Wednesday, August 3, 2011

South End Garden Tour 2011

Every year I spend a day peeking into the beautiful back yards of the good people of the South End. If you've visited Boston you'll know this area is known for its brownstones, cobbled streets, and fantastic shopping and eating. Its also the neighbourhood of a dear friend of mine, and it's she that I get to do the South End Garden Tour with (um, but that's not us in the pic!).

The tour is varies each year, going to different homes and gardens, and revealing new things. This year there were artists at a lot of the venues, painting artwork that would later be sold at a reception. I also had the pleasure of meeting Didi, the Italian Greyhound at one of the gardens, seeing an amazing rooftop of an ex-fire station and finding those little details at each place that made it special.

The day started off at the lovely Buttery. Nom nom! A little coffee and a bite to sustain our ambling.

One of the first places we saw was Montgomery Park (like all the pics in this post, you can click on it to see it bigger). These amazing hidden gardens are actually a large shared park behind houses of the same name, and shared by the residents of those homes. Most of the time we were there, my friend and I were plotting how we could move in!

As we walked from there to the next stop on the tour, I had a chance to really appreciate the architecture of the neighbourhood. How is it that even if you live somewhere, you hardly ever slow down to really look?

We also got a sneaky peek inside some of the homes! How fantastic is that wallpaper on the left? And how clever to have French Doors that open like a balcony?

The night before the Boston ice hockey team, the Bruins, had won the Stanley Cup for the first time. So just a couple miles away the team was parading through Boston... the entire garden tour had a soundtrack of news helicopters overhead, and for the first time ever, I saw a huge flag flown from a building in Boston. It was gigantic.

But the highlight of the day were the gardens, of course.

It was great. Can't wait for next year!


Emily said...

Great day, great pictures with a great friend

kbd said...

it was fun! I owe you the pics from this year... and last :)

Eyepictures said...

Great pics .... typically selected and positioned with your usual care: lovely!

There is a scheme here in the UK (NGS or Yellow Book that arranges to open private gardens for charity though the year .... sometimes it's a group in an area that open once a year ( bit like your South End day) others open more often under the same aegis. Participants occasionally lay on teas (with home made cakes) and in some places plants are offered for sale ...It's win win is raised for good causes and visitors can 'snoop' and get ideas for their own spaces on a human scale (ie not grand visions put in place by teams of proffesionals) and buy interesting plants that are often not generally available in the garden centres....

I only get to a few now and again as I usually notice the signs on the street the week after the openings but if you get your act together (as in get 'the book' and lay time aside) it can be great fun!!

Carrie said...

Lovely photos, K! I love the ones of the doors (#23 is my fav, with the starfish) and the shells that are hidden throughout the gardens. So pretty! I hope to join you guys next year!

kbd said...

David, you should make a plan next year! There is no more pleasant way to spend the day... maybe the South End people can take a leaf (har har) from the UK group and do plant sales. That would be great!

Carrie, I will let you know when it is next year. Would love to have you join us!