I have never been to Nantucket before although I have been hearing about how quaint it is for years. The minute we stepped off of the high speed ferry, I was enchanted. It is a garden-lover's paradise. I could imagine what it looked like in the summer when everything was in peak bloom. I have never seen so many hydrangeas in my life! Every house, every business, every public space had hydrangeas. The flowers of the mop head hydrangeas were past, but they were plentiful and it didn't take much imagination to picture how beautiful it looked a few months ago. There were fall blooming Hydrangea paniculata varieties everywhere as well. Welcome to the Hydrangea capital of New England! The cobblestone streets, the clipped hedges, the climbing roses and vines, the cute little courtyards- sigh....
But what really got me was the windowboxes. Every single store and just about every house had lush, imaginative container plantings. As my husband and I took our first stroll around downtown, I could see that he didn't have the patience to stop with me as I took pictures. I made a plan.
|I loved the maidenhair fern in this lush, shady windowbox|
Saturday was a free day as the wedding wasn't until 5:30 p.m. I left my husband in the room reading and relaxing and went out for a walk with my camera. The sky was overcast, perfect for taking pictures.
Many of the windowboxes looked as if they had just been freshly re-planted for the fall tourist season. Others were so abundant I could tell they had been growing for months. I was very impressed with the design talents of the Nantucket gardeners.
I purposely strayed off the main shopping streets and wove my way through side streets and nearby neighborhoods. I peered in through gates to the most charming little gardens. Clipped, carefully pruned and tended shrubs formed the bones of these landscapes. Besides the ever-present hydrangeas, there were roses (mostly pink, narry a 'Knockout' in sight). The seed pods of sweet autumn clematis smothered buildings and roofs.
|The yellow plant in the middle of this pot is Euphorbia 'Sticks on Fire', a really striking form of pencil cactus. The flowers were coming from an Aloe tucked in amongst the Sedums.|
|I loved this windowbox and didn't recognize the grass-like plant below the fuchsia with the spiky golden yellow flowers. I need to look this up and learn how to use it in some containers next year. What fun!|
Sunday morning we went out for our last long ramble through the cobblestone streets. My husband rolled his eyes every time I dug out my camera to take pictures of more horticultural goodness but I just couldn't help myself.
|Herbs were growing in wine boxes near the dock|
|My favorite peppermint scented geraniums were combined with pink roses and zinnias outside of a shop|
|These wooden trellises were stuffed with soil and moss and planted from top to bottom. Notice the dog bowl in the background, of course!|
|Delicate, lacy scented geraniums had a spicy smell.|
|This was the outdoor sales area and courtyard of a gemstone jewelry store|
|The windowboxes were filled with giant, lush ferns. I saw ferns of all types used everywhere.|
|Ruby red chard added an edible element to this street side combination.The cobblestones were actually round rocks, very hard to walk on but oh so charming.|
I want to go back to Nantucket some day and spend a few days in the summertime traveling around and seeing the gardens in all of their glory. I had better start saving my pennies now. It is a lovely, but very expensive place to visit. I am so lucky to have had the chance to discover and explore this beautiful island.