Thirty Per Cent
Birthday Party

The Maestro's Garden



                                                                                                    (Photos by Seth Kugel)

Last Sunday under a cloudless sky, we wandered over to nearby Brattle Street to show Seth some of its stately homes, most hidden behind tall fences or fence-like bushes. The modest home of Benjamin Zander, conductor of The Boston Philharmonic has a 2-ft high brick wall in front that frames a garden of hundreds of flowers.  A small sign invites people to go to his back yard “for more beauty”.  And if you are lucky and he sees you from the double doors to his music room, he might come out and greet you there.

We sat on the front wall and watched the flowers and the people watching the flowers.  A couple of the watchers, assuming we were in front of our own house complimented us on our garden.  One woman spent a lot of time taking close-up pictures.  It turns out it was the gardener herself coming to see the garden in just the right light to take pictures.

A picture is worth 1,000 words.  (For 2,000 words see above.)


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Linda McMahan

Thank you for sharing those gorgeous pictures! Peter and you look gorgeous! So happy for you both. Have a wonderful summer!


How lovely! Those beautiful colors and freshness just made my day, even through a photo. You both look as vibrant as ever, in spite of recent challenges.

Margaret Hamilton

Beautiful day, beautiful garden, beautiful words, beautifully rendered. Thank you for showering us with beauty.


Just lovely!

Paul Albert

I love the photo of you and Peter. It helps bring your blog alive!

Karen Gionet Zentek

Many years ago, in 1986, I stayed overnight at Ben Zander's house with my friend. Mr Zander had his house listed as a Bed and Breakfast. When we arrived, we had no idea it was owned by the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra! He was at home and we had a long, leisurely breakfast with him in the music room. There was a grand piano and a harp just feet away. Then, he showed us the beautiful balcony that reminded me of Chesterwood (Daniel Chester French's house that I had visited the previous day). I remember eating breakfast and he was making conversation with me and my friend. He was playing a Suzanne Vega song (not classical music) and talking to us about how music feeds the soul, just like food nourishes the body. I was in my early twenties and I only wish I had realized who he was while we were at his home. After we left his home, we traveled to Boston to visit museums. On the front of one of the museums was a huge canvas poster and his picture was on the front of it, announcing a concert that would take place in a few days. I said, "That was the man who we just had breakfast with in that beautiful music room"! The whole time we were with him at his home, he never told us he was a conductor. He just introduced himself as Ben Zander.

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