Berkeley Community Garden

Your Guide
Robyn Reed, ASLA

The area where Berkeley Gardens and Peters Park now stands was once occupied by brick row houses, like you see in the rest of the South End. Those houses and residents succumbed to the urban renewal trend that swept through Boston in the 1950s and 60s. However, community opposition to urban renewal took hold, the bulldozers stopped, and the Berkeley block sat idle.

Berkeley Community Garden is one of the city’s few community gardens open to the public. The garden’s 150 plots were first cultivated in the mid-1970s with residents taking over the space. At the time, they protected their plots with thorny branches cut from olive trees along Berkeley Street. Today, the garden’s fence creatively uses inexpensive materials to create architectural interest as well as provide greater security to the garden. The ground adjacent to the fencing is planted to give the garden year round color.

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