Annual tour of Beacon Hill's hidden gardens on May 18

BY KAREN CORD TAYLOR/SPECIAL TO BOSTON HOMES
The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill tour has taken place annually since 1929, only six months after the Beacon Hill Garden Club was founded.

Have you ever wondered what lies behind the brick row houses of Beacon Hill? You can find out on Thursday, May 18 when the Beacon Hill Garden Club opens 10 members’ gardens to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

These gardens are typically surrounded by brick walls and hidden from passers-by. Most are shady, which in some ways is an advantage since weeds don’t grow as spectacularly in shade as they do in sun. Most of the gardens serve as outdoor rooms where the homeowners can host parties, enjoy grilling and outdoor dining, and generally treat them as living space on all the nice days of summer.

The gardens can be visited in any order. As visitors walk from garden to garden, there will also be six ribbon gardens to enjoy. The ribbon gardens are special small plots of flowers and greenery that contribute beauty to our neighborhood and are typically able to be viewed from the street.

The Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill tour has taken place annually since 1929, only six months after the Beacon Hill Garden Club was founded. It gives visitors an understanding of the challenges and rewards of gardening in an urban location, as well as the variety of approaches the gardeners employ to achieve their objectives.

Complimentary refreshments will be available at Moseley Hall at the Church of the Advent, which can be entered through Mt. Vernon Square. The garden club’s latest book, “Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill: Creating Green Spaces in Urban Places,” will be available at that location.

All proceeds from the tour support local, regional and national environmental, conservation and horticultural organizations. Last year, the garden club gave away almost $90,000 raised from the tour to more than 40 non-profits such as the City of Boston Greenhouses, the Food Project, the Old North Church garden and Marathon Daffodils.

Tickets can be purchased in advance at BeaconHillGardenClub.org/tickets for $45 each until midnight on Wednesday, May 17. On tour day, the ticket price will be $55. Advance tickets are also available at the following shops:

Beacon Hill Pub - 149 Charles St.

Blackstone’s - 46 Charles St.

Cambridge Trust Company - 65 Beacon St.

Charles Street Supply - 54 Charles St.

Linens on the Hill - 52 Charles St.

Rouvalis Flowers - 40 W. Cedar St.

To purchase tickets on the day of the tour and to pick up the tour booklet, which allows access into the gardens themselves, visit the information table at the corner of Charles and Mt. Vernon streets.

In addition to their annual tour, the Garden Club will hold a special preview “Soirée on Beacon Hill” on Wednesday, May 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the historic garden of the King’s Chapel Parish House with cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a raw bar and a preview of three of the tour gardens. Tickets can be purchased for $150 at GardenSoiree.EventBrite.com

For information on transportation, parking, dining and local shops and museums, visit BeaconHillGardenClub.org.