Tag Archives: garden photographer/writer

Winter Interest, CAPE COD HOME

Let's face it.  Cape Cod can get downright gloomy in the winter months.  Gray sky, gray ocean, even marsh grasses in mellow shades of rust and yellow moving merrily in the wind are soon beaten down by snow and rain.  What's a sun-loving, home-owning gardener to do?  Plant and sculpt with winter interest in mind.

Let’s face it. Cape Cod can get downright gloomy in the winter months. Gray sky, gray ocean, even marsh grasses in mellow shades of rust and yellow moving merrily in the wind are soon beaten down by snow and rain. What’s a sun-loving, home-owning gardener to do? Plant and sculpt with winter interest in mind.

Choose specimen trees with unusual bark such as the Japanese Trident maple, Acer buergeriannum, with peeling bark offering up shades of gold, brown, and orange.  Another peeler is the paperbark maple, Acer griseum, in cinnamon shades.

Choose specimen trees with unusual bark such as the Japanese Trident maple, Acer buergeriannum, with peeling bark offering up shades of gold, brown, and orange. Another peeler is the paperbark maple, Acer griseum, in cinnamon shades.

Plant a textured border of mixed broadleaf and needled evergreens to catch the snow -- Juniperus (junipers) come in many shapes and sizes, from low and creeping to tall and columnar, and are painted in shades of pale blue-green to vivid gold.  They are a perfect evergreen for the Cape as they prefer sandy soil and tolerate salt spray.

Plant a textured border of mixed broadleaf and needled evergreens to catch the snow — Juniperus (junipers) come in many shapes and sizes, from low and creeping to tall and columnar, and are painted in shades of pale blue-green to vivid gold. They are a perfect evergreen for the Cape as they prefer sandy soil and tolerate salt spray.

Ornamental grasses and shrub dogwoods look wonderful against a green backdrop in the winter months.  Grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis will develop into a four-foot clump sending out beautiful inflorescence plumes in the fall.  It is the flowering seed head that is so attractive, catching the late afternoon light and creating a glow.


Ornamental grasses and shrub dogwoods look wonderful against a green backdrop in the winter months. Grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis will develop into a four-foot clump sending out beautiful inflorescence plumes in the fall. It is the flowering seed head that is so attractive, catching the late afternoon light and creating a glow.


Ornamental grasses and shrub dogwoods look wonderful against a green backdrop in the winter months. Grasses such as Miscanthus sinensis will develop into a four-foot clump sending out beautiful inflorescence plumes in the fall. It is the flowering seed head that is so attractive, catching the late afternoon light and creating a glow.

Companion Planting, CAPE COD HOME

The hillside garden at Satucket Farm Stand in Brewster, Massachusetts bursts with blossoms.  “I love the textures of greens in spring,” says Anita Anderson.   “I love Solomon’s Seal and Lily of the Valley, they smell so nice.”  Other spring favorites include daffodils, tulips, Bleeding Heart, and Jacob’s Ladder.   Summer brings on a riot of color.  “Monarda, oh my goodness, the red, a bright red.  I have a deep purple butterfly bush, sedum autumn joy, tons of veronica, a blue balloon flower, astilbe in white and pink and red.”

The hillside garden at Satucket Farm Stand in Brewster, Massachusetts bursts with blossoms. “I love the textures of greens in spring,” says Anita Anderson. “I love Solomon’s Seal and Lily of the Valley, they smell so nice.” Other spring favorites include daffodils, tulips, Bleeding Heart, and Jacob’s Ladder. Summer brings on a riot of color. “Monarda, oh my goodness, the red, a bright red. I have a deep purple butterfly bush, sedum autumn joy, tons of veronica, a blue balloon flower, astilbe in white and pink and red.”

Satucket’s cutting bed  is exuberantly wild with cosmos, sunflowers, cleome, and zinnias all vying for attention.  Anita has nurtured these plants from seed, starting them under lights in her basement the last months of winter.  “During February I go nuts and have to mail order seeds.  I really like Johnny’s Selected Seeds, their flowers seem stronger, healthier than any other supplier I have tried.”

Satucket’s cutting bed is exuberantly wild with cosmos, sunflowers, cleome, and zinnias all vying for attention. Anita has nurtured these plants from seed, starting them under lights in her basement the last months of winter. “During February I go nuts and have to mail order seeds. I really like Johnny’s Selected Seeds, their flowers seem stronger, healthier than any other supplier I have tried.”

Another favorite vendor is a local Orleans grower, The Farm.  “They do an amazing job.  They grow their own perennials and have great stock.”

Another favorite vendor is a local Orleans grower, The Farm. “They do an amazing job. They grow their own perennials and have great stock.”

A stand of sunflowers painted on the barn door was a Mothers’ Day gift.  “The kids asked me what I wanted for Mothers’ Day and that’s what I wanted.  I didn’t need fresh flowers, I didn’t need food.”  Although her kids are absent, she now has their constant presence in the form of sunny flowers on the door.<br /><br /><br /><br />

A stand of sunflowers painted on the barn door was a Mothers’ Day gift. “The kids asked me what I wanted for Mothers’ Day and that’s what I wanted. I didn’t need fresh flowers, I didn’t need food.” Although her kids are absent, she now has their constant presence in the form of sunny flowers on the door.