Think Pink: Mother’s Day and Pink Space in Boston

Yes, it’s almost Mother’s Day, which means it’s time to admire the pale purple, dark purple, and ever so slightly purplish white blooms at Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. But as every Disney princess knows, pink is also an acceptable feminine hue. There’s a nice bit of pink available for viewing this Sunday in Wellesley, and an overwhelming roiling traffic-stopping marshmallow fluff blob of pink coming to Fort Point Channel this summer.

Wellesley is the home of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s charming gardens at Elm Bank. I was there for the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts Speakers Bureau this week, and stopped by the Alan Payton Garden of the American Rhododendron Society Massachusetts Chapter. And behold! Pink galore!

Rhododendron enthusiasts can deduce the identity of this bright bit of shrubbery from the Rhododendron Society’s map of the 88 different species and cultivars on display. Mere gawkers can stare at the flowers until their eyes hurt. They’re lovely, and some of the blossoms are delicate as a young girl’s tresses—but some of them are just pink, Pink, PINK.

In other PINK news, it looks like someone has answered my call for putting a giant jellybean on the Greenway… or at least fairly nearby in Fort Point Channel.

On May 5 the Boston Globe reported that SHIFT Boston had awarded first prize in its design competition for what to put on a Fort Point Channel Barge to, well, a giant pink cloud, which will appear in Boston “next summer.” According to SHIFT Boston’s web site,

“Lighter Than Air is a large pink helium and steam balloon… Lighter than Air is comprised of a 3-D camouflage net held up by helium-filled weather balloons, forming what the designer and architect call a “camovapor” climate system that floats above the barge…

“Visitors are invited to use an outdoor gym of bicycles to generate “pedal power” that inflates additional weather balloons and transforms liquid water into water vapor—either as mist or steam. As the water vapor condenses on the cool surfaces of the camouflage nets, the 3-D perforation of the camouflage net will temporarily retain this water. When combined with the harbor breeze, cool micro-climate zones will be created.”

How cool is that? I guess it depends on how much water vapor is floating around… The Blob will be available for viewing, pedaling, micro-climate creation and stupefied admiration in September and October 2011.

I admit that I’m slightly partial to the Grow Boston runner-up entry that would create living gardens that would float away, even though it would pollute the Harbor. Boston could always use more green space. But I’m delighted to see more pink space, too. It’s about time we had some fun around here.






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