The Friends of the Public Garden is at the end of a multi-year renewal of the landscape along the 900 foot Boylston Street border of the Public Garden. This border has seen many chapters in its history, and today serves as a naturalistic planted screen from the busy urban environment, offering protection as well as selected views out.

The Boylston Street border was last renovated by the Friends in 1994, planted with a mix of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and small flowering trees. At the time, it was noted that the soil conditions were problematic and future growth of the maturing trees would limit sunlight. Deep shading from the mature elms along the street and lining the opposite side of the Garden’s path, poor soil, and limited drainage have played a major role in the decline of some of the plant material, resulting in a border with gaps and areas of spotty plantings, and a ragged edge resulting from soil erosion onto the path during rains.

The goals of the project were to improve the appearance and health of the plantings as well as resolve drainage issues. In October of 2013, we commenced with the renovation of the first 150-foot pilot section of the border. We transplanted and added trees and shrubs and corrected the drainage issues that had plagued this section of the park for some time. Each year saw a new section reclaimed. Sadly, a huge Elm threatening the stability of the Channing statue was removed and new plantings in the area behind Channing will be the fifth and final phase of the border restoration. In total, ten new bench pads and benches were installed. For the first time since the 1970s there are benches along this border, allowing the park users to not only sit among the new plantings but to look to the north across the Garden and view its wonderful landscape and statuary.

The entire undertaking was a $450,000 project. Generous contributors to the project include The Highland Street Foundation, The Phil and Norma Fine Foundation, The Stanton Foundation, and several local residents. Thank you.

For more information or to make a contribution to this project call 617-723-8144 or write:

Boylston Street Border Renovation Before and After

View the Boylston Street Border renovation project pictures here.