8.26.2013

Hydrangeas and Cape Cod Style

I brought these hydrangea in from the garden yesterday.


This is the first summer we've seen this wild variation in color. It is still summer. Just because school starts this week does not make it F.



Hydrangea's puffy blossoms arrive just in time to fill the voids left by my earlier blooming perennials and before the arrival of F's mums. They are gorgeous in the garden and long lasting in the vase.

Personally, I associate hydrangea with Chatham (on the elbow) on Cape Cod. Everyone has their favorite spot on the Cape, one of mine is Chatham. The architecture and gardens charm the heck out of me. I took these pictures during our stay last summer.

The quintessential Cape Cod Cottage we stayed in. Looks small from the street. The addition extends to the back rather than the side. I think this was a sensitive way to preserve its charm.


The view from the deck. Hydrangea in the lower right corner.



Across the street, a Dutch Colonial with a gambrel roof. The not quite fully aged to gray shake siding means it was built within the last few years.


Six hydrangea bushes flank the blue front door.


Grasses are not traditional plant material for the Cape although their hardiness and low water requirements make them a sensible choice. The bushes behind the grass are lace cap hydrangea.

The clapboard sided cape next door doesn't scream Cape Cod to me, but still very New Englandy. The addition on the left has the true "Salt Box Cape" profile. The half circle window was a heady trend in the '90's and early 2000's.



Just a note: the architectural terms Salt Box Cape and Cape Cod Cottage are more often than not loosely applied and almost always shortened to cape. No one seems to mind. However, Cape Cod is always shortened, as in, "going down the Cape this weekend?" Recounting your vacation on Cape Cod is a dead give away for a non-native inhabitant.

And the next cape. Shakes are fully gray. Nice patina on the copper flashing above the bow window.


Same house. Here we can see through the breezeway to the backyard. Big leaf hydrangea in the foreground and a lace cap hydrangea behind it.


And then there's the Chatham Bars Inn. The white tree hydrangea on the far right is developing a very attractive pink blush.




Chatham has a cinematic look; manicured, picture perfect, ready for its close-up. And I say that in a good way.

Do hydrangeas and Salt Box Capes translate to your geography?

Thanks for reading,
Linda Pakravan

n.b. neither the Town of Chatham nor The Chatham Bars Inn compensated me for this post.

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