Congratulations to Edward DeBortoli, an
Uphams Corner resident.
First Place - Community
Garden in Mayor Menino's 2012 Garden Contest.
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.
his horticultural work of love since October 1999, Ed DeBortoli's
community garden plot is located in the Victory Gardens
The only criteria for getting a garden plot there is being a
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
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
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
Boston's Victory Gardens is the oldest one in the country
and only one of two remaining Victory Gardens in the United States.
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
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
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.
UC 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
will appreciate it.
Hall of Fame and 2012
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
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
First Place (tie) -
John Marino, Berkeley Community Gardens, South End; Edward DeBortoli and Ken Averett,
Ed has won so many times that he is now in the Gardeners' Hall of Fame