Welcome to BCG, Post Covid.

Our 2022 season has begin with this weekend's 2022 garden Lottery. We had a record 66 entrants to the lottery this year! And we welcome 12 new gardeners to our community.

The garden will officially 'open' the weekend of April 8th, with our Spring Cleanup taking place. If COVID numbers stay down we hope to keep the garden open during th days for our neighbors to enjoy!

Closed Garden

As many neighbors have noticed, the garden continues to be closed to the public as of August 2021.

We had planned to re-open a few days each week starting in August, but with the rise in the infection rate and the Delta variant, the re-opening has been put on hold. The garden remains closed to keep both you, our potential visitors, and our gardeners safe during the health crisis. We just wanted to let our neighbors know we do enjoy the garden being open and sharing our garden with you, right now safety has to be our greatest concern.

We thank our abutters and neighbors for their understanding during these trying times.

正如許多鄰居所注意到的那樣,自 2021 8 月起,該花園將繼續對公眾關閉。

我們原計劃從 8 月開始每週重新開放幾天,但隨著感染率的上升和 Delta 變體,重新開放已被擱置。 花園仍然關閉,以確保您、我們的潛在訪客和我們的園丁在健康危機期間的安全。 我們只是想讓我們的鄰居知道我們確實喜歡開放的花園並與您分享我們的花園,現在安全必須是我們最關心的問題。



Unfortunately, the Coronavirus is having an impact at the community garden.

In response to a request for Social Distancing and an effort to avoid group activities, Berkeley Community Gardens announces the following changes.

- The March 28 garden lottery has been postponed. Once gatherings are again safe to hold, we will announce a new lottery date

- The Spring Cleanup has been postponed. The new date is the weekend of April 24th. It is TBD at this time if we will have a group cleanup, or just have a dumpster for you to use on your own any time that weekend. There will be no pot luck or garden meeting that weekend - both of those will be rescheduled for the future. Gardeners - keep an eye on your email for more information come April.

- We will open the garden gates during daylight hours so we can share the garden with out neighbors who may ve working from home and need break to enjoy the spring flowers as our gardens come to life.

- the Trustees Gardeners Gathering has been cancelled, but their May plant sale in the garden is still (as of now) scheduled to happen.

- Current gardeners can access their plots at any time.

Thanks everyone for your understanding.

Google translation of the above text:









Start of Season, 2018

Hi everyone,

The warm February days days have sprouted some Spring Fever in the midst of winter. But the garden season is not far off.

Renewal invoices for current gardeners went out on Feb 24, and should arrive this week. if you have not received your invoice by March 2, please let us know.

This year, we are accepting renewal payments via PayPal. You can find the link under
BCG Gardeners -> Resources.

All payments are due by March 24. Anyone not paid by that date will forfeit their garden. Please contact us if you know you will not be returning for this season.

For those still needing to pay in person, we will collect payments March 24 at Project Place, starting at 10am.

Spring Cleanup for 2018 will be Saturday, April 7th.

This year the Lottery will NOT be held during Spring Cleanup, but a week earlier. 8:30 on March 31, also at Project Place. For more information, please see the
Joining Us page. This will allow new people to prepare before Spring Cleanup, and for everyone to focus on cleanup on April 7.

Thanks everyone, and here's to a great 2018!!!

New trees

Last year we had two new trees planted in the garden, both of which survived the winter and are beginning to bud! Here's a little more information on the trees.

Why were the trees were removed?

The center area tree was nearing the end of its life. If you looked at it from far away it had grown very thin in its branches (in contrast, the tree near the Tremont gate, is very full). The final blow was getting hit by lighting last year, with caused additional damage. With all those issues, we didn't to risk the tree dying or falling over and causing damage, so we had it removed.

The other tree removed, near garden B133, was a white mulberry tree. While healthy, its growth was out of control. It heavily shaded around 20 gardens; and it seemed like the more we pruned it, the faster it grew. Financially, we could not keep up with pruning, so we had this tree also removed.

The new trees we planted are shown below.

Both trees are native to the area and will provide for the local wildlife as well as the garden's beauty.

In the
center area we have a Hop Hornbeam or Ironwood tree. A larger tree, it produces nice leaves all summer long, with a hops-like seed that will provide food for our birds. Its also a tree that will grow well in drought or poor soil (once established) so it should last a long time in the garden. Read more on Wikipedia or on this UKY web page.


South of the center area (near garden B133) is a Serviceberry. A flowering tree that won't get too high. Spring brings a nice white flower, followed by green leaves through the rest of the season that turn a fiery red in the autumn. The pollinators will love the flowers, and the birds will love the small berries. Read more on Wikipedia, and on this web page.


Garden Poirtraits

Last year UMass art student Jennie Castle took some photographs/portraits in the garden. You can see some of here work here.

In the Press: The Horticult

Berkeley was mentioned in a gardening blog The Horticult. In autumn, they contacted 8 community gardens around the country to ask about their Fall harvesting. Berkeley was one of those either.

Read the article here:
http://thehorticult.com/community-garden-nation-eight-urban-harvesters-talk-autumn-chores-crops-and-planting/ Read about Berkeley and other community gardens and their harvests.

The Red Posts

Sarah did some research on garden history to find out more about the original posts in the garden. Here is what she found.

The wooden pillars were the result of an early phase of organizing and integrating the garden membership through a design that reflected a new set of cooperatively agreed upon rules.

We installed posts and notched pillars at the same time we removed all the makeshift fencing and replaced it with a uniform set of posts and wire to designate the boundaries of the individual plots, the central pathway and upper pathway along E. Berkeley and the vertical connecting pathway system that was covered by wood chips that were free from arborists.

We also installed two gates to represent the East and Western predominant cultures in the garden and the metaphorical and literal coming together of the two! 

The western gate was basically a white rose arbor on the Tremont end and the Shawmut end had a “Chinese type gateway” both designed and built by artist Wenti Tsen. 

The pillars were to be painted red at the top to guide your eye down the spine of the garden and was the color of good luck for the Chinese. The smaller pillars were to serve as the identification of the individual plots with both the plot number and the name of the gardener which was carefully recorded on the base map when they signed up and paid their dues and signed the garden agreement stating the new rules in english and Chinese.That way everyone would know who was keeping up their plot and who was “lazy” and needed to be reprimanded. 

This concept was arrived at through multiple discussions with translators and Mr Yee as the broker and primary leader of the Chinese gardeners at the time in the 1980’s on into the early 90’s

City Year did all the work with the guidance of Carpenter/builder Linda Leseyna (now at Boston Building Materials Coop) The major clean ups of that era and removal of the makeshift fencing was the product of multiple volunteer projects- from individuals in a pre release program with Mass half way houses, students from Harvard's GSD, of course the gardeners themselves and other groups from corporations, private schools , etc. 

Finally, the space between the pillars and posts was designated for flowers ONLY to limit vegetable encroachment by individual gardeners back into the central pathway to increase their personal growing space. The flowers were for the community and to be a visual statement of beautification to share. 

Every year we would receive a truckload of flowers from Mahoney's and they would get a tax credit for every plant!


Renewals, Spring Cleanup and Lottery

Renewals for existing gardeners have been sent out. For (current) gardeners paying in person, the signup will be Saturday, March 5th from 10-noon in our usual location.

Any renewal not paid for by Noon on Saturday, March 5th will lose their garden space.

Our annual Spring Cleanup and Garden lottery will be on
Saturday, April 2nd.    

Spring Cleanup

Our Spring cleanup is out 'opening day' for the garden, and a way to get the garden looking good for the new year.   At the cleanup we will have a dumpster available for people to clean out larger debris from their garden.  A reminder to gardeners that this year we will continue our effort to have gardeners keep their plots free of excess materials and supplies that they do not use during the growing season.  At Spring Cleanup we clean up any winter trash that has accumulated, cleanup leaves and other winter debris, help new gardeners clean out their spots as needed, and take of any maintenance that we can while we have many hands available.  Lunchtime brings a garden pot luck and general meeting of all gardeners.  In the afternoon we finish up any garden-wide projects, and gardeners begin to lean out their own plots.


Spring Cleanup is also our day when our neighbors have the opportunity to join us in our annual Garden Lottery.   Open plots are given out in a lottery system where everyone has an equal chance of joining the garden community.  Since being a part of Berkeley means being a part of our community as well as a gardener, we ask that all applicants live in the South End/Bay Village (gardeners living farther away tend to have trouble coming to the garden regularly, and all have dropped out after their first year)

At 8:30 sign-in begins.  This allows you to read and fill in the necessary paperwork and become familiar with the garden.  At 9am the lottery drawing begins.   If you win a garden on lottery day, you will be expected to remain with the garden for the day to help cleanup and meet all of your new garden neighbors.  You must be present to enter the lottery.

We ask everyone read
How to Join the Garden for additional information on the process and becoming a member of our community.   If you have any questions on the lottery please contact lottery@berkeleygardens.org

Garden closed for the season

The Garden is now Closed for the season.
Thanks to everyone for a great 2015 season!
 Please keep the gates locked at all times.  
If you go into the garden, please use your key to get in,
and lock the door behind you as you enter.

The garden is generally closed from December 1 until March 1.   

We close the garden in the winter for the safety and security of you the gardeners, and the garden itself.  With no one gardening in the cold months, we lose our ‘eyes on the garden’ – meaning people can come in and vandalize or misuse the garden, and no one is around to see such illicit activity.   This month we had a homeless person living in the garden, who went unnoticed for a week.  To keep our garden property safe, and to keep people from coming in and drinking, doing drugs, or setting up camp in the garden, we keep the gates locked at all times to keep visitors out during winter months. 
The Tremont, Shawmut and East Berkeley gates all lock with your garden keys.  The Alley gates are permanently locked closed.  We have reinforced the East Berkeley fence gap while we await final fence repair. 

We also ask that you do not enter the garden after snow has fallen.   The sun can melt snow during the day, which refreezes at night, making the garden paths icy and treacherous.   Should you slip and fall, you could go undiscovered for hours.   For your own safety, please keep out of the garden once snow begins falling.  

As always, if you see any illicit activity in the garden, please call 9-1-1 to report the activity to the police (617-3434-911 from your cell phone).  Remain on scene to let the police in (if need be) and email garden leadership so we know something has happened in the garden.    If you call police, the garden address is 500 Tremont, and 215 Shawmut Ave. (depending on which end of the garden you see activity).