By Ginger DeShaney
The South Boston Lawn Garden & Patio Facebook group is a peaceful place to spend a little time and take a gorgeous journey through the neighborhood.
“If you’re an obsessed gardener or someone who just likes to look at pretty landscapes, you’ll make a great addition to the group,” said Erin Welch, who founded the group because “I love working in my yard! Obsessed with it. I also love to learn all there is to know about growing plants.
“There’s so much I don’t know, and I thought it would be good to have a group where members can learn and share ideas. It seemed like a great way for neighbors of all ages and backgrounds to bond and get to know each other in a community we all love so much.”
The group brings together a mix of neighbors to contribute gardening expertise, exchange ideas, and swap plants. In the About section of the page, Erin asks members to share their ideas and questions related to gardening, landscaping, lawn care, and deck/patio spaces in South Boston.
And the highlights of the Facebook page are the photos. “Of course, we love all the photos,” said Erin. “It’s great to see what people are able to create over the course of the season, and we love when members post random plants and flowers from around the neighborhood. The group has evolved, too — you’ll see a lot of photos of Southie ‘wildlife.’ ”
There are photos — and some videos — of flowers, gardens, landscaped backyards, trees, birds, vines, street scenes, ice-encrusted and snow-covered plants, and so much more. Members share tips. There are discussions on types of flowers. Members ask questions and expertise is shared. But most of all, it’s a collegial place to hang out and share your view of the neighborhood.
The group was started at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, which was part coincidental and part intentional.
“I think everyone was putting extra effort and love into their homes and gardens; I certainly was,” Erin said.
The group is helping people get through the pandemic. “It created new friends,” Erin said. “People who enjoy creating things love having friends with whom to share their creations. We all really enjoy seeing each other’s hard work and creativity.”
The group consists of residents of South Boston — 93 members currently. This criteria wasn’t designed to exclude people, but to engage people. “It’s easier for people to get to know each other in a small group,” Erin said. “Members can easily meet up for walks to admire plants and gardens, and take photos together. I think the world can use a lot more friendship right now.”
Peggy Gurnett joined the group because she wanted to share her love of gardening with others and “I enjoy seeing what my neighbors and FB friends are planting in their gardens.”
Erin’s parents are both talented gardeners and she learns so much from them. “It’s something we really enjoy doing together,” she said. “I love when my parents bring me flowers and plants for my garden. It feels like a piece of them is here with me even though they live far away.”
Peggy’s love of gardening came from her mother. “I have a front yard and a backyard. My husband and I plant flowers that attract birds, bees, and all sorts of insects,” she said. “The biggest surprise is the hummingbirds and the hummingbird moth.
“This Facebook page is a great opportunity to share gardening ideas,” Peggy continued. “So many of our gardens are out back and not easily seen. I love seeing what my neighbors are doing.”