Friends of Burlington Gardens
& the Vermont Community Garden Network
enhancing, and preserving community gardens for all
|News, events, and
Guide to greenbelt
gardening in Burlington
the last decade,
hundreds of Burlington residents have planted flowers in the greenbelt
area between the street and sidewalk. The "greenbelt gardens" have
beautify neighborhoods and promote a sense
The greenbelts are owned by the City of
Burlington. By city charter,
property owners are required to maintain the greenbelt areas in front
their homes and businesses. The Parks and
Recreation Department and Department of Public Works have jurisdiction
Friends of Burlington
Gardens supports neighborhood gardening and
beautification. FBG encourages city residents to work
together with the Parks and Recreation Department to take care of
trees and greenbelts. Greenbelts should not be used for food
Here are a few
tips and best practices for prospective greenbelt gardeners:
- When establishing a greenbelt garden,
avoid planting under the drip
line of street trees or disturbing their roots.
- Select drought resistant perennial
flowers such as
rudbeckia, echinacea, and asters.
- When establishing new greenbelt
plantings, avoid digging down more
than six inches, as the greenbelt area may contain buried cables and/or
- Avoid planting sunflowers for two
major reasons: they can block
visibility and when pulled up at the end of the season, they can cause
the loss of valuable top soil due to their extensive root systems.
- If you have perennials, remember that
the plants will
need to be divided every three years.
- Avoid leaving soil exposed in the
greenbelt. Mulch exposed areas to reduce water loss and erosion.
- Greenbelts are not appropriate
places to grow food. The soil may contain heavy metals and
the plants will be exposed to car exhasust, pet waste, and other
contaminants. Use a community, neighborhood, or
home garden plot instead. (And be sure to test your soil
first, call 802-865-LEAD for more info.)
walking tour of selected greenbelt and front yard gardens
Burlington's Old North End
is home to dozens of beautiful gardens that are easily viewed when
walking along neighborhood streets. To help city residents and visitors
understand the value of these unique gardens, Friends of
Burlington Gardens has laid out a walking tour through the
neighborhoods between North Champlain Street and North Avenue. The tour
route is unmarked, but please feel free to print out the directions
below and embark on your tour. As with any walking tour, please be
aware of traffic, enjoy the people you meet, and respect residents'
privacy by staying on the sidewalk unless invited by a resident to
observe a garden more closely.
The Old North End Garden tour begins and ends
on North Champlain Street
near the intersection with North Street. There is usually on-street
parking, but if school isn't in session, you can also park at the
Barnes Elementary School parking lot. While you're at Lawrence Barnes,
feel free to take a peek at the new Peace Garden at the North Street
entrance to the school. This garden was established in the
spring of 2005 with help from Shelburne Farms and a National Gardening
Association Youth Garden Grant.
Crossing to the west side of North Champlain
Street and continuing north, you'll come
to a colorful greenbelt garden at 159 N. Champlain Street, which is
maintained by Stephen and Joan Richer. If you peek across the fence
into the Richer's front yard, you'll see a wonderful array of
fountains, ponds, plants, and sculptures. Moving north a few paces,
you'll come to the greenbelt garden maintained by Genevieve Jacobs at
165 North Champlain Street. This garden is highlighted by an assortment
of herbs and day lilies. Continue north a block and you'll come to 229
North Champlain Street and the home of Ed and Edna Sumner. Their lovely
greenbelt garden with a silhouette is pictured in the photo at the top
of this page.
When you reach the end of North Champlain Street,
turn left on
Manhattan Drive and go two blocks west. Bear to the left on Ward Street
one block, then turn left on Blodgett Street. Proceed to the
intersection of Blodgett Street and Strong Street, where you'll find a
beautiful circular flower garden in the center of the street. Make a
right turn onto
Strong Street, which has several small greenbelt and front yard
When you reach the intersection with North Avenue, those who are
adventurous can take a slight detour from the route and turn right.
Proceed north four blocks to 266 North Avenue, which is the home of
David Corey. David received a Burlington Blooms Award in 2003 for his
outstanding front yard garden which is often photographed. Around the
corner from David's home, he also maintains some greenbelt gardens
along Convent Square. After viewing the gardens, turn back on North
Avenue, retrace your route, and continue walking on the same side of
the street north on North Avenue until you reach the Sara Holbrook
Center. There you will find a colorful mural designed and painted by
youth gardeners who participated in garden day camp sponsored by
Friends of Burlington Gardens in 2005 and 2006.
Continue north on North Avenue to Battery Park.
You'll see flower beds maintained by the Burlington Garden Club in
front of the Burlington Police Station, a beautiful circular flower bed
at the top of Front
Street, and several flower beds maintained by the City of
Burlington in Battery Park, which has an outstanding view of Lake
Champlain. At the park, bear left on Battery Street, go one block,
cross at the crosswalk, and take a left onto Park Street heading north.
Continue one block past the intersection with North Street, and turn
right on Myrtle Street. This short street has several small gardens.
When you reach North Champlain Street, turn right and enjoy one more
look at the Richer's gardens at 159 North Champlain. Then head south on
North Champlain Street back to your car or vehicle. We hope you enjoy
the gardens maintained by home and neighborhood gardeners.
Gardens & the
12 North Street #5
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