Saturday, June 27, 2009

Preservation Hall Holds Garden Tour

Wellfleet Preservation Hall held its first annual garden tour this afternoon, and it was a rousing success. Five extraordinary gardens were on display. Despite days of rain and one of the cloudiest Junes on record, flowers popped open just in time for the event. I attended with my friend Virginia Grey. After picking up a tour map, we strolled up Main Street to Baker Avenue to view Claudia and Bruce Druckers' “enchanted garden.” Alliums and roses dominate the front yard, which has been completely turned over to nature. Brick pathways meander through flowerbeds. I spotted lots of love in a mist, which made me envious, and perennials paired with annuals in a loud declaration of gardening enthusiasm. The Druckers obviously spend hours with their plants. There were numerous species I did not recognize, but the resulting chaos was glorious: we stood in plant heaven. Then it was on to Jean Nelson and Brailsford Nixon’s new garden behind their former bed & breakfast on Main Street. The two ladies longed for tranquility in retirement, so the parking lot was removed and a garden soon rose in its place. The evenly spaced plants were a joy to see. Docents Tracy Plaut and Susan Weeger greeted guests with lemonade. The renovated doors to Preservation Hall were also on display beside two raised vegetable beds. We drove onward to Simone Reagor and Mary Grace Smith’s garden, which surrounds their new modern house with ribbons of color. Live flute and clarinet music serenaded visitors while Simone showed off her caged vegetable garden of tomatoes, squash, peas, and lettuce, off-limits to wildlife thanks to netting. We proceeded on to master gardeners John and Celeste Makely’s highmeadow paradise. Queen Elizabeth roses, old lilacs, apple trees – there was lots of color and rare plants to admire, like a guacamole hosta sharing a bed with a new variety of yellow-leafed coral bells. It was fun chatting with Celeste who posed beside her dogwood, a favorite tree, and seemed extremely knowledgeable. Last but not least, we drove down Long Pond Road to Sharyn Lindsey’s fairytale home, surrounded by whimsical gardens and rolling hillside. Sharyn is, of course, a professional landscaper and it shows in the way the gardens are laid out. Her lovely house was open as a special bonus, since many of the flowers are not yet in bloom. I caught son Caleb in a tender moment with friend Kristen Shantz. Caleb, apparently, helped his mom get their garden ready for visitors. The self-guided tour was a blast. Later this afternoon, participants are invited back to the Makelys for sangria. The $35 fee for the tour benefits Preservation Hall.