Open Gardens 2.0: Worth the wait!
by FGS Roving Reporter Bruno Rubio.
Gardeners in the Center South and Park sections hosted the second Open Gardens Night on August 15. July’s Open Gardens was a casualty of a 2-inch downpour that had the bad taste to strike in the hours just before the start of the event. The silver lining: Combining the two sections put lots of beautiful and inspirational gardens on display.
Olga has gardened for a total of 18 years in the Fenway and 4 years in her current plot, which was tended for many years by the late and beloved Jimmy. He was always happy to fix problems with the watering system despite his advanced age and vision loss and might be pleased, I think, with the lovely job of stewardship Olga has accomplished. She moved dozens of rocks, hundreds of bricks, and a myriad of plants in just two weeks from her former garden. Olga laid out her space in accord with some basic principles of feng-shui: twisty-turny paths that allow Qi (energy) to flow smoothly. Olga says, “People stop by and are attracted and they don’t know why, but I think it’s the feng-shui.”
Gary, a 29-year veteran of the Victory Garden, claims he has “more of a Spring garden”, but his plot abounds with late summer beauties as well: a big Jonathan apple tree, pink and white phlox, rudbeckia, and a magnificent clump of hot magenta dahlias. He remembers the days when plots weren’t separated by proper fences, but rather just cordoned off by string. Gary says, “In my area, at least, it seems people stay for many years. It used to be that people would come in for a year, have no idea what they were getting into, and you’d never see them again. My neighbors here have such beautiful gardens: it motivates other people to really get into it, too.”
Newlyweds Tim and his wife Melissa solved the marauding critter problem currently plaguing the gardens by…planting flowers! “No vegetables this year. It usually just serves as a buffet for the rabbits in the area.”, Tim says. The couple inherited a patch of chest-high weeds and no gate three summers ago; now island planters graced by roses, hibiscus, and hosta are set off in a river of lawn.
Across the way, Tom specializes in growing vegetables and herbs in raised beds. A tip from Tom: Use shredded panty hose to trellis squash! It worked for him.
Reiney describes his garden design philosophy as “Bohemian laundry”. He arranged his place like a series of interconnected rooms: he has the “waiting room” for baby plants, the “magnolia room” adorned by a disco ball hanging from the eponymous tree, and the “lava room” set aside to exchange hot gossip. All in all, an inviting expanse, no matter which room you’re lucky enough to be relaxing in.
Thanks to Kristen and Susan, co-chairs of Open Gardens for organizing the event and to Ed and Bonnie for help with the setup. It’s such a great opportunity to meet other gardeners and to enjoy the many ways each of us expresses our individuality and creativity. Our little friend Astrid reminds us of the goodies in store at the season’s third and final Open Gardens night on September 19 from 5-7 PM.