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Front yard gardens in Dorchester’s Melville Park neighborhood are now a palette of bright colors with fragrant roses in bloom, delicate foxglove in clusters, and bold yellow and orange lilies. But on Sunday, June 19 contributors to the Dorchester Park Association’s Summer Solstice Garden Tour were invited into the hidden gems behind the homes which included not only flowers but exotic trees, terraces, a reflection pond, gazebos, fountains, arbors, statues, a waterfall and urns. Visitors were able to meet the gardens’ creators in each cool shady oasis to discuss plants, shrubs, trees and garden accoutrements.

The tour also featured the Shawmut Garden Tunnelcap Beds near the Shawmut T Station which borders the concrete “cover” that caps the subway train tracks. Inspired by the Chelsea Physic Garden in London and designed by Maryellen Sullivan, Shawmut garden has a botanical, medicinal and educational theme with markers describing many of the plants.

Following the tour, gardeners, guests and volunteers gathered in the garden of one of the participants for refreshments.

More than 50 people toured the gardens raising $2,600 for Dorchester Park, noted organizer Lisa Ahern of the Dorchester Park Association (DPA). Designed by the firm of noted landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Dorchester Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the official list of the nation’s historic properties worthy of preservation. Proceeds from DPA fundraisers are used to sponsor events at the park, park cleanups, park plantings and for the endowment fund established to preserve and improve the park far into the future.

“The big tent will go up in the park on September 9 for the Gala 125th Anniversary Celebration,” said DPA Chairman Richard O’Mara. The following Sunday, September 11, the popular Annual Classic Car Show and Family Fun Day will feature music, games, stories, food trucks and spectacular vehicles. More information is available at the DPA website: dotpark.org or on the Dorchester Park Association Facebook page.

DPA meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the summer months at Carney Hospital and a special meeting to plan the Gala will be held on Monday, June 27 at 6:30 at Cedar Grove Gardens on 911 Adams Street. All meetings are open to the public and volunteers are needed to help with the many events scheduled this year.

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All of the gardens are in the Melville Ave. area of Dorchester. This beautiful tree lined street boasts some of Dorchester’s most impressive homes. All of the proceeds from the tour go to benefit Dorchester Park, the 26 acre Olmstead designed gem that runs from Adams St. all the way through to the Carney hospital on Dorchester Avenue. The ticket price includes a wine and cheese reception in one of the gardens after the tour, from about 3 PM to 6PM.  Please spread the word to anyone who may be interested!  Garden clubs, friends, gardeners and anyone who has a love for the park and beautiful flowers are invited.

Interested people can phone or come by Cedar Grove Gardens and simply leave a check or a credit card number.  Anyone at the store can take their information, and their name will be put on the guest list.

Tickets can also be purchased on this website using the Paypal button below or at the top right of this site’s home page.

On the day of the tour they should pick up their ticket and garden location map at the curbside table on Melville Ave at the “Shawmut Station” T sign between Waldeck Street and Wellesley Park.

On the day of the tour tickets are only available curbside on Melville Avenue from 10-2. They will not be available at CGG on the day of tour.

There is no transportation. Either arrive via the T or drive and park on Melville Avenue. Everything is an easy walk from the Red Line’s Shawmut Station. Melville Avenue is a short walk north of the station along a pedestrian walkway.



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This year is a special one. It’s the 125th Anniversary of Dorchester Park and events are being planned to celebrate this beautiful urban resource enjoyed by so many people. So please mark your calendars.

 

SUNDAY, JUNE 5
Look for our people marching in this year’s Dorchester Day Parade. They will be handing out cards with information on park events to those watching the parade.

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SUNDAY, JUNE 19
The Summer Solstice Garden Tour will be held from 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Tickets will be sold to benefit Dorchester Park, and those attending will have the opportunity to visit 10 amazing gardens in a charming section of Dorchester.

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FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
A special gala to celebrate the 125th anniversary of Dorchester Park will be held in a tent in the park. There will be cocktails and dancing. Tickets to this event will also benefit the park.

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SUNDAY AFTER LABOR DAY – SEPTEMBER 11 THIS YEAR
The annual Classic Car Show and Family Fun Day will be held in the park just like in previous years on the Sunday following Labor Day. The car show will run from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM and trophies will be awarded in various categories. Family Fun Day starts at Noon and continues to 4:00 PM. There will be food, activities, music, games, horse rides through the park, face painters, balloons, public service vehicles to explore, and something fun for everyone of all ages.

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Please join RTN and the Dorchester Lower Mills Community at the Easter Egg Hunt to be held at 10:00 AM on Saturday, March 26.   Come for Easter fun, hunt for candy, and get a picture taken with the Easter Bunny.  Everyone is welcome and this event will happen rain or shine.

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While there are no monthly meetings of the Dorchester Park Association during the winter hiatus until next March, please mark your calendars for Jan. 5th, 2015.

There will be a special meeting to discuss plans for next year’s 125th anniversary celebration of the park. The meeting will most likely be held at Cedar Grove Gardens and details will be sent closer to that time.

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While there is some possibility of inclement weather tomorrow, the Third Annual Classic Car Show and Family Fun Day is still on. Three big tents are in place on the upper field for Family Day events. Everything is ready to go with something for everyone to enjoy. Rain or shine, we hope to see you in Dorchester Park for Sunday’s events.

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As Sunday, Sept. 13th comes closer, here is a list of what is planned in Dorchester Park that day.

 

Classic Car Show:  10 AM – 2 PM on the lower field.  Vote for your favorite car for best in show, best truck, best convertible, best muscle car and most original car.  Prizes will be handed out after 2 PM at the table near the Adams Street entrance.

 

Food Court:  Located between the lower and upper fields near the bottom of the Richview Street stairs.  Coffee will be available by 10 AM and food will available by noon.

 

Horse and Carriage Rides through Dorchester Park:  Rides start and stop at the tennis courts up the path from the information tent and also from the circle with benches at the entrance on Dot Ave.

 

Family Fun Day Activities:  Located in the upper field beyond the Food Court.  See the list for the schedule of what’s going on.

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