Fenway resident and District 8 city council hopeful Kris-ten Mobilia had the dual distinction of winning first place in the Vegetable or Herb garden category and being named a 2020 Hall of Fame inductee in Mayor Martin J. Walsh’s Garden Contest last week.
“My garden is unique because I grow artichokes, un-like most people, and all my tomatoes are grown from seed…and I have about a dozen different varieties of them,” Mobila said.
Since her apartment offers no greenspace, Mobilia opted to grow a Vegetable or Herb garden in the Fenway Victory Gardens, which placed second and third place in that category last year and in the 2017 Garden Contest, respectively. She entered the contest one other time, but her the judging panel overlooked her submission that year.
Mobilia lauded the long-running Garden Contest for bringing together gardeners from across the city together, including members of the Fenway Victory Gardens, of which she has been a member for the past 20 years.
“I think it’s really important to have a connection to greenspace, especially for those who garden in the city’s community gardens,” Mobilia said.
Trailing Mobilia in the Vegetable or Herb garden category in this year’s Garden Contest were Pasqualino Cerro of Hyde Park in second place and Molly Beinfeld of Roxbury in third.
Other first-place winners in their respective categories includ-ed Dominique Hurley of East Boston for Small Yard garden; Megan Fox of Jamaica Plain for Medium Yard garden; Daryl Johnson and Rick Smith of Dorchester for Large Yard garden; Michele Topor of the North End for Porch, Balcony or Container garden; Miguel Rosales of Beacon Hill for Shade garden; Cheryl Crawford of Roslindale for Senior Yard garden; Recreo Coffee & Roasterie of West Roxbury for Storefront, Organization or Main Street District garden; and John Ruiz of the Fenway for Community garden.
Other 2020 Hall of Fame inductees are Carmen Musto; John-son and Smith; Rick Kuethe; and Torpor.
While congratulating Mobilia and this year’s other winners during an Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Suffolk Law School, Mayor Walsh described the Garden Contest as “honestly, my favorite event of the year,” adding that it has inspired him to take up gardening at home.
“Many of you put your hearts and souls into your gardens, and that’s something I want to recognize,” he said.
Walsh pointed out that a public park is at most a 10-minute walk from anywhere in the city, which he credits to the hard work of the Boston Parks Department.
Walsh also paid tribute to Norbert Strissel, JetBlue’s erstwhile chief of operations who died last year.
“He attended this Awards Ceremony every year and donated round-trip tickets,” Walsh said. “This was kind of his marquee[event]
Besides JetBlue, which provided the grand-prize pro bono, Mahoney’s Garden Centers, Boston Flower & Garden Show, Polar Beverages, ICA Boston and the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture also donated prize packages for this year’s competition.
As a Hall of Fame inductee Mobilia won’t be able to enter the Garden Contest again, but she plans to continue supporting the event, perhaps even serving as a judge if the opportunity ever arose.
“It’s great to be recognized, but I just love the event every year,” Mobila said. “As the mayor said, it’s one of his favorite events and just a great opportunity to celebrate greenspace in the city.”