The Belfast Garden Club invites the public to visit the lusciously green garden of Eden Buron, 101 Congress Street, Belfast. The garden will be open on Friday, August 6th from 10am-4pm as part of the club’s Open Garden Days.
The garden was originally started by Buron’s mother, as a street-side perennial flower garden in 1976. New England heritage plants and summer blooms, such as bee balm, phlox, and balloon flower remain and create a colorful carpet under towering trees welcoming visitors to the well-maintained historic 1878 home.
More recently a new garden landscape project has been undertaken. Buron began as a novice gardener 5 years ago after realizing that the window at her home she spent the most time looking out of was a little window at the back of the shed behind the house. Through this window she could not see other houses or the street, but only the peaceful, country-like view of natural trees and grasses. She decided to turn the shed into a four-season sitting room where she could always enjoy the view. In order to enhance the natural beauty of her backyard she wanted to take out some of the conventional straight lines, and lawn and replace them with an abundance curves and greenery. She had a challenge ahead of her on her narrow, pie-shaped and very shady lot, but she was up to the task!
Since the completion of the building addition, Buron has increased her knowledge of plants and gardening significantly. With the help of some very knowledgeable and generous gardener friends and some inventive techniques, she has achieved a magical and lovely garden quilt- layered in shades of greens, undulating curves, and many pleasing visual elements.
From the new room, the garden swells in a low outcropping of creeping plants, geraniums, autumn joy and summer color with coneflower, cosmos and a beautiful climbing purple Clematis. The curvy Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick adds nice color in winter.
Along the side of the property a graceful cedar fence serves as the backdrop. A sweet miniature hosta garden mingles with taller evergreens, creeping groundcovers, ferns and a variegated red twig dogwood leading the way to a shady canopied pathway beside the barn. A rock border creates a curved line back as far as the eye can see. Now, five years since the garden’s creation, moss is beginning to grow on the rocks and some of the plants are starting to drape over and extend beyond the border giving the garden a comfortable, mature feel.
Just beyond the barn, a flat stone walkway creatively covers a notorious section where Buron has had a hard time getting grass to grow. Today it is filled nicely with moss and creeping veronica philaforma, a soft transition into a larger rounded garden. Around the shady perimeter are astilbe, ferns, primulas, and groundcovers such as the brilliant yellow creeping Jenny and the shiny-leafed European ginger.
The central bed gets a bit more light and offers blooms such as Lobelia, Cardinal Flower, cimicifuga, and daylilies, combined with an artistic collage of green-leafed hostas, ladies mantle, and epimedium. In order to add height and interest to the mostly low-lying garden many trees, climbing vines and ornamental shrubs such as kiwi vine, veriegated honeysuckle, dogwood, and the purple heartshaped leaves of forest pansy redbud dot the garden.
The garden continues down a woodland path of magical dimensions, which opens into a sun-drenched summertime field. Buron has planted a few favorites such as bee balm and raspberries here but for the most part lets wildflowers grow as they will. A walking path is mowed through the field and allows the visitor to marvel at the magnificently quiet retreat, right in the middle of town!
The Buron Garden has obviously been a labor of love, of experimentation, learning, and success. It has undergone a complete transformation from the original “plain-Jane” look. At moments the results feel as refined as an arboretum, and at others feel as magical and wild as a summer’s day. Buron has packed a lot into a very small and shady garden with aplomb!
Directions to 101 Congress Street, Belfast: From Post Office Square in Belfast go up Main Street hill to a left on Congress Street. Follow Congress Street for several blocks until you reach 101 Congress. House is on the right. Once you get close follow the yellow Open Garden arrows.
Tickets can be purchased at each garden on the day of the tour for a donation of $4 for one garden, or $15 for a five-visit ticket. Proceeds from the 2010 Open Garden Days will benefit the Belfast Garden Club’s civic beautification projects.
The 5th annual Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days feature 14 gardens from Belfast to Searsport, Jackson to Orland and in between. One garden per week will be open to the public from 10-4 Fridays, through September 10.
The next Open Garden will take place August 13 at the Newforest Institute Gardens, 66 Monroe Hwy (Rt.139), Brooks. This educational nonprofit has 8 acres of demonstration vegetable, herb and flower gardens plus an “edible forest” including fruit & nut trees and berries. See a seedling house, cold frames, garlic berm, mushroom logs, terraced gardens that also serve as a water collection system, sheet mulched beds and a 2-position movable greenhouse.
For more information call: Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105 or Martha Laitin at 948-2815, or visit for the full schedule.
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