Boston Home

Garden of Delight

Elisha Daniels’s vibrant South End patio is an oasis that brings joy and replenishment.

Photo by Doug Daniels / Clothing from Elisha Daniels Boutique at the Mandarin Oriental

Seventeen years ago, the main reason Elisha and Doug Daniels purchased their South End home was for its 900-square-foot back garden. “It was a blank slate,” recalls Elisha, who owns the Elisha Daniels Boutique at the Mandarin Oriental. There were no plants, no blooms, no color at all—yet she could envision that the brick-clad space would flourish and feed her soul. The garden’s restorative powers were set in motion soon after: About a month after moving into the home, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. “During my chemo and radiation, the garden became a real refuge for me,” says Elisha, who has long been cancer-free.

Over the years, gardening evolved into a passion and a hobby, Elisha says. “I learned as I went along what worked out here and what didn’t.” She’s planted roses, hydrangeas, and lily of the valley in beds along the perimeter, pots burst with annuals, and ivy climbs on the walls. The garden is both an entertaining space and a secluded haven for the couple and their bichon frisé, Pucci. An extension of their indoor living space, they spend time in the garden 10 months a year.

“We use it to the fullest extent possible,” Elisha says. “It’s a true labor of love.”

First published in the print edition of Boston Home’s Fall 2023 issue, with the headline, “Garden of Delight.”