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All About the Public Garden in Boston

By Izhar Alonso |

Escape from the urban environment of the city and find literary memories, nature and history at the Public Garden of Boston.


In the heart of the capital of Massachusetts there’s a place that will help you escape from the urban environment, a place where you’ll feel inspired to take a break and where you’ll find mementos of fiction, nature and history: the Public Garden of Boston.


The area where the garden is now located used to house a factory that manufactured ropes, but in 1794 a great fire burned the place down. After arguing about what they would do with the land, the owners decided not to rebuild the factory and agreed to sell it.

Therefore, in 1824, after some neighbors decided to buy the land, it was the government who finally got it for 55,000 US dollars. However, they didn’t know what to do with their new acquisition and they analyzed proposals including one that involved reselling the land to constructing companies. Fortunately, public opinion was taken into account before deciding the land’s destiny, and people denied the government the chance to resell it.

The discussion about what they’d build there continued for several years until, in 1850, through a voting process, they decided to create a public garden. This idea was not entirely new, since the proposal had been established since 1837 by Horace Gray and his associates. In the end, they got their way by becoming the owners of the first public botanical garden in America.

In order to execute the project they took ideas from European gardens. Unfortunately, due to some economical issues, they ended up returning ownership of the garden to the government of Boston, although this time, there was no turning back, so the garden continued to thrive.

Nowadays, some of the most beautiful species that make up this marvelous and colorful landscape include weeping willow trees, elm trees, horse chestnuts, dawn redwood, beech trees, gingko biloba and red sequoia trees, among others.


In the years after the establishment of the Public Garden, the place became even more beautiful thanks to the collaboration of several artists who contributed with their artwork.DINKtravelers invites you to learn about some of these artistic works that have made the garden a must-see attraction in Boston.

When you arrive at the garden, don’t forget to go over Lagoon Bridge, a bridge designed by William G. Preston and built in 1867. For a long time, this was the smallest suspension bridge in the world, until in 1921 it started being used only for decorative purposes. As you go over it you can enjoy the view of the lake with its swan-shaped boats and real-life ducks and swans swimming in the water. On the other side of the bridge you’ll find an equestrian sculpture of George Washington built by Thomas Ball in 1869.

Another must-see in the garden is the collection of statues that portray the characters of Make Way for Ducklings. This literary work tells the story of a family of ducks who inhabited the Public Garden. Make Way for Ducklings, by Robert McCloskey, is one of the most popular children’s stories in Boston, and you can find it in most bookstores. It’s the perfect souvenir for your inner child.

Also, visit the Triton Babies Fountain by Anna Coleman, the first female artist who contributed to the park. Finally, don’t miss the sculpture dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, which can be found just outside the garden.


  • Prepare your sportswear and don’t forget to take a bottle of water
  • The best seasons to visit the garden are autumn and winter
  • Plan a nutritious picnic at the park and, if you’re visiting it with your travel companion, take a ball or Frisbee so you can make some physical activity while you’re there