“Creative Gardens of the Lower Cape” Sponsored by the Eastham Public Library Building Fund
For the last two years, Eastham has hosted one of the most exciting garden tours on Cape Cod. Or so say the visitors who have joined us for Hydrangea Fest 2015 and 2016. We are a modest community with few large, professionally designed landscapes. Each of the five gardens you will experience has a personal scale. And each includes ideas that can be executed by you in your own yard. While some of us are Master Gardeners, most of us just know what we like. And every piece of ground cover, flower, tree and, of course, hydrangea, was selected with love. You will experience whimsy put together in a way that makes each garden unique and creative. We have been inspired by knowing local artists, appreciating the natural beauty around us and experimenting with what grows on Cape Cod. If you are looking for ideas that you can implement in your own garden, you have chosen the ideal tour.
Garden #1 “Luxury Outdoor Living ”
Address: 100 Schoolhouse Road, Eastham
Visit one of the most comfortable living rooms we have encountered. The owners have transformed a property of diseased trees into an extended-season, outdoor living room for entertaining, relaxing and escaping the city. On hot days, umbrellas and comfortable chairs line the deck which borders the koi pond, close enough to dip your feet. A magnificent Kwanza cherry tree hangs over expansive hydrangeas. There is a fire pit in the middle of the yard, ready for chilly evenings. And a trickling waterfall, privacy barriers, raised beds, Limelight hydrangeas, decorative grasses, perennials and annual plantings bring the garden together.
Garden #2 “A Day at the Beach”
Address: 20 Beverly Road, Eastham
A Caribbean-inspired palapa is the centerpiece of this garden transformation in North Eastham. Starting with an overgrown, featureless landscape in 2012, these amateur gardeners have created a mini paradise of winding pea gravel paths that take you by various species of hydrangea, daisies, black-eyed susans, lilies, dappled willow, and other perennials. Arbor vitae and river birch were recently added to give height. A large cobble-edged strawberry patch and a sandy "beach" surrounding the palapa are focal points. This space is still in its infancy. Talk with the owners about what is to come.
Garden #3 “Bamboo Serenade”
Address: 1345 Massasoit Road, Eastham
This very private property has over 600 feet of bamboo which hundreds of small birds call home. When you visit, you will forget that you are on Cape Cod. Plants were selected for their Asian feel and the foliage appears random, all intended to give you the feel of being in a natural woodland setting located somewhere in the Far East. The fishpond is surrounded by a variety of perennials; hydrangeas border a circular drive and the pergola has long-established roses and an ancient Weeping Blue Atlas. Finally, look for a pocket garden studded with sculptures and potted plants.
Garden #4 “The Gardens on Depot Pond”
Address: 285 Mill Road, Eastham
Summer days are elegant surrounded by roses, heathers and lupine mixed with ornamental grasses, gently swept by breezes off the pond. This garden is designed to appear unplanned with abundant hydrangeas, hostas and lilacs. Perennials and native trees line the stone paths and walkways leading to the water view. The raised vegetable and herb beds are recent additions. This property highlights the seasonal changes that make Cape Cod special- spring daffodils, summer roses, autumn’s rich red maples, and winter’s hollies and winterberry. And look for the shower, featured on the popular poster “Outdoor Showers of Eastham”.
Garden #5 “Daylily Eclectic”
Address: 35 Bangs Road, Eastham
If you have ever had a question about what it takes to grow, and maybe hybridize, spectacular day lilies, do not miss talking with this gardener. This garden features 130 different varieties of day lilies distributed in more than 300 clumps throughout the garden. The owner has been hybridizing day lilies for years and, therefore, some are very unique. They have been started from seed, transferred to a daylily nursery and then established in the garden. The garden also incorporates over 100 species of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants, vegetables in containers, and thornless blackberries, thorn-full raspberries and apples.
Garden #6 “Mystery Garden Quest”, Eastham
This ‘Mystery Garden Quest’ will be identified for all who buy the $25 Eastham Garden Tour ticket. It will take you on a hunt through gardens and outdoor rooms which feature interesting plantings, winding paths and an occasional strange animal. Walk around the pond and through a garden of stones, then choose a place to sit, perhaps high in the air, as you search for answers to the clues you are given. There will be a drawing for a potted hydrangea at the end of the day, chosen from all who go on the Quest.