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GARDENER'S NOTEBOOK

Quiet Gardens

By Mariko Kawaguchi

I took advantage of a walk in downtown Edgartown to see the magnificent display of roses growing on the proverbial white picket fences that enclose little gems of quiet, challenging the bustling, crowded, commercial streets nearby.

Gardens are a botanical lure in that flowers are attractants to their specific pollinators, to entice them to their pollen. The shape, color, patterns and fragrance of flowers have one purpose: to attract or in some rare cases, to confuse the pollinator to move pollen from one species of flower to another. In botanical terms, this is called cross pollination, and is essential to plant life and food production as we know it. Ever heard of the birds and the bees?

The foxglove (digitalis) are soldiers that stand sentry like Beefeaters at a Royal Entrance. My first stop is "Behind The Bookstore" . The alley way of continuous blooms take your eye to a courtyard oasis that serves elegant beverages, pastries and healthy gourmet grazings. Comfortable seatings are accented by the music of a water feature that performs a gentle melody from dawn to dusk.

Cammie Naylor, garden designer at Donaroma's Landscape from her design perspective, in her own words: "I love The challenge of creating a shade garden. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the various textures and forms of plant material suited for this kind of lighting in a serene yet playful way.

The tranquil seating area behind the bookstore is covered with a canopy so there was no question that this is a fully shaded hidden treasure. I decided to include some color to make the garden pop a bit among the Evergreen backdrop. Pinks, corals and whites dance among the stately hostas and ferns. Pots have been carefully placed in certain nooks to add some height and stability. They have been filled with plants that exist in the garden as well so that all of these elements reflect and sing to each other.

Finally the bubbling fountain has a nice sound effect softening the street noise and contributes to the sense you are far away from the daily grind."

Going further up the street, my vista changes as the landscape is shared with the view from the harbor. The public viewpoint often shrouds the harbor for privacy, but this garden incorporates the waterfront with the lush landscape. Elevation plays a part in the design, as the garden seems to flow towards the sea. This garden is a subtle gift from its owners to the people who are not hurried and are rewarded with a beautiful vantage point.

“The lush perennial border seen at Harbor House was inspired by the old English manner gardens of yesteryear.” Cammie notes. “The boxwood globes provide a rich green background to the lively and textured blue and white flowers before them. The bobbing white sails on Edgartown's beautiful blue Harbor echoes the palette scheme and grounds the garden in a remarkably picturesque way.

This garden continues to be one of my favorite projects and I love watching the garden grow and stretch and become more substantial every year.”