How Their Gardens Grow

Sheryl White

Courtesy Photo
Gardener Stephen Smith is ready to greet visitors and show off his garden during the Roslindale Garden Tour June 12.

Garden tour set for June 12

Roslindale Neighbors

The 2010 Roslindale Garden Tour will be held on June 12. Award-winning community non-profit Roslindale Green & Clean (RG&C) will present eight diverse and elegant area gardens, all chosen for their creative approach to gardening in an urban environment. Proceeds from ticket sales for the tour will benefit RG&C.

The theme of this year’s tour is “See How Our Gardens Grow,” and indeed, the tour will offer visual displays of what have been deemed wonderful plants and inspirational garden designs. The gardens on the tour will welcome visitors from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. They are situated throughout Roslindale, and can be visited by car, bike or even on foot. Their exact locations will not be revealed until the day of the tour.

Gardens in the 2010 tour were selected from a long list of potential candidates. Garden committee member and RG&C board member Diane Carter Duggan said she is enthusiastic about the “variety of foliage, color, texture and year-round interest” that is evident in the gardens the committee included on the tour. She added that the committee was impressed with gardeners who dealt with challenging sites, as well as those who “put a lot of care into making their gardens.”

All tour gardens take their cue from the creative sensibilities of their owners. Several had assistance from garden designers. One garden has a miniature “woodland area” of birches, and in another, a side garden begins right where the driveway starts, flowing back along its brick surface, past prize plants to fieldstone paths bordered by a curving stone wall. Other gardens incorporate stairs leading up inclines to surprise water features and artwork. There are shade gardens filled with bouquets of ferns and epimediums, rare trees, and beds edged by luxuriant boxwood.
Garden owners Alexis and Vanessa Hayden met the challenge of a “total mess” on their three-lot site. It included a retaining wall made from “assorted pieces of galvanized aluminum.” Results include owner-installed paths, retaining walls (no aluminum in sight) and a new patio overlooking their border gardens.

Nora Williams and Tim Wilson live just up the street and also have three lots. Their garden includes plants that rival a suburban showcase, and such features as a bog garden and gazebo.

For gardener Stephen Smith, gardening is about feeling the dirt under his fingernails and the idea of having “a little oasis” in the city. He said he remembers the 2004 Roslindale tour, and that he “loved how all the community came out.”

RC&G’s Carter Duggan echoed Smith, saying, “People can draw inspiration from these gardens for their own city gardens.”

Tour tickets can be purchased now online on Roslindale Green & Clean’s web site,, or in person at Village Books, 751 South St., Roslindale. Tickets will also be available at the Roslindale Farmers’ Markets in Adams Park on June 5 (9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and on the day of the tour, June 12. Adams Park is located at Washington Street and Cummins Highway in Roslindale.

Tickets are $15 before June 6 and $20 the week of the tour. Primary sponsors are Linda Burnett, Realtor; Christie Dustman, garden design; and Jon Goodhue, architect.
Roslindale Green & Clean is a non-profit, grassroots community organization. Its mission is to design, plant and maintain public green spaces and educate the community about horticulture. This year, RG&C received the American Horticultural Society’s 2010 Urban Beautification award. Since its 2004 founding, six projects have been completed; more are planned with the proceeds from the 2010 Garden Tour
The writer is a board member of Roslindale Green & Clean and chair of the 2010 Roslindale Garden Tour Committee.

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