Meet Me in Medford | Melissa Casella, Gardening Guru
As we head into the dog days of summer, taking time to sit on the porch or out in the backyard is a welcome respite from beach days, family vacations, and all that comes with New England living. Enjoying a summer morning or evening taking in the beauty of a flowering garden is a moment many of us in Medford relish.
For some of us, the moment is extra special thanks to local landscape artist Melissa Casella, who plays a part in creating an outdoor refuge for residents across the city.
We took a few moments with Melissa to learn more about her business, Boomscapes, and what she loves about living in Medford, season by season.
You grew up in Medford and have lived here your whole life. What makes Medford home for you?
I grew up in a neighborhood bursting with life in the Wellington/Glenwood area. Our street was chock-full of families with many kids, so we had built-in playmates, and we all walked to and from school together. Our family, like many others, had a large garden in the back, where I spent a lot of time with my dad and reaped the benefits of fresh flowers and produce every summer.
While much of what we needed was in Haines Square, my favorite childhood memory was making the pilgrimage across town to South Medford for pasta from Bella Ravioli and bread from LaCascia's for our Sunday family meal.
I still live in the same neighborhood and walking the area with my dog brings back many memories. I still remember where everyone lived and reminisce about our younger days.
What do you love about your Medford home and neighborhood?
My neighborhood is infinitely walkable. I can take a quick jaunt over to the Haines Square area for coffee, a "baby Target" run, or grab some tools and home improvement supplies at Modern Hardware. We also have incredible restaurants nearby. Dempsey's for breakfast, Ronnie's Place or Shanghai Moon on Salem Street for lunch, and my favorite, FiorItaly, for outstanding Italian food for dinner!
You're clearly a supporter of local businesses. You're also a business owner yourself! Tell us about your small landscape gardening business, Boomscapes.
Like many people during the pandemic, I was itching for something to do. I had worked in the restaurant industry for many years, and COVID took a bite out of that source of income. I've always been an avid gardener and plant lover, and I love creating beautiful, natural spaces with repurposed materials. My back porch looks like an Amazon rainforest for crying out loud!
I started helping friends tend to their outdoor plants, making their gardens look better. At first, I did it as an act of love, but then one of my friends said, "You know, you could get paid to do this!"
What I love most about my work is personalizing landscapes with repurposed materials. I recently worked on the local writer Judi Harrington's yard and uncovered bricks and stones that I used to make a border for her Tiger Lilies and Hostas and a short walkway in the shape of a comma. It was an excellent complement to her Little Free Library and created a whimsical garden she loves. I love giving people that boost, that little dose of serotonin in their own home.
As we do with all our Meet Me in Medford guests, we'd like to end with the question, "If your best friend were considering a move to Medford, what would you tell them?
Medford has a hometown feel, whether you've lived here your whole life or for a short time. As someone who's lived here my entire life, I've loved watching the community grow in terms of its diversity. We also offer a lot of culture: West Medford Open Studios, concerts at the Condon Shell, and now top-notch musicians and performers at the Chevalier Theatre. I love seeing the community living up to its potential. You don't have to go far to have a good time.
Are you looking to bring nature's rich pageant to your doorstep? Then contact Melissa by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to book a consultation!
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