Annie Fields Garden Among Hidden Gardens Tour Highlights

Annie Fields Garden, the large garden off Charles River Square created by renowned horticulturist and writer Annie Fields, was among the highlights of this year’s Hidden Garden Tour.

With its meandering pathways, along with benches and other quiet places to contemplate, the garden blends vibrant flora with its carefully landscaped greenery.

Shown above, the cozy garden patio at Upstairs Downstairs Home, located at 69 Charles St., was among the ‘ribbon’ gardens featured on this year’s tour. “I created this space from dirt,” wrote Laura Cousineau, the shop’s owner (seen here in the garden), in an email. “We used reclaimed products to create the patio vintage and antique statues, urns, and gates. It’s a beautiful little space with peace and tranquility.”
A look inside one of the restricted ‘ribbon gardens’ at 29A Chestnut St.

Annie Adams Fields was married to James Fields, one of the publishers of the Atlantic Monthly. The couple, who called Charles River Square home, had a wide circle of friends, including such notable literary figures as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Charles Dickens, and Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Upon her death in 1915, Annie Fields willed the garden to her neighbors, and today, it’s cared for by 16 adjacent homeowners.

For this year’s Hidden Garden Tour, Judith “Jude” Kalaora, founder and artistic director of History At Play, a local company offering ‘immersive’ historical reenactment experiences, was on hand at 4 Charles River Square, portraying Annie Fields adorned in period attire. She has appeared as Annie Fields for the past 14 years, but this was her first time at a Hidden Garden Tour.

“It was delightful to see that a little rain didn’t scare away remarkable guests from all over the USA,” Kalaora wrote in an email. “To portray Mrs. Annie Adams Fields in her garden of what was once the ‘waterside museum’ was an honor (the Fields’ home was located at 148 Charles Street and overlooked the Back Bay, which had not yet been filled). To immerse oneself in a site-specific activity like the [Hidden Gardens Tour] is engaging, and to then add a living historian to that experience, who portrays an actual garden dweller of the time, brings the immersion to the next level.”     

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