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Request for Online Art Auction Items

August 17, 2015


The Friends of the Public Garden invites local artists to donate a piece of work for an online art auction fundraiser to be held from October 7-21, 2015. Included in this auction will be artwork made from a fallen Boston Common elm tree and other art objects (paintings, ceramics, etc.) donated by local artists.

Proceeds from this auction will support the work of the Friends of the Public Garden to protect and enhance the Boston Common, Public Garden and Commonwealth Avenue Mall.  Each year, the Friends ensures that the critical natural and structural features of the parks receive the vital care they need, including over 1,700 trees; more than 40 pieces of public art; and several newly restored turf areas. For more information about the work of the Friends, visit

Each auction item will have its own page on the auction website, including information about the artist and links to the artist’s website or other online information (Facebook, etc.).

If you are interested in supporting these green spaces with a donation of an auction item, please contact Mary Halpin at the Friends of the Public Garden at or 857-239-8937.

The Auction Committee will review all proposed donations before accepting the item and reserve the right to decline a donation. The Friends is a 501c3 organization and all donations are tax-deductible to the extent provided by law.

Name that Tune Tuesday at Brewer Fountain Plaza

August 4, 2015


During the month of August we will be finding out if our Friends and followers have an ear for music with a “Name that Tune Tuesday!” promotion.

How it works:

Visit our Facebook page on Tuesdays to watch a short video featuring the Berklee College of Music pianist of the week performing at Brewer Fountain Plaza. “Like” the post and message the Friends of the Public Garden Facebook with the title of the song. If you submit the right song by 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, your name will be entered into a drawing for a Boston Common book. Please provide an email address to be contacted if your name is drawn, and please only suggest one song per week.

The winner will be informed no later than 5:00 p.m. the following day. The winner’s name and correct song title will be posted on Facebook.

Each week the contest winner will receive a book about the Boston Common, which provides a wealth of information about America’s first public park, including details on Brewer Fountain Plaza.

Please note that Facebook has no affiliation with this contest.

Summer Party Raises Roof and Funds for Parks

July 31, 2015

We were delighted to be joined by 170 Friends at the Rooftop of the Taj Hotel on July 22 for our second annual Summer Party. The event doubled in size from the the previous year and sold out nearly one month earlier. Thank you to our generous event sponsor First Republic Bank, and to old Friends and new who stepped out to celebrate and support the three parks we care for in partnership with the City. Read about the evening in the Boston Herald  and visit our Facebook album to view more photos.

Photos: Pierce Harman

Caring for Boston’s Outdoor Treasures

July 30, 2015

Photo: Sarah Hutt

Summer has begun which means the outdoor work of the Friends sculpture care program is in swing. Mr. Hale (pictured) in the Public Garden is one of eight pieces conservators are caring for this year as part of the Friends Sculpture Care Program. Another 10 pieces of public art are in the process of being cleaned and maintained. This work is not only necessary, it is also newsworthy.  The Boston Globe recently ran a piece about the behind-the-scenes efforts involved in caring for these historic works of art in the article, “They get the gunk off Boston’s outdoor treasures.”

Spend an Majestic Morning with Puppets on the Common

July 30, 2015

FOPG Puppets on the Common, August 22, 2014 by Elizabeth Jordan (5)

The Friends of the Public Garden is pleased to present:

Puppets on the Common
“The Enchanted Castle and the Royal Park”
Boston Common, Parkman Bandstand
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
10:30 a.m.
Children are welcome to join the Friends and Rosalita’s Puppets for a majestic morning of entertainment featuring Fairy Godmother Glitter and Princess Crystal who will be accompanied by their pals Dragon, Wizard, Unicorn and several fairies.

The M. Holt Massey Charitable Trust is sponsoring this show.

Meet the Friends: Sherley Gardner-Smith

July 30, 2015


Love for our special historic parks inspires many to become members of the Friends of the Public Garden. It was certainly a driving force that prompted Sherley Gardner-Smith, a passionate Master Gardener and lover of nature, to become actively involved in our organization more than ten years ago. For Sherley, however, the other driving force that led to her involvement was a little closer to home. Her husband Fred has been involved with the Friends for many years, and was the first person to introduce her to our work and us.

Anyone who knows Sherley knows of her boundless energy. Happily, we are the beneficiaries of that energy through a number of Friends initiatives that she has become involved with. She has a keen interest in plantings in the parks and is a past member of our Horticulture Committee. In 2014, she became a member of our Communications and Outreach Committee. In that role she volunteered to test a natural science curriculum designed for use in the Public Garden with several local school groups. Children were able to observe natural occurrences and use them as the basis of scientific discovery. It may come as no surprise that this former teacher was attracted to a project that helps students find a new and deeper appreciation for a Garden she loves so much.

Her advocacy for learning continues in what may prove to be her most significant undertaking yet on behalf of the Friends, as co-leader of the newly launched Public Garden Tour Program. Sherley, along with Sidney Kenyon, is overseeing more than a dozen docent volunteers who lead tours of the Public Garden. The pair have spent hours coordinating trainings and implementing the program with the assistance of Friends staff.

We asked Sherley what our parks mean to her, and she said, “Enclosed in the sanctuary of the Public Garden, under the canopy of the magnificent trees, surrounded by the vibrancy of the flower beds, one can contemplate nature with solitary reverence or share in the beauty with fellow citizens.”

We thank Sherley for her many volunteer hours and for taking an active role in sharing her love for our parks with others.

It’s Hot, Humid, and the Public Garden Tropical Plants Love it!

July 20, 2015

This summer has been hot and very humid, one might even say tropical.The tropical plants in the Public Garden fit right in this year!

IMG_2451 Tropical plants have been present in the Public Garden for most of its history. According to the book, the Public Garden Boston published by the Friends in 2000, they were first planted by William Doogue in the late 1800’s. The palms and other plantings were stored in the greenhouses and brought out to be placed in the Victorian-style garden. Doogue’s horticultural displays stayed true to the Victorian style, however not everyone loved the non-native species. Many considered it odd to have such plants in the Boston Public Garden. However, these plants appeared year after year to continue the tradition and to further educate people on plants from around the world. IMG_2442 Today, the tropical plants continue to educate and honor a tradition started by Doogue over a century ago. A new executive assistant in the parks department, Josh Altidor, has designed beds that attest and expand this practice. The Boston Globe recently featured Josh in a story about this year’s plantings. IMG_2444 IMG_2449 IMG_2447


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