The North End’s own Michele Toper took first place in the Porch, Balcony or Container category of the 2019 Mayor’s Garden Contest. As a three-time winner in the citywide competition, she was also selected to be inducted in the 2020 Hall of Fame.
“I am honored to win first prize and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame next year!” said Toper. “Gardening is my sanctuary and it connects me to memories and experiences. Nurturing and watching something grow is soothing, healing and shows the power of nature. Vegetables, fruits and herbs provide a feast for my table and the tropical flowers share beauty, color and comforting scents. I don’t think that I could survive in the city without my garden,” added the rooftop gardener.
In addition to her gardening passion, Michele Toper is longtime North End resident and founder of one of Boston’s first food tour companies.
Coming in second in the Porch, Balcony category were Joseph Falinski of Dorchester and of Kolea Zimmerman took third prize. In other categories, the first place winners included Miquel Rosales of Beacon Hill in the Shade garden category, Dominique Hurley of East Boston for Small Yard garden; Megan Fox of Jamaica Plain for Medium Yard garden; Daryl Johnson and Rick Smith of Dorchester for Large Yard garden; Balcony or Container garden; Kristen Mobilia of the Fenway for Vegetable or Herb garden; Cheryl Crawford of Roslindale for Senior Yard garden; Recreo Coffee & Roasterie of West Roxbury for Storefront, Organization or Main Street District garden; and John Ruiz of the Fenway for Community garden. In addition to Toper, the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees are Carmen Musto; Johnson and Smith; Rick Kuethe and Mobia.
First Place winners received the coveted “Golden Trowel” award from Mayor Walsh and all winners received prize packages from Mahoney’s Garden Centers and the Boston Flower and Garden Show at the awards ceremony in August. First place winners were also entered into a drawing for a JetBlue Grand Prize consisting of round-trip flights for two to any nonstop destination from Boston.
View all the gardens in the story web app here.