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Everything came up roses

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Photographs by Diane Hammer

The Emerald Necklace Conservancy has pledged to restore and modernize the fountain at the center of the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens, where the annual Rose Garden Party to support ParkARTS was held last week.

To a background of soft pastel, velvety red, and snow white roses, guests brought a tropical swirl of pink, orange, and lime finery to the annual Rose Garden Party to benefit ParkARTS, the city’s free summer art, music, and performance programs held at public parks throughout the city.


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Hats Galore winner for Best Fascinator is Elisha Daniels of Boston and for earning an honorable mention in the Just for Men category is Gary Smith of Wellesley, Massachusetts.

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Sure, there was a fair share of off-white linen, but this is one night when the little black dress is best left at home and the bright colors of summer are out in dazzling force. For those who came for the promised sartorial splendor, the Hats Galore competition didn’t disappoint. Entries were elegant, clever, funky, even brave tributes to the milliner’s art.

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Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak at the podium to introduce honorary chair of the Rose Garden Party, Angela Menino, who is seated (sans hat) at right with her husband, Mayor Thomas M. Menino (also hatless).

But folks weren’t here just to see and be seen. The event brought attention to its site, the Kelleher Rose Garden in the Back Bay Fens, a jewel in the treasure that is the Emerald Necklace. Designed in the 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, considered the father of landscape architecture in this country, the famed Emerald Necklace is tended to and protected with the help of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. And as guests stood around the fountain at the center of the garden, Boston Parks Commissioner Antonia Pollak announced this dedicated group has taken on the task of restoring and modernizing this delightful focal point. Hats off to that.

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Guests pause in the rose garden to chat, admire the roses, and paintings by local artists Frank Costantino and Paul McMahan, who painted en plein air during the evening and offered the work for sale to benefit ParkARTS.

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