Upham's Corner Online

Boston's Best Community Garden Award 2012, Edward DeBortoli


Congratulations to Edward DeBortoli, an Uphams Corner resident.
First Place - Community Garden in Mayor Menino's 2012 Garden Contest.
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award


Nurturing his horticultural work of love since October 1999, Ed DeBortoli's community garden plot is located in the Victory Gardens in the Fenway.

The only criteria for getting a garden plot there is being a City of Boston resident - the plots are $30 a year. The Victory Gardens has its own board that runs the gardens every season and they give out their own awards. Ed is prolific in his gardening accomplishments having won multiple local garden awards: the spring garden award , the color garden award, the shade garden award and others.

According to Ed, the Victory Gardens were established in 1943 to provide people a way to grow vegetables to help with the war effort (World War II).  Vegetables were to be used to feed soldiers in the war as well as feed the people at home. All the men were gone, so they needed anyone willing to help with the effort.

Boston's Victory Gardens is the oldest one in the country and only one of two remaining Victory Gardens in the United States.

Mayor Menino hosts a citywide garden contest in about 10 different categories such as small yard gardens, large yard gardens, window boxes, tree pits, porch gardens and more. Ed has also won twice for his small yard garden.

Ed: My garden was described as a "busy" garden which means you have endeavored to put a lot of variety into your garden. After 13 years I have accumulated many plants. I don't even know all their names - some I know by their botannical name, others by the common name. Some are "nameless" but they still get the best of care.

Ed: An example of a nameless plant is my nameless tree, the first tree I planted in the garden. One of the other gardeners gave it to me, a friend of mine. It was approximately the same size when I got it as it is right now, but it looked more like a bush. So I've taken the time to shape it into a tree. I like the idea of a topiary look where you have the foliage of the top prominently displayed and the bare branches underneath.

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden AwardUC News: So you've been training the bush almost in the sense that Japanese gardens get trained.

Ed: As a matter of fact, a friend of mine, who's a gardener here, said that before he knew me, he used to walk by and swear that it was an Asian person's garden.

Dedicated and devoted to his gardening, he is willing to put in all the effort necessary:  "The time required to maintain your garden is about an hour a day. For a whole week, I have to put in a day of maintenance and care."

In the back corner of Ed's garden is a beautiful bench.

"I have an arbor here where I sit and entertain. Look at the fruit on that vine - an Akebia quinata or fiveleaf Akebia plant. I've never eaten the fruit it generates.  Eventually the fruit decays and I give the seeds away. That's one of the rules of gardening. You are supposed to share.

UC News: I want to laud you for that word - share. On the surface it would appear that our society is moving away from the concept of community, sharing and supporting people . But here in Boston, in particular under Mayor Menino, the City of Boston is doing a great job of redeveloping community. Your language reflects that.

Final words from Ed: "Gardening, resting, enjoying the fruits of your (my) labor. Then I put my gardening gloves to rest on the top of the fence to wait for another day." (see photo featuring gardening gloves below)

Note:  Click Comment at the bottom of this article.  Let Ed know what you think of his garden.  He will appreciate it.

Hall of Fame and 2012 Winners Announced

Launched 16 years ago as part of Mayor Thomas M. Menino's citywide beautification initiative, the contest recognizes gardeners who have landscaped, planted flowers, trees, and shrubs, and, in the process, helped beautify Boston's neighborhoods. First place winners in ten categories will receive the "Golden Trowel" award from Mayor Menino and prize packages from the Parks Department, the Boston Flower & Garden Show, Boston Organics, Comcast, Mahoney's Garden Centers of Brighton, Metro Credit Union, and other sponsors at an awards ceremony being held on August 28 at 5:30 p.m. in the Public Garden.

All first, second, and third-place winners in this year's Garden Contest will also be entered into a drawing for a JetBlue Grand Prize consisting of a trip for four to the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in spring 2013 in Orlando, FL. The trip includes airfare and a three-night stay with admission to the Epcot Theme Park, which hosts the International Flower & Garden Festival each year.

Beginning this year, the Garden Contest created a Hall of Fame to honor those participants who have won three or more times in the last ten years. Gardeners who have won three or more times in the last ten years will be automatically entered into the Hall of Fame and will be recognized at the awards ceremony. Starting in 2013, the Hall of Fame members will be ineligible to enter as contestants but are welcome to return as judges.

For a complete list of all winners Click Here

Community Garden

First Place (tie) - John Marino, Berkeley Community Gardens, South End; Edward DeBortoli and Ken Averett, Dorchester

Ed has won so many times that he is now in the Gardeners' Hall of Fame

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Welcome to my garden and come in
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Path to Eden

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Royal Bule Salvia
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Coleus

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Miniture Pink Fall Aster
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

13 years of cultivation

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Purple Fall Aster
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Garden Row E
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Dalia about to burst open

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Bromeliad, Even indoor plans enjoy being out in the summer
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Rear garden path that leads to lovely Dalia's

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Thorny branches protect the boundaries of the garden
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Geranium, one variety of many for the red bed.

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Fall aster ready to bloom
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

White Gay Feather with russian sage behind

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Purple shamrock (Not the bar in Haymarket)
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

A Busy spot for birds to bathe

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

The hydrangea didn't blossom this year because I cut it back so much but there is always next year!
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

From inside the garden, looking out to Park Drive

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Pretty in Pink

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Partial red bed with coleus and begonia
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

Coleus, come in all shapes,
colors and varieties

Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

A place to sit quietly and enjoy the garden after a hard day's work
Ed Debortoli, 2012 Winner, Boston's Best Community Garden Award

And a place to save the gardening gloves for another day.

Posted: September 24, 2012     Nancy J Conrad




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