I have a notorious black thumb. I killed a philodendron in my college dorm room and those things are indestructible. I killed all my house plants, so replaced them with good-looking silk ones. No fuss, no muss. But that is indoors. The great outdoors is less and more capricious. Back home in Newton, MA, my husband no longer cares how things look since we are gone all summer long.
But on Martha’s Vineyard we live right in the historic village of Edgartown on a busy little street with a sign denoting a historic house above our door. We care a great deal about how things look. So we have a marvelous gardener, Teresa Yuan, who not only knows plants and flowers, she is an artist who shows her paintings at the Old Sculpin Gallery. One has to be juried in to show there. What does she normally paint? Flowers, of course.
Just as I have an old home, some of my garden is also old. Documents left by two owners-ago say that a Rose of Sharon at the end of the back yard is about 170 years old. It sent off two saplings that are now almost as big as the original tree. The Featured photo is a view along one side of the house, just past the double driveway and arbor, festooned with a trumpet vine that attracts humming birds. It is right outside my three-season room, a bright spot to sit and read and wait for those little miracles of nature.
Fifteen years ago, we extended the house and added a pool. We do not have much land, but we created a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the busy street outside.I
I love to take a dip, then sit there and listen to the birds chirp, wait for the cardinal family to flit in and out of the bushes, doing their mating dance. I think cardinals are special birds and am so pleased that they choose to live with me. Their call makes me think they are crying out for my brother; “Ricky, rick, rick”. We had a mating pair in the lilac bushes by my house in Detroit when I was young and I used to talk to them. So I am very happy that I have a pair in my backyard again.
Edgartown is known for it’s pretty homes and gardens. We have put flower boxes on every visible window, and planter boxes in front of the house and several in the back yard, as well as on a second story deck. These need constant dead-heading and watering, particularly if the days are hot and sunny with not much rain.
My reward is seeing tourists stop to photograph my house, or the view above my gate to the carriage house with the lovely flower boxes, now overflowing with impatiens. We also plant a border of impatiens around the entire garden, have a bed of petunias and hydrangeas by the side of the house, day lilies and irises, some other types of lilies, and other perennials that flower at various times throughout the season, when the rabbits don’t eat them. The flower boxes in front always have pink geraniums plus other filler flowers and greens. Teresa does a marvelous job, year after year.
We have twice been on garden tours. Once, as a fundraiser for the fourth grade class trip of the local elementary school. This year, our neighbor runs a large garden conservancy group and brought her group to see our garden. Small, though we are, we are always happy to oblige. I am happy to show off my little refuge.
Retired from software sales long ago, two grown children. Theater major in college. Singer still, arts lover, involved in art museums locally (Greater Boston area). Originally from Detroit area.