It’s not often that one gets to explore a neighbor’s garden, but that’s exactly what happened Sunday in Boston Harbor as part of a biennial garden tour.
The Boston Harbor Sewer Sisters Garden Tour was launched 10 years ago by longtime resident and Master Gardener Janey Koester.
After her husband passed away, Koester was looking for something to do, so she launched a tour of some of the gardens in the area. Koester’s love of creative horticulture led her to start the Sewer Sisters tour, thus showcasing some of the most beautiful gardens in Boston Harbor.
Soon after its creation, though, the tour took on a larger role. Members wanted to enhance the Shipwreck Corner green space that acts as a buffer between Boston Harbor Road and the nearby sewage treatment plant, so they used the tour to
raise money to spruce up the spot.
Shipwreck Corner was, at one time, completely overgrown, but now it’s a garden in its own right. Along with an assortment of plants, the centerpiece is an old lifeboat that was spotted on East Bay Drive and long coveted by the Sewer Sisters.
There’s also a bench and a water fountain built into one of the decorative rocks on display, designed in such a way that excess water spills into a concave rock below and can be slurped up by dogs.
Fixing up the area was important because the green space is one of the first things people see when they enter Boston Harbor, Sewer Sister member Mary Gentry said. And what was once a decrepit area became the first stop on the five-garden tour.
Gentry, along with fellow “sisters” Pam Trautman and Cam Foster-Keddie, collected a $5 charge for the tour and also distributed maps that included directions and information on each of the gardens and homeowners for visitors.
One of the featured gardens on the tour was found at the Boston Harbor home of Jim and Laurie Knowles, a garden that had a little bit of everything: flowers, fruit trees and plenty of vegetables, including corn, broccoli, cabbage and three kinds of kale.
The kale is harvested and fed mostly to their 11 chickens, Laurie Knowles said.
The chickens seemed right at home as visitors wandered through the garden. Their eggs are used by the Knowleses and other family members and also are sometimes sold to neighbors.
The kale gives the egg yolks a richer, fuller color, Laurie said.
Some of the chickens, too, had wandered under a tree on their property called a staghorn sumac tree.
The chickens have learned that the tree hides them from the eagles that sometimes fly overhead, she said.Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 email@example.com theolympian.com/bizblog