The Public Garden or Boston Public Garden located in the center of Boston, Massachusetts, is a large park next to the Boston Common.
The Public Garden is planted with a wide assortment of native and introduced trees such as the weeping willows around the shore of the lagoon and the European and American elms that line the garden’s pathways, along with horse chestnuts, dawn redwoods, European beeches, ginkgo trees, and one California redwood.
Permanent flower plantings in the garden include numerous varieties of roses, bulbs, and flowering shrubs. Plantings are supplied from 14 greenhouses the city operates at Franklin Park for the purpose. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated there for future plantings in the Garden and more than 50 other locations around the city. The Garden’s romantic setting attracts many weddings.
Established in 1837 when philanthropist Horace Gray petitioned for the use of land as the first public botanical garden in the United States, the Public Garden was the first botanical garden in the United States to be open to the general public. In order to develop the 24 acres of marshland allotted for the garden, the city held a competition to determine who would create the design. George Meacham won first prize and his design was implemented, though over the years many changes have been made to the garden.
The 24 acres (97,000 m2) garden included a number of fountains and statues. Public Garden also contains a lake and a large series of formal plantings that are maintained by the city and vary from season to season. The Public Garden is managed jointly between the Mayor’s Office, The Parks Department of the City of Boston, and the non-profit Friends of the Public Garden.It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Public Garden Statues
- George Washington Statue, by Thomas Ball in 1869
- Good Samaritan Ether Monument commemorates the first use of ether as an anesthetic.
- George Robert White Memorial entitled The Angel of the Waters , created in 1924.
- Triton Babies Fountain on the east side of the garden
- Boy and Bird
- At bronze statue of Edward Everett Hale by Bela Pratt in 1869.
- Statue of Wendell Phillips (1811–1884) ,an orator and abolitionist.
- Colonel Thomas Cass, commander of the 9th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry which served in the American Civil War
- Statue of Charles Sumner a congressman from Boston
- Statue of Tadeusz Kościuszko, a Polish citizen who fought in the American Revolution as a Colonel.
The garden is open all year but visitors can find the most colorful array of flowers from April through October. A fine variety of public art is on display at the Public Garden as well, including an excellent statue of George Washington .
During the warmer seasons, the centerpiece and most famous attraction of Boston Public Garden are the Swan Boats, which began operating in 1877. For a small fee, tourists can sit on a boat ornamented with a white swan at the rear. The boat is then pedaled around the lake by a tour guide sitting within the swan. Descendants of the man who launched the first boat, Robert Paget, still operate the attraction today.
The Boston Public Garden is a wonderful place to spend quality time in nature . Visitors can admire the rich and unusual plants, the Lagoon, monuments and fountains, and the Swan Boats created and operated for over 100 years by the Paget family.