South End Garden Tour 2016

On Saturday I volunteered as a "garden sitter" for the South End Garden Tour. Volunteer time is required for my Master Urban Gardener course, but I also got free admission to the rest of the tour. The weather was perfect and I enjoyed my shady post in Dartmouth Square.

I didn't get to all the gardens on the tour but my priority was to visit the community gardens. This chart lists of all the Trustees community gardens in Boston by neighborhood, with square footage, # of plots, and map location.

The Clarendon St garden was very cozy and packed with flowers and vegetables. There were 20 plots and some shared areas. The roses and clematis were especially impressive. I wonder if this garden warms up faster because of the surrounding brick buildings.

In comparison, the Berkeley Community Garden on Tremont Street is huge - 47,516 square feet and 158 plots. They also have a nice little website with lots of good info. This garden is open to the public during daylight hours most of the year.

Some of the plots are almost garden rooms, with furniture and art, while other are very vegetable focussed. Everyone is allowed to express their own style - as long as it doesn't block a neighbor's sunlight.

Many of the Berkeley gardeners grow asian vegetables. There seemed to be a common style. Greens were spaced very close together, often in raised beds and plots had wire roofs with shopping bags hanging down to scare off birds or rabbits. I may have to try rabbit scare-bags at my plot.

When I visited, gardeners were sun-drying some kind of radish - maybe daikon?

The South End is one of those "you can't get there from here" neighborhoods from my far end of Cambridge, but it was worth the trip.