Begins April 14th, 2012
It’s easy to see why The Trumpet of the Swan, E.B. White’s children’s classic about a swan with no voice, was inspired by Boston’s Public Gardens. For the writer who claimed to own just one book, Thoreau’s pantheistic Walden, E.B. White must have been impressed enough by the Garden’s rich and unusual plants, the Lagoon, the monuments and fountains, to pen the book—or perhaps his true inspiration sprang from the improbable Swan Boats.
For over 130 years, the Swan Boats have been integral to the Boston experience. Harbingers of spring, they grace the waters of the Boston Public Gardens, the first of its kind in the United States. Made famous also in the picture book Make Way for Ducklings, the Swan Boats belong to a unique tradition preserved for over 100 years by the Paget Family. The Swan Boat story dates back to the 1870’s when Robert Paget, whose descendants still operate the business, received a boat-for-hire license from the City of Boston. The Swan Boat, a human-powered catamaran, can seat up to 20 passengers, with the pedals for the operator creatively hidden behind swan forms.
The pastoral and practical Boston Common was created in 1634, while The Public Garden, from its inception decorative and flowery, appeared in 1837. The Common’s walkways served for crosstown travel; the Public Garden’s paths for meandering. The Common was America’s first park, the Public Garden its first botanical garden—a style of park ushered in by Victorians who had techniques to collect, hybridize and propagate plants. They bedded-out the Garden in intricate floral patterns of blazing color and planted exotic imported trees.
These days the Victorian spirit is preserved if not its dazzling variety; plants used in bedding-out the Public Garden are grown in Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s greenhouses. Over 80 species of plants are cultivated there for future plantings in the Garden and more than 50 other locations around the city. Needless to say, the Garden’s romantic setting attracts many weddings. Upscale shops and cafés are a walk away on Newbury Street. Cheers Beacon Hill is also nearby.
Swan Boats Public Garden Lagoon Arlington Street & Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA | 617-522-1966 www.swanboats.com
WHERE TO STAY
Taj Boston boasts one of the most scenic addresses in Boston’s Back Bay. Bordered on one side by the Public Garden and on the other side by fashionable Newbury Street, the 4 star Taj Boston Hotel promises to create a luxury hotel experience like no other. This 1927 Beaux-Arts landmark is surrounded by upscale boutiques, galleries and restaurants, and for an authentic Boston experience, the swan boat rides at the Public Garden are steps away.
Since opening in 1912, The Fairmont Copley Plaza has retained its status as one of the most elegant luxury hotels in all of Boston. Located on James Avenue in the historic Back Bay area of Boston, the Copley Plaza Hotel Boston is swathed in history and style like no other. This 4.5 star historic landmark is the recipient of the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 1997, a true testament to the hotel’s refined elegance and gracious service.
Formerly the headquarters of the Boston Police Department, The Back Bay Hotel is situated in Boston’s epicenter. Suitably named, the Back Bay Hotel is a one-of-a-kind 4 star boutique property in Back Bay, one of the most sought after locations in all of Boston. With nearby attractions including Newbury Street, Boston Common and the Public Gardens.