Historic Barnstable Village Garden Tour to Benefit Sturgis Library
Drive along historic Old King’s Highway (Rte. 6A) to the historic Village of Barnstable, passing the John Lothrop house, home to the Sturgis Library; enjoy the beauty, history and best preserved homes and gardens of historic Cape Cod! You will spend a delightful day on the North side of ‘olde’ Cape Cod and support a library housed in the oldest building in the USA to offer books and services to all ages – our iconic and beloved Sturgis Library.
Garden #1 Master Gardener’s Cape Idyll, 44 Rendezvous Lane, Barnstable
Situated steps away from where militia of Barnstable County assembled to march to Boston for the Battle of Bunker Hill, this historic home (the Chamberlain Sprague House, ca. 1850) is surrounded by idyllic perennial gardens. Harmonious waves of color move the visitor through the corner property, delighting everyone with hidden stone sculptures, an antique bird weathervane, and charming birdbaths; all await the visitor in unexpected nooks and corners, complimenting their surrounding plantings. Circle behind the house to discover the hidden brick patio and its rose garden where the homeowner loves to spend the afternoon drowsing with a book among the hummingbirds! Wander across the drive and discover the garden shed, complete with an antique colored glass window overlooking a vine-entwined pergola and swing. And be sure to view the homeowner’s collection of birdhouses in his own sheltered area dedicated to seedlings and starter plants. Lush hanging planters provide for guaranteed bloom throughout the driest summers. The gardens have been designed by the owner, a Master Gardener, to provide for continuous color from early spring into late fall. This garden contains specimen paniculata hydrangeas, climbing vines, winding walks and hidden treasures, every favorite Cape perennial, and is the creation of its owners, who do all the work on the garden; it will inspire you to new heights in your own garden masterpiece. Step back in time and experience the historicity of an idyllic Cape property complete with every beloved planting of ‘olde’ Cape Cod!
Parking: Please park along the right side of Rendezvous Lane as you enter; #44 is on the right of the first block of Rendezvous Lane.
Directions: Rte. 6 to exit 6; north on Rte. 132 towards Rte. 6A; right onto Rte. 6A; left onto Rendezvous Lane. Landmarks: Tales of Cape Cod historic white courthouse on corner.
Garden #2 Bucolic Bliss, 3667 Main Street (Route 6A), Barnstable
The Amos Otis House has overlooked the historic Old King’s Highway since 1745, but until 2013 it was in decline, inhabited mainly by wildlife of varying sizes. Enlarged and rejuvenated by its talented new owners, you are invited to experience their tasteful, new gardens that overlook a historic 150-acre farm, famous for its heritage pigs and organic produce. Arriving at the driveway entrance to the property, a picket-fenced, charming cottage garden greets the visitor, mixing traditional favorites such as peonies, roses and rudbeckias with the latest annuals for splashes of continuous color. Multiple containers highlight pathways, decks and the pool, mixing favorite plants in new combinations guaranteed to inspire your own! Traditional Cape grasses are strategically situated to provide waving screens for pool-side privacy. A pergola constructed from some of the home’s original 18th century beams stretches across the two-level deck at the rear of the house, providing afternoon shade and serenity. Extensive lavender hedges and herb gardens perfume the air. Strategically situated specimen shrubs and trees are a promise of new life and future growth for centuries of homeowners to come. Complete with sheds and colorful chickens, these 1 ½ acres of bucolic property combine the authentic historicity of Barnstable Village with the ultimate in 21st-century sensibilities—an artful blend of preservation and rejuvenation that keeps the Cape vibrant!
Parking: Please park in the driveway of the Cape Cod Organic Farm which is located next to the garden property and walk around to enter the gardens through the driveway.
Directions: Rte. 6 to exit 6; north on Rte. 132; right onto Rte. 6A; straight through Village to house on right. Landmarks: Cape Cod Organic Farm appears immediately after this home and garden.
Garden #3 Past Meets Present, 1747 Hyannis Road, Barnstable
Enter the private world of a noted Wellesley garden designer through the front walkway, turning left to enter a private world ingeniously sheltered and private. This historic home, built in 1840, was until recently the home of a beloved Village physician for 50 years. The latest owner did extensive renovations to both house and gardens, creating berms to shelter a new patio, perennial beds to beckon the butterflies and hummingbirds that flock to her favorite lobelia plantings, and a charming new orchard to screen neighbors. The orchard contains apple, cherry, peach and pear trees, but the owner notes that the peach seems especially pleased with life in the sandy soils of Cape Cod! Peeking from corners of the sweeping property and nestled in the lush ground covers are a variety of eccentric sculptures, designed and positioned to tickle your sense of humor. Be sure to note the wonderful additions of a working garden area, complete with outdoor shower and farm sink for easy, early transplants and clean-up. Rounding the back corner of the property, be sure to enjoy the sweeping vista from the top of the berm, then pass by raised hand-crafted Irish vegetable beds conveniently located next to the kitchen entrance and follow the winding bluestone path to exit via the driveway. This owner has succeeded in fashioning an oasis of tranquility and beauty in 2 short years; you will be inspired as you note the blend of old and new. Tour the property and imagine what you, too, may create through judicious pruning, planting and whimsy in the next 2 years!
Parking: Please park OPPOSITE the house, in the field on the corner of Bow Lane and Hyannis Road. Please enter the field from Bow Lane and volunteers will direct you. This is a busy road at the main junction of Barnstable Village, so please cross carefully to the gardens and be amazed at the peaceful world this artist has created!
Directions: Rte. 6 to exit 6; north on Rte. 132; right onto Rte. 6A; pass through Barnstable Village to traffic light on Hyannis Road; right onto Hyannis Road; left onto Bow Lane; left into parking field.
Garden #4 A Naturalist’s Hidden World , 166 Indian Trail, Barnstable
Wind down one of Cummaquid’s quiet lanes to a charming enclave of homes. Hidden behind a trellis banked in climbing hydrangeas is a unique treasure, a garden that is the creation of a loving naturalist and artist. Passing a Nellie Stevens holly tree standing sentinel duty at the entrance, you enter a landscape devoted to native and historic plants of North America. The land on which this garden was created is sacred to the owner. The Mattachiest or the Cummaquid people are said to have gathered in this area each summer. The owner honors their memories with plantings of examples of the great trees of the North American continent. Several varieties of metasequoias (dawn redwoods), red twig dogwoods, gingkoes, larches, and a nursery of baby specimens of a variety of hollies abound, all labelled to give you inspiration and guidance when hunting for the perfect accent for your own garden. A collection of varieties of Japanese ornamental maples grow in containers throughout the property; the owner tries carefully to protect them from the vertilcillium wilt through container growth. Blooming islands of varieties of buddleia, elderberries, coneflowers, and bee balms attract butterflies and birds throughout the summer and autumn. Glorious irises, hostas, and over 100 varieties of daylilies provide islands of color, and the artist-owner has her sculptures created from cherry and cedar scattered throughout the property. Adding additional color are the ceramic artworks of local artists Paul Fitzgerald, Kevin Nolan, and the potters of Scargo Pottery; the owner relieves the gray of Cape winters with various sculptures and painted whimsical “flowers” that always bring a smile, creating her “flowers” from a variety of found materials sculpted as her imagination dictates. As you enter the rear of the property, the power of a vista of Barnstable Harbor sweeps you to another dimension of this garden, and you are invited to enjoy some iced tea and sweet treats as you allow the beauty of this naturalist’s dream world to fill your senses. You are entering a unique world when you travel down the charming Indian Trail and enter this homeowner’s sacred space!
Parking: Please park in the field opposite the house, on the right side of the street, or in the front part of the circular drive if space allows.