I have been visiting the Boston Gardens since I was a very little girl. It’s a family tradition for most of us growing up in the Boston area to make the pilgrimage into the city and walk through the beautiful Public Gardens, take a ride on the Swan Boats and buy a bag of peanuts and feed the ducks. It is a spectacular place filled with magnificent gardens of colorful tulips, daffodils and all sorts of wildflowers with a lovely hand-dug lagoon lined with weeping willows that dip and sway into the water as you glide past. These iconic red and green Swan Boats have been available to families since 1877. They are long and slender with two row boat type pontoons at the base and a life-like giant swan at the rear of the boat that is peddled by a driver sitting inside the swan shape. There is no engine as the boat is basically run by the driver using a bicycle type pedal system that glides the boat around the lagoon. The pond is filled with ducks and swans and overlooks the city scape of Boston. It’s a beautiful and peaceful place filled with inspiration every where you look. From the well manicured magnificent gardens to the historic architecture surrounding the park to the statues and bridges that adorn the Boston Gardens. We visited recently bringing one of our Granddaughters to take her on this traditional family pilgrimage. I couldn’t help but think of all the times I have visited here with my Mom and Dad as a child as well as all the times we brought our own girls here for their Swan Boat ride. The famous children’s book, “Make Way For Ducklings” really put the Swan Boats on the map and the statue of all the little ducklings from the story is also here in the Public Garden and a favorite with the children! It’s really a wonderful family place. The day that we visited the park it was filled as usual with all sorts of people walking around, taking photographs and just enjoying the scenery on a particularly beautiful and very hot summer’s day. I made a few notations in my sketch book so I could create a painting of the Swan Boats when I had some time after I returned to my studio. I have now worked up this gouache painting of the Swan Boats within the skyline of Boston…thinking that perhaps it might become a hooked pillow for one of my clients? A trip representing wonderful memories of days gone by, now shared with our ten year old Granddaughter Molly. Inspiration always seems to be able find us no matter where we go!