Leland Street Cooperative Garden:

A Unique Resource Open to the Community



The Leland Street Cooperative Garden is a community garden in the truest sense of the term. Dedicated to creating a neighborhood gathering place, the garden is free from individually owned plots and fences, locks and keys. Everything in the garden is open for all to use.


Letter from Djamil and the Leland Garden team:

Hello all,

Ok, yes, picking a date for this years party has been a story unto itself…yet, we have success to report!

Sunday, October 1, 1-4pm is the winner!

Confirmed as of this email are local musicians – Lisa, Emma, and maybe Larry; scavenger hunt for the kids; and an exciting fundraiser-raffle with gifts so far from Brassica, Dogwood, & Tikki Masala; home baked pies, cookies, book donations and Alex suggested we throw in there turning the compost for a month as well..! Why not?! 🙂

RAFFLE TICKETS ON SALE NOW and you don’t have to be present to win.

They cost $3-5 each (sliding scale)

If you would like to purchase a raffle ticket, then email me to make arrangements at lelandgardeninfo@gmail.com

Our wish list includes paying the water bill, new tools and a tool shed to name a few…

If you have ideas, suggestions or can help out at all on the day, please email me at


We thank you!

Here are a few lovely pics of our garden, Thank you Ellen!

Entering the Garden

​The aforementioned tools

​Peaking out over the herb beds behind the Crab Apple that was there before the garden…

Here’s an interesting read. Thank you Lindsey!

The mystery of the lost Roman herb


And finally,Thank you Vidya and all the staff working on our behalf at the Trustees! The September Gardeners Gazette is attached.

Hope to see you soon!

Take care,



What is the garden?

The garden is an oasis offering shade trees and a place to sit, walk, and enjoy. There are monthly steering committee meetings and workdays for those who wish to participate. We have a cutting flower garden, vegetable beds, perennial borders, and, as the centerpiece, a lovely herb garden. We also have honeybees. Composting is done using a three-bin system.

Origin and evolution of the garden:

By the early 1980’s, an area of 11,445 square feet, comprising three vacant lots, had become a dumping ground, littered with broken glass, garbage, and abandoned cars. It had also become a venue for drinking, drug dealing, and other illegal activity; most neighbors avoided walking into or even near The Lots. At that time, some nearby neighbors of The Lots decided to address the problem. They began to organize cleanup days and picnics, and discussed possible uses for the space.

In 1983, Boston Natural Areas Fund purchased the lots, ensuring that they would remain “green and open to the public forever.” In 1989, the garden received a grant of $25,000 from the Grassroots Program of the City of Boston. A local landscape architect was hired to design the garden, with input from neighbors. It was decided to build an open community space rather than individual plots.

Many neighborhood volunteers worked for two years to re-grade, haul in quality soil, and plant herbs, shrubs, and trees. In 1991, The Leland Street Community received the prestigious Community Garden of the Year award from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society.

From 1991 until the present, the garden has been sustained by work days and monthly meetings, bringing joy to neighbors and contributing to our sense of community.

Recently, ownership of the land comprising the Leland Street Cooperative Garden has passed from Boston Natural Areas Network (now defunct) to Trustees of Reservations. Interested members of the community are exploring exciting ways of responding to this change. A recent name change, from the Leland Street Community Garden to the Leland Street Cooperative Garden, was made for the sake of clarity and to avoid confusion, since, unlike the vast majority of “community gardens,” the Leland Street Community garden does not have any individual plots.

As always, everyone who wants to get involved in the garden and its ongoing process of change, adaptation, and evolution as a resource for the community and a means of creating community is welcome!


 Events and Gatherings:

Saturday workdays with potluck lunches

Winter soup nights

Beekeeping demonstrations

Solstice demonstrations

Events for children

Concerts and musical celebrations

Honey Day

Good Pickin’ Times:


Basil – July through September

Chives – June through November

Comfrey – June through September

Dill – July through September

Fennel – June through September

Lavender – June through September

Lemon balm – April through September

Lovage – April through May

Mint – April through September

Oregano – June through September

Parsley – July through September

Rhubarb – May through June

Sage – June through October

Sorrel – April through November


a variety of green leafy vegetables in season


a profusion of perennials such as roses, bee-balm, and butterfly bushes

a cutting garden with annuals including zinnias and cosmos

If you wish to receive email about garden events, contact:


Leland Street Co-operative Garden

15 Leland Street

Jamaica Plain, MA 02130