What is a Ribbon Garden? (Beacon Hill tour...)

amysrq(5)May 1, 2011

I just saw a listing for the Beacon Hill Garden Tour and they mention that several "Ribbon Gardens" will be included. Can someone tell me what this means? A quick Google search did not turn up an answer. (My hunch is that it may be a garden space that is cordoned off...can only be viewed from beyond the ribbon...)

On a side note, has anyone done this tour? Any reviews?

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ginny12

I don't know how they are using the term but a ribbon garden is a Victorian garden style. It consists of rows of brightly colored flowers and foliage plants. The rows can be straight or curving. It was hugely popular during the decades of Victorian bedding out. Then it was dismissed as ugly around 1900 and only seen in public parks.

We have talked about the Beacon Hill garden tour here in other years. It's a fun thing to do tho the gardens vary in interest and quality--sometimes wonderful and sometimes not so much. It's not been a tour for those interested in fabulous plants--lots of newly planted impatiens to provide a little color.

More interesting has been the creative use of very small spaces in an urban environment. Hardscape and garden ornmanets can give viewers lots of ideas if the garden is good.

Lots of long lines so go with a friend you enjoy standing and talking to. One year, there was a garden on the tour that belonged to someone famous. The line was endless but we were all dying to see it, especially as we got to walk thru the first floor of the house as well. The house was nice; the garden a big disappointment.

In sum, this is a must-do tour at least once in your life. After that, once in a great while is enough unless you are just going for a nice day out in Boston in the spring.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2011 at 2:08PM
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amysrq(5)

Thanks Ginny!

It sounds like a potentially interesting way to spend a day, but it's such a tough time of year to get away from my own garden and all the demands of the season. Oh well...if I only have to do it once-in-my-life, I figure I have some time. :-)

    Bookmark   May 2, 2011 at 8:53AM
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Xylembutdeadly(6)

I have worked a lot in Beacon Hill homes (I'm a specialist painter/muralist) and it is fun just to be there in town
and see the homes. I haven't seen too much spectacular garden design--as one poster noted, the garden spaces are very small, so innovation and plant selection is limited. Bottom line--a fun day out.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2011 at 9:11PM
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vignewood(z6 CT)

I have not done this tour but it is my understanding that a ribbon garden has borders of winding curved edges like a furled ribbon. I first heard this term visiting Jefferson's gardens at Monticello.

    Bookmark   May 4, 2011 at 9:48PM
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