Updated: Nov 15, 2021
by 4Squares Residential Group in Partnership with Judi 411
As we continue opening doors throughout the Medford community, the 4Squares Team met with Anne Traer of Garden and Roads Florist to learn about her business and why she loves living in Medford.
What do you love about your Medford neighborhood?
We live in the Hillside Area, near Tufts, in a farmhouse built in the late 1700s, with a huge wrap-around porch and, of course, a garden. We're in a neighborhood where there's a mix of multi-family houses and single-family homes, and our neighbors and the location are great. Our neighbor across the street, who's 99, has given us the neighborhood's history, and folks are very welcoming.
Some of our neighbors are generations living next door to each other, which brings comfort in knowing there's a strong community around us.
We're also surrounded by some great business people like Erik Jacobs of Plough & Stars, Lindsey and Ed of Goldilox Bagels, and Clare Flaherty of Elsecar by the Sea and Trove.
We also love that there is a rich music and art community here in Medford and love being a part of it.
Russ discovered the Condon Shell while running along the Mystic River not long after we moved here in 2010. He connected with the Mayor's office the following summer to explore holding a music show there, which grew to become the Mystic Music Fest, which started in 2012.
We were delighted that West Medford Open Studios returned this year, a great blend of art and music in the community. One of my husband's bands played at Open Studios, and he discovered a little stained glass pocket with flowers on it, which he gifted to me. So while those are the sorts of things that didn't initially draw us here, they're aspects that we've found wonderful about Medford over time.
What inspired you to create Garden and Roads?
My floral dream roots date back to about 20 years ago, after creating ivy and hydrangea floral centerpieces for a wedding. Since then, I've been hooked on gardening while also working in local florist shops during breaks in my corporate career. Gradually, garden bed by garden bed, my floral dream bloomed, and I founded Garden and Roads Florist & Flower Farm out of my home in 2017.
We are committed to creating floral art using flowers, products, and delivery methods gentle to the environment. Whenever possible, we use flowers from our gardens or sourced from other local flower farms. We deliver arrangements in our Kia Niro, which we charge during daylight hours from the solar panels on our roof.
Our business name is inspired by gardening and my love of cycling, and my taking Robert Frost's proverbial 'road less traveled' in leaving my corporate career behind in favor of starting my own floral business.
As a Medford business owner, what do you appreciate most about the business community?
I'd have to say meeting the people in the community. Changing from working 8-to-14 workdays in an office cubicle or traveling for business to working in my yard has been a welcome change. I get to meet people who are out walking their dogs or bringing their kids to school. Many of my neighbors or people walking by will stop and ask questions about the flowers I'm growing or gardening in general, and many conversations have turned into friendships.
Working together with Goldilox has also been fantastic. I started delivering their bagels with flowers to support a new business in the neighborhood. I wanted them to be successful, and I wanted more people to know about them, and the combination has been super popular with weekend deliveries.
What drew you to live in Medford?
While I'm not originally from this area, I kept moving back to Boston as an adult. No matter where I lived --- New York City, Cape Cod, London --- I always returned to Boston. For me, Boston has everything you want in a city – history, the ocean, and mountains are all nearby.
In 2010, when my husband and I were looking for a house, we wanted our own walls instead of sharing walls or ceilings with other people. We wanted to be accessible to Boston and looked in Somerville, Cambridge, and Arlington. Still, Medford was where we could find our own house, a home with character, with the added benefit of affordability and proximity to the city.
When we moved here, I worked downtown and then later in Kendall Square, both within decent commuting distance from Medford. My husband is a massage therapist and works out of a few different locations, and Medford was an excellent central point for his work commute. Now, of course, I work out of my home, and my love of the area has grown.
You've found a lot to enjoy about living in Medford. What would you tell someone who is considering a move here?
What's terrific about Medford is that each neighborhood holds a strong sense of community and that there are so many neighborhoods to explore. In West Medford, there's the Magnificent Muffin, where the walls are covered with great pictures about West Medford. The Riverbend area near the Wegmans has a bit more of an urban feel. The Riverbend Community Gardens are where people connect while taking pride in their vegetable gardens. The Heights in North Medford is a beautiful hidden gem and close to the Middlesex Fells, and the Haines Square and South Medford areas have excellent restaurants. Each neighborhood holds its own sense of community at a neighborhood level, and we've enjoyed exploring all the city has to offer.
Garden and Roads specializes in floral artistry, incorporating flowers from their own gardens in custom vase arrangements and bouquets. Treat yourself to a monthly floral subscription as a way of celebrating Medford's natural beauty in your home. Visit the Subscription Page on the Garden and Roads website to learn more! You can also see photos of amazing flowers by giving them a follow @GardenandRoads on Instagram and Facebook! All photos courtesy of Anne Traer.
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