9th Annual Gardens on Munjoy Hill Have One for Everyone

Vana & Ralph Carmona with Bardo & Ann Landsberg and Tim Baehr, Two of the Three Condo Owners. 105 North Street.

Vana & Ralph Carmona with Bardo the Cat & Ann Landsberg and Tim Baehr, Two of the Three Condo Owners. 105 North Street.

Jay Norris, President of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization& Aynne Doil, Chair of the Hidden Garden Tour.

Jay Norris, President of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization & Aynne Doil, Chair of the Hidden Garden Tour, at 92 Congress Street Where the Tour Started at 10:00 am.

The Arbor at 11 Munjoy Street.

The Arbor at 11 Munjoy Street Covered with Red Roses and Purple Clematis.

105 North Street Collaborative Effort.

105 North Street Hidden Garden is a Collaborative Effort.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,356)

It was the perfect end to an inspiring day on Munjoy Hill! for a non-gardner. The last stop on the eleven garden stop on the annual tour of hidden gardens hit the spot. Although it was one of the first stops listed in the self-guide, the 90 degree plus heat and only occasional breeze short-circuited the tour for mhn.com.  Darn!

The 9th annual Hidden Gardens on Munjoy Hill had one for everyone. A pocket garden, a berry garden and a gathering place for neighbors – take your pick because it was all there and all inspiring to see.

Perhaps it was the lush green plants of the large backyard garden at 105 North Street that made this garden an oasis in the city. Or perhaps it was the collaboration of three condos owners that made this garden so special.  “With the help of Aleve, Tylenol and Celebrex, we get through it all, “said Ann Landsberg, one of the retired condo owners and apparently the group spokesperson, who has put countless hours into the construction of the below right retreat from the world. “The four of us usually see the garden about l l/2 ft. from the ground – on our hands and knees.  It’s all Vana’s fault,” Landsberg continued, laughing, looking at her neighbor, Vana Carmona,  seated across from her in a shady corner of the garden.  “Vana was the driving force behind this project. We have a personal relationship with each of the rocks in this garden.  We know their families and their histories,” as the kidding went on between them all.(See above left photo.)  Many of the rocks have been given names; Sisyphus, T.Rex, etc.

At 11 Munjoy Street, is a ‘pocket’ garden that was begun in 2004 when the owner’s children grew up and left the nest. Talking about all the snow this past winter, the owner called it “the poor mans mulch.”  It did such a wonderful job of insulating the garden, that it protected the plants during the cold temperatures. A highlight of the garden is an arbor covered with purple clematis and red roses.   “I’m really glad to see what can be done with pocket gardens,” said Kristina Bond.  (See above left.)

Lobster rolls, chips and cold water were on the garden tour as well.  Thoughtfully provided by Crandall Toothaker and his family at 224 Eastern Promenade, they provided a delightful respite from the walking and viewing along the self-guided tour.  It was also a chance to envy the new Berry Garden – bursting with blue berries and raspberries soon to ripen for tenants to enjoy.  Thank you Crandall for lunch!

“People were really excited to see us back this year,” said Aynne Doil, chair of the Hidden Gardens of Munjoy Hill.  Last year the garden tour took a break because of the restoration work on Ft. Allen Park, Eastern Promenade.  Final ticket sales figures were not available, but it appeared to be another successful tour.  (See above right photo.)