Belmont Gardens is owned and managed by the Belmont Land Trust. It was a gift by the Lenk family to the Belmont Land Trust in 2005. The wooded lot consists of approximately .4 acre of land along Hoitt Road in the Winn Brook neighborhood. The open land was once part of an eight acre greenhouse complex known as Belmont Gardens. Established in 1921 by the Lenk family, Belmont Gardens became nationally recognized for its Belmont Gardenia. The Belmont Gardenia was one of the first flowers to receive a patent by the US Patent Office, in 1934. During the growing season, 8,000 gardenias were typically shipped per day. In 1950, a record shipment of 14,000 gardenias was made in one single day. The Lenk family operated Belmont Gardens over a 34 year period and by 1954 it represented one of the few remaining large agricultural businesses in Belmont.
Belmont Gardenia is almost old enough to be an heirloom variety being patented in 1934 by Walter E. Lenk on Belmont Estate, Massachussets. In his patent application, PP93, he states that “The variety is an extraordinarily heavy producer and can be propagated rapidly. ”
Today, the former Belmont Gardens has been fully developed into residences except for this last parcel at 17 Hoitt Road maintained by the Belmont Land Trust as a memorial to the Lenk family’s interest in open space preservation and a historical reminder of Belmont’s farming past. The removal of invasive plant species has been completed and continues to be managed.
A sign honoring the history of Belmont Gardens was installed at the property in 2010 by the Belmont Land Trust.
- Location: 17 Hoitt Road
- Date acquired: 2005
- Donated by: The Lenk family
- Acreage: .4 acre