In Natick, Massachusetts, seventeen miles west of Boston, Joyce Ahlgren Hannaford has created a garden that is a neighborhood landmark. She shares photos of her garden with us, along with the very personal associations her garden has for her, with plants and landscaping features that serve as memories of her friends, family, and past homes.
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Have you always been interested in gardening?
I’ve lived in Massachusetts since 1966 and I’ve always had gardens, even when I lived in an apartment. I grew up in New Hampshire and my parents were wonderful gardeners. When I lived in Boston in the early '90s, my little garden there grew and grew, and eventually won the mayor’s neighborhood Golden Trowel award.
When I remarried in 1998, we bought this house—it’s our first house together—and we started on the long list of renovations. My husband does not do the gardening, but he does do the large projects, including installing the pumping system for the well, the lawn maintenance, and helping me with the cleanup.
When the delivery of nine yards of organic compost arrives, he happily lets me spread that myself. The last delivery took two days to spread on all of the garden.