Window Box Contest Recognizes Neighborhood’s ‘green Thumbs’

One of the most prominent features of Beacon Hill, besides the ornate architecture and leaded glass windows, is the radiant flowers, shrubbery and trees of every color and shape that embellish the brick sidewalks so elegantly.

The Beacon Hill Civic Association and the Beacon Hill Garden Club celebrated their 54th Annual Window Box Contest on October 9th by honoring the organizations, businesses, and residents of the Hill whose exceptional botanical prowess has beautified the area. Sixty-one prizes were awarded to those who have ornamented their front/back yards, gardens, window boxes, entryways into their homes, trees along the sidewalks, and more.  Certificates were given to everyone nominated, and some winners received a planter of mums, and bag of soil.

The Window Box Contest, which began in the 1950s, commemorated Ron Viger, a Beacon Hill resident who was renowned for his brilliant floral arrangements that lead up to the front door of his Beacon Hill home. To celebrate the year of the tree, keeping one’s tree healthy was a topic of discussion.  The importance of soil and its correlation to the performance of the tree was explained. With care and attention, it is incredible how a tree can grow into a strong and full structure in a tiny pit in a sidewalk.

Grow Boston Greener (GBG) aims to grow 100,000 trees in Boston by 2020 to increase the tree canopy over the city. With the help of the Window Box nominees, the organization hopes to diversify tree species in Boston. GBG is granting up to $2,500 for non-profit organizations, schools, and libraries to replant trees in publically accessible land. For information about application guidelines, visit .

Garden Club President Sharon Malt and Jay Faro of the BHCA walked each block of the neighborhood, selected the best window boxes and awarded 61 prizes to local residents and businesses.Cassie and Jack Gurnon, owners of Charles Street Supply, served as the celebrity judges of the contest and were named the business recipients of the second annual Golden Broom Award.Rajan Nanda, chair of the BHCA Streets and Sidewalks Committee, recognized the Gurnon’s, along with Steve Benway, the recipient of this year’s residential Golden Broom Award, for their ongoing work to keep neighborhood streets clean.

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