30 in advance or $35 at the door for nonmembers. The tour begins at the South End Branch of the Boston Public Library on Tremont Street.

The 2019 South End Garden Tour will be on Saturday, June 15 from 10am to 4pm. This year’s tour is centered on gardens and green spaces in and around the Rutland Square, Pilot Block, Claremont Park, and the Chester Square neighborhoods. A mix of public and private spaces including private back yards, front gardens, roof deck gardens, community gardens, and neighborhood ‘pocket parks.’

ROOF DECK GARDENING

One of the special features in the Garden Tour is the dazzling array of roof-deck gardens that are highlighted on the tour.

Two very special entries are those of Carey Erdman and Carl Kraenzel, and that of Michelle Lamboy and Joshua Fiedler.

In the center of the block on Wellington Street in the Claremont neighborhood, Erdman and Kraenzel feature a roof-deck that originally sold them on their home more than 20 years ago.

When seeing the home for the first time, they discovered that it had been in a fire and major work/renovations needed to be done. It was a buzzkill at first because they loved the area, but they were skeptical.

Then they visited the roof deck.

“We came up to the roof-deck and saw the view and it was the icing on the cake,” Erdman said.

Both he and Kraenzel found the deck with two pots of dirt and nothing much to speak of in them.

However, since that time they’ve created an oasis with a 360-degree view of the city.

“My family were big gardeners and I had my first garden when I was 6,” he said. “Every place I lived, I have plants on little patios. I’d never been in a place with an entire deck so it wasn’t long before there were a lot more than two pots on the roof.”

Both said that roof-deck gardening is rather tough, so it takes more thinking and creativity.

For Erdman, they created a drip irrigation system on the cheap, using hoses they devised and putting it on a timer – which keeps them from having to water so often and also helps keep plants alive.

“I think a drip irrigation system is a no-brainer for anyone with a roof deck garden,” he said. “You really have to water every day on a roof. One weekend you can lose hundreds and hundreds of dollars in plants. There is only so many times you can ask your friends and neighbors to water for you.”

Lamboy, of Chester Square, said they have chosen through process of elimination to learn the plants that thrive in a roof environment, and to invest in annuals so there is very little work at the outset.

“A roof deck is almost a different planting zone,” she said. “The roofs get more heat, and there is more wind and extreme temperatures. Something that might be fine at ground level can really struggle on a roof. We’ve found a few species that do well and then do more of them.”

For Lamboy, of FieLD Workshop, a key element for their roof garden is keeping a soft edge on the sides.

“We have constructed our roof deck so it doesn’t have a hard edge,” she said. “Many have a box feeling with a hard edge. We wanted to have a feeling of the deck being an extension of the larger landscape. We accomplished that by receded planters outside the deck. The idea is it creates a soft edge to the deck. You don’t see plants and then a black roof.”

A fun piece to Erdman’s roof deck is have corn grow in planters to frame the edges of the deck.

“It’s fun and we don’t do many edibles up here, but we do have corn,” he said. “There certainly are no 4-H specimens to take to the county fair, but we’re happy if we get a few small ears a year to eat.”

This year, one of the things Erdman is excited about are some African Daisies he found for the first time. He said they open up with the sun and are very colorful and prolific.

Lamboy said one of the plants she is very happy with is Anise Hyssop, which seems to thrive on the roof.

“That plant is incredible,” she said. “It does really well on the deck and is always flowering and attracts so many bees and butterflies. It really grows fast too.”

IN THE ZEN CORNER

Rita Field has found a haven on her patio off of Columbus Avenue.

Having the first-floor unit, she moved into the place in 1985 and started her patio garden in 1986.

A highlight of the back, sun-splashed patio is a Mimosa tree.

“I bought it at Mahoney’s 30 years ago,” she said. “They said it could last 20 or 30 years and I said, ‘Well, I’m not going anywhere.’ It had to be in a southern facing area that is protected from wind. That’s exactly what I have. It’s almost too far north for that tree. Just about too far north.”

The tree towers above the patio, but at its height drops a cascading flower effect downward. It’s quite unique for a northern climate, and especially an urban garden.

Most of what Field has collected is a collage of things given to her by neighbors or valuable things that people on the street put out in the trash.

That goes for the beautiful Japanese concrete pagoda she found on the curb many years ago. She brought it into her patio and created her Zen Corner, where she has decorated the area with many types of plants.

“The patio is like an extra room, and a very large extra room,” she said. “I say it is a four-season room. I come out in the winter when its 20 degrees and just sit out here. The dogs think I’m crazy, but to me it’s enjoyable.”

TICKETS, ATTRACTIONS

Artists will return to the gardens this year and the tour will be followed by a reception and sale of their wet works. Admission to the reception and sale is included in the tour admission. Register at the trustees.org. Tickets are $24 in advance for Trustees members or $28 at the door, and $30 in advance or $35 at the door for nonmembers. The tour begins at the South End Branch of the Boston Public Library on Tremont Street.

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