Pinckney Street Resident Sally Reyering Wins First Prize for Shade Garden in Mayor’s Garden Contest

The only award winner from Beacon Hill, as well as a first-time contestant, Sally Reyering of Pinckney Street took first place last week in the Shade Garden category in the 25th annual Mayor’s Garden Contest.

Reyering’s garden has two levels, she said, with the lower level comprising a brick pathway with two smaller, linear gardens on either side  – one abutting the foundation of the house and the other near a fence that surrounds her small backyard – while the upper level consists of a deck with long planter boxes.

Acting Mayor Kim Janey recognizing Sally Reyering, first-place winner in the Shade Garden category in the 25th annual Mayor’s Garden Contest, with Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, the city’s Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, on the right.

Reyering said she makes her own compost from clippings from leaves that have fallen down in her garden to create a “natural mulch” she uses in her garden.

Also, Reyering, who is a member of the Beacon Hill Garden Club, partakes in what she calls “guerrilla gardening” at an abutting property by placing planters around the premises. She also helped transform a holed-out tree stump into a “natural planter,” and when pots have been abandoned on the property, Reyering usually plants flowers in them as well.

Reyering believes this other work might have counted for something with the Nominating Committee, since the contest, according to the city, “recognizes gardeners who have landscaped, planted flowers, trees, shrubs, and vegetables, and in the process, helped beautify Boston’s neighborhoods.”

While she only received her award from Acting Mayor Kim Janey last week, Reyering is already looking forward to participating in the Mayor’s Garden Contest again next year.

“It’s a good excuse to get the garden looking its best again, and to have fun again,” she said. “I love our garden so it’s really great to be recognized for it.”

Reyering added, “It’s definitely a worthwhile endeavor, and it’s great to see people from all parts of the city with all kinds of gardens represented in the contest.”

Meanwhile, another Beacon Hill representative, Miguel Rosales, was inducted into the Garden Contest Hall of Fame for receiving recognition in the competition three times. This distinction will allow him to participate in the competition as a judge in the future, but as a three-time winner, he’s also now ineligible to participate in it ever again. 

“It is a distinct honor to be inducted into the 2021 Mayor’s Garden Contest Hall of Fame,” said Rosales. “I am grateful to Mayor Kim Janey and [Boston Parks} Commissioner Ryan Woods for continuing this city tradition and looking forward to volunteering as a Garden Contest judge in the future.”

Rosales received second place in the Shade Garden category last year and was the only winner from the neighborhood in any category in the 24th annual Mayor’s Garden Contest.

Previously, Rosales received first and second place awards in the Shade Garden category  in 2019 and 2018, respectively, in recognition of his garden, which  boasts a 120-foot Sugar Maple. The tree, believed to be the only of its kind in the neighborhood, has created a “unique micro-environment in which only certain kinds of shade-loving plants can grow,” including Native Ferns, English and Algerian Ivy, varieties of Japanese Aralias, Boxwoods and medium-sized Japanese Maples, said Rosales.

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