While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.
If you live in or are visiting the Boston, Massachusetts, area, why not visit the Boston Public Garden?
- The 24-acre Public Garden (also called the Boston Public Garden) was created in 1837, and it became public in 1853. This park is adjacent to the 48-acre Boston Common, which was created in 1634. The Public Garden is a manicured, decorative version of the Common, which was a practical area for traveling across town.
- The Public Garden is the first public botanical in the United States, and the Common is the first public park in the United States. Both are a part of the city’s "Emerald Necklace," which is a 1,100-acre chain of parks and waterways throughout the city. It gets its name because of the way the public spaces appear to hang from the "neck" of the Boston peninsula (the Emerald Necklace was never fully completed).
- The Public Garden has many trees, including weeping willows, maples, oaks, elms, redwood trees and more. Permanent flower plantings include exotic tropical plants, roses, tulips (more than 26,000 tulip flowers bloom each spring) and more.
- More than 80 plant species are cultivated in the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s greenhouses. The city’s 14 greenhouses also grow plants for more than 50 other locations around Boston.
- The Friends of the Public Garden is a nonprofit group consisting of more than 2,500 members. The Friends of the Public Garden advocate to preserve and to enhance the Public Garden, Common and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.
- Many statues are located throughout the Boston Public Garden, including an equestrian statue of George Washington, Ether Fountain, a 9/11 memorial and set of bronze ducklings (from the story "Make Way for Ducklings" by Robert McCloskey about mallards who raise their family on an island in the Boston Public Garden’s lagoon).
- No trip is complete to the Boston Common Gardens without a world-famous Swan Boat ride, which was created and operated by the Paget family for more than 130 years. In the 1870s, Robert Paget was inspired by a scene in Lohengrin, a Richard Wagner’s opera, in which a knight on a mission rides on a boat pulled by swans. He then developed the swans, which are the only boats of their kind in the world, where the boat "driver" paddles the boat like if they were riding a bicycle. A peaceful 15-minute ride from April to late September costs $2.75 for adults, $2 for seniors and $1.50 for children under 15.
- Get the self-guided iPod tour of the Public Garden.
Boston Public Garden Quick Info
VIDEO: Watch this mini documentary about the
Friends of the Public Garden and their 40 years of park stewardship.