A Day Out With Mom (A Trip to the Hidden Gardens of Beacon Hill)


Every third Thursday in the month of May, the Beacon Hill neighborhood in Boston, Massachusetts invites the public to view some of their "hidden gardens" in their brick courtyards.  Having formed in 1928, the Beacon Hill Garden Club has been active for 85 years, and in 1929, they began their first "open gardens tour," which charged $1 tickets to view eleven gardens.  (Today the tickets are $35.)

In 2000, (almost 13 years ago), I took my mom on a trip to Boston to participate in their garden tour.  This year, when I surprised my mom with the tickets, she became anxious.

"Annette, I can't do this tour now.  I'm not used to walking a lot and that area has lots of hills.  I think you should invite someone else."

My heart sunk.  I know my mom is turning 70 this year, but I never thought of her as too old or too 'out-of-shape.'

"That's why we have to do it this year," I answered, "we're not getting any younger, and some day, we won't be able to do it.  Besides, I remember there being restaurants and cafes in the area. If we get tired, we can go to one and relax.  We don't have to view all the gardens.  It will be fun just to see a few of them."

And so it was decided, we were both going on the trip after all.

We took a tour bus, which dropped us off at the Boston Common, and we walked a few blocks to the very beautiful, historic, and posh neighborhood of Beacon Hill. (Townhouses range in the area of $650,000 to $4 million.)

While some lines were fairly long, my mom and I weaved around the area to find the homes with the shorter lines, so we could make the best use of our time.  To my surprise, my mom not only did great walking (even on the steep inclines), but she did better than me.  After viewing our tenth garden, I was ready to give up, but it was my mom that insisted we could go to 'one more.'

While I had no problem walking around the area, I struggled for two reasons; the first is that I didn't bring comfortable shoes to walk in that day, (I originally thought they would be comfortable), and the second was that my allergies were at an all-time high.  The pollen from all the beautiful flowers and gardens made my nose run like a faucet; even my extra-strength allergy medicine couldn't stop it.

After spending a long five hours touring the gardens, the bus then brought us to Quincy Market where we had a chance to eat and shop before our excursion officially ended.

Indeed, I was proud that my mom did so well on the trip, and I think she may have even surprised herself.  Before Lewie was born, I used to take my mom on lots of day trips and weekend excursions, but once he was born, as all moms know, he became my primary focus, and so all our trips were unintentionally postponed.

Now that Lewie's older, I made a promise to myself to rekindle our special mother-daughter days.  I know one day, in the very near future, Lewie will even be able to join us.  One thing I've learned is that special moments like these are not guaranteed; sometimes you have to make them happen before it's too late.

A Wisteria Tree growing along side one of the Beacon Hill Townhouses

My awesome mom waiting to enter one of the courtyard gardens.

A beautiful window box.

One of the magnificent courtyards.

More beautiful gardens and fountains.

The "garden area" of someone's town house.  I LOVE the historic feel of this house.

An absolutely elegant backyard living room.

Me in front of a popular flower shop.  I would have loved to buy everything in the store!

Isn't this a cool staircase leading to an upper patio?  The 'fireplace' is a fountain.

Are you a "Shark Tank" fan?  If so, you might remember this business getting a loan from 'Mr. Wonderful.'

My mom in Quincy Market.

Me in front of the Wicked Good Cupcakes Store.  How cool that this family-owned business is now in Quincy Market?


  1. I love this! Your mom must feel so special :) What an awesome idea!!!

  2. I love it! What a wonderful time! The pictures are great! I hope we can get together soon. We were up at Mystic the other day. We had fun! Have a great night!

    mama Hen

  3. Oh my goodness you look so much like your mother, and She looks in the low 60's, that bodes well for you :)

    Now if only you got to tour Inside those homes as well, how fun would that be? And the staircase and 'fireplace', fabulous!

  4. We have a children's book that talks about Beacon Hill. Now I have a better idea of what it looks like! How beautiful. And how neat you have mother daughter dates. So special.

  5. Aww so glad you were able to do this with your mom!

  6. I'm so glad you had a great time with your mom!!!

  7. Your pics are wonderful Annette! Sounds like you and your mom had a grand time. The gardens are beautiful. My daughter is really wanting to visit Maine this summer, but I don't know much about the New England area to even get started.


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