We were excited to start work this month on reviving the gardens at the Paul Revere House in Boston’s North End. Here is a little bit of the history from Executive Director Nina Zannieri.
“The current gardens were installed in 1983 based on a detailed plan by noted garden expert Ann Leighton. The presentation was essentially a sampler of 18th century herbs augmented with appropriate ornamentals (hollyhocks and bulbs) and local fruits (Concord grapevines, Bartlett pear trees and wild strawberries). However, over time and due to changes in sunlight with growth and removal of neighboring trees, certain plants did not thrive. Working with Christie Higginbottom, horticulturalist and garden historian from Old Sturbridge Village, we assessed the existing scheme and determined that it would be possible to work towards creating gardens that more closely represent what the Revere family might have had in their large backyard. Though the family kept no records about their gardens, new research on 18th century urban gardens, some archaeological evidence (seeds and roots) and Paul Revere’s known preferences from his Canton property (lilacs, pear trees and tulips) have guided our selections. The new design allows for a section of kitchen garden beds and a cobble path (based on a cobble walkway uncovered during archaeological excavations in 1983 and 2011). In fact we have continued to have an archaeologist monitor all excavations to preserve data and also to salvage actual early cobblestones for use in the recreated path.
Within the overall courtyard design by Kotteritz Land Design, a new scheme for plantings has been laid out by Ms. Higginbottom, who will work with staff on interpretive signs to explain the gardens and also the historic layout of the courtyard. Pumpkin Brook Organic Gardening will provide garden soil, grow or locate approved varieties of plants and do the final installation of the gardens.”Click here to read the complete story.