One of the best things about my job as Cape Cod HOME’s editor is that I meet so many knowledgeable people, from an antique expert who can tell you where to find an authentic pub sign for your living room to a woodworker who will handcraft a table from old Nantucket cottage floorboards. Especially in this issue—our Annual Resource Guide, which covers countless local home and garden subjects and services–I find myself marveling at the diversity of skilled, knowledgeable businesspeople on the Cape and Islands.
The truth is that even though we may be limited in terms of geographic space, we have experts in just about anything you need to transform your home into a Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, or Nantucket dream. Just like the gorgeous home on our cover, which is the work of one of this issue’s featured businesspeople, Falmouth architect John Dvorsack. Our talented writer, Mary Grauerholz, who interviewed all the Business Focus people in this issue, has a gift for getting to the heart of each person’s special ability. When she talks to Dvorsack in his office located in Falmouth’s historic Highfield Hall, you can hear the man’s love for the skill he shares with lucky homeowners.
“As a small practice, I am able to spend a lot of time working closely with my clients to understand what’s really important to them,” says Dvorsack in the story, which begins on page 36. “I really enjoy the owner’s reaction when it all comes together.”
Looking at Dvorsack’s work—and the work of all the featured BusinessFocus people here—you can see why our coastal world is so well known. Folks seem to be determined to have their home—whether a grand manse or a simple half-Cape—reflect the natural glory that surrounds us all.
So whether you are remodeling your kitchen with exquisite kitchen cabinets (read about Lewis & Weldon on page 62), dreaming of putting in a spectacular infinity pool (listen to John Viola of Viola Associates on page 74), or planning to finally transform your backyard into a gorgeous landscape that makes the most the most of Cape Cod’s natural glories (find Mary LeBlanc on page 68), this issue is for you. I promise if you call any one of these folks to help you shape the Cape Cod or Island home of your dreams, you won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for turning to Cape Cod HOME.
Susan Dewey, Associate Publisher & Editor
Last weekend I walked around the old cranberry bog on Bumps River Road close to our house with my best friend and our dogs and all around us nature was giving a flamboyant goodbye to summer . . .always a bittersweet time on Cape Cod and the Islands. It is hard to let go of that glorious golden time every year. As I said in the just released 2011 winter issue of Cape Cod HOME, I am always sad when the hydrangeas—that emblem of Cape Cod—begin to turn from intense blue—just like the sky over a Cape beach in summer—to muted greens, grays, and soft purples.
We have lots of hydrangeas surrounding our old Cape house, in beds around the yard—these show-stopping beauties burst into bloom around the end of June and perform their hearts out until around mid-October. A few weeks ago when my husband, Steve, and I were doing our fall clean-up (raking, raking raking!), I decided to take a break and make a few hydrangea wreaths. These wreaths can be done with blossoms that still hold color, or even those that have faded to that lovely beige color, kind of like old lace.
Fall comes gently to Cape Cod. There are autumn days so warm that you can sit in your backyard in the bright sun and pretend that the cold gray months are still far away. But finally, the late October Saturday comes when you can’t pretend anymore—it’s time to rip out the bolting arugula and the towering kale, cut down the stalks of fading Black Eyed Susans, and hardest of all, prune away the dying blossoms of that Cape Cod emblem of summer—the hydrangeas.
- Posted in Nature
Must-Have Articles, Accessories & Products
CAPE COD KEEPSAKES
Two Cape Codders have collaborated to transform their love of the Cape’s natural world into Dune Jewelry and Beachsand Snowflakes—handcrafted gifts that are making a splash online and in several regional shops. Sterling silver necklaces from the Dune Jewelry line (www.dunejewelry.com) feature a simple yet sophisticated pendant ($130) inlaid with sand gathered from your favorite Cape beach (sand has been collected from 300 beaches worldwide). Beachsand Snowflakes ($24, www.beachsandsnowflakes.com) are the perfect gift for beach lovers from Bourne to Provincetown. These items are available in more than 20 Cape stores, including Trees Place in Orleans, Fein Things in Centerville, and Village Trading Co. in Mashpee.
Eat, drink, and be merry on a holiday getaway to the big city.
There is something about the holidays that brings out the child in all of us, making us wish for that seasonal sparkle. Cape Cod is full of seasonal events galore—but there is something special about a festive getaway in Boston. Read more…
This holiday season, surprise that special someone in your life with a glimmering gift of jewelry capturing the memorable glow of this very special seaside world.
Last December, my husband and I braved the cold wind on the ferry to Nantucket, bound for the Festival of Trees at the Nantucket Historical Association… and hoping to do a little last-minute shopping.
When we landed at the dock, my eyes were drawn to the harbor, where low winter sunlight sparkled. This is one of my favorite sights on the Cape, even though it only happens when the light hits the ocean at a lower, more dramatic angle.
I am always a little sad that friends who cherish these seaside places rarely get to see this spectacular winter light show transforming the ocean into a mesmerizing mosiac of light and shadow. The sight seems a perfect metaphor to me of how nature shapes the seasons of your life. Even though I spent my childhood on Mount Hope Bay and then grew up in a Long Island Sound town, I don’t remember the enchantment of winter light on the Bay or Long Island Sound. Maybe the clarity of such moments comes easier when you are older and the world has expanded beyond your own small pond.
My husband snapped this photo by the harbor and then we explored Nantucket’s holiday fiesta. Every shop seemed to overflow with sparkly decorations and surprises, and I filled my camera with shots of festive trees, wreaths, and window boxes decorating every street. We had some hot chocolate and then headed to our room at the Jared Coffin house. Soon the sun went down… and I thought, how different night is on an island in December, than on a bright summer evening. But no less beautiful.
In this issue, we share some of our favorite winter wonders on the Cape and Islands—from our cover story on savoring the Cape’s quiet season to the marvelous Flying Santas story tracing generous volunteer Santas bringing Christmas magic to lighthouse-bound children—a heart-warming holiday tradition that has happened on the Cape and Islands since 1929.
The happiest of holidays—
- Posted in Philanthropy
It may seem like a strange idea to plant trees, shrubs, and perennials in the autumn, just when Mother Nature is slowing down and about to take a long nap. But the truth is that planting in September and October is often a very smart idea on the Cape and Islands because the soil is still warm from the summer sun, air and water temperatures have moderated, and water levels in the soil are neither too great—as is often the case in New England springs—nor at hot summertime lows.
On Cape Cod, autumn steals into the warm days of September and October like the first frost on the tomatoes in our Centerville garden. As I write this it is still August and summertime is at its height. As you can see in this photo of fresh vegetables gathered this week, our garden is feeding us with summer splendor now—fat slicing tomatoes, delicious yellow zucchini, fresh basil, and cherry tomatoes so sweet they taste better than candy. Still, I have planted fall crops—laid down lettuce seed and fertilized the kale and brussel sprouts.
This winter we hope to remodel our kitchen, which was built as a 1912 addition to our old Cape. Putting this issue together, I pored over the photos of interior decorator Kelly McGuill’s cheery design for her mother’s new kitchen in an old Bass River Cape on page 14. I love McGuill’s mix of cool white interiors with splashes of color—I can imagine my family sitting at a table just like the one she chose, cosy in a new kitchen that still feels right in an old house.
My kitchen reverie took a different spin when I looked at the kitchen in our story about a Nantucket homeowner’s transformation of a development house on Nantucket into an antique showcase. The homeowner could not afford a captain’s seaside manse on Nantucket harbor—so he worked with island craftsmen and New England antique dealers to create his own antique beauty. The house is a wonder of taste and design. The kitchen would fit perfectly in our house—although we might not be able to furnish it with as many antiques. Perhaps we could purchase some of Woods Hole potter Tessa Morgan’s pottery for our simple, farm kitchen shelves. Read about Tessa’s artistry in our Art and Antiques feature on page 38.
We also hope to plant a new conifer bed this fall, out near a stand of Hinoki cypress and Robusta juniper planted by my husband’s family in the 1940s. The fall is a great time of year to plant as we explain in our Cape Gardens feature on page 48. I am already perusing Country Garden in Hyannis and Mahoney’s in Osterville for trees and shrubs to replace a giant old cedar we had to take down last fall.
It may still be summer, but my autumn reveries are easing the regret that this Cape Cod summer—always our splendid season—is waning. I hope this issue of Cape Cod HOME brightens your darkening September and October days and inspires your own autumn reverie.
Autumn on Cape Cod and the Islands is a special time, treasured by year-rounders and “shoulder-season” visitors alike. The earth, sea, and sky are often glorious panoramas of light, shadow, and color, as if Mother Nature saved summer’s end for stunning grand finale fireworks. Skies are suffused with brilliant purples and blues, seaside meadows, backyard gardens, and even deck planters burst into rainbows of color, marshes turn golden, and cranberry bogs are so incredibly scarlet that you can’t believe such a color is real.
It is a time of year that never grows old, a surprising treat especially for those of us who work round the clock all summer spreading the word about this place we love. “Just wait until September comes,” we say to each other as we envy this world on vacation all around us—visitors relaxed on beaches, barefoot at ice cream stands, strolling through shops. “Come back in October,” we say to friends who hate to head back over the bridge to America—the real world—and life without an ocean and a bay, miles of dunes, bogs round every corner, and the light, the uplifting light all around us.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard people say, “September and October are the best months of the year on the Cape and Islands.” Aside from the autumnal beauty of nature, there are also dozens of seafood festivals, craft fairs, art gallery openings, and outdoor concerts in all 17 Cape and Islands’ communities in the autumn. In this issue, we tell you about lots of those events, from that perennial favorite, Bourne’s Scallop Festival, to Wellfleet’s incredibly popular OysterFest, and out to Nantucket’s third annual gourmand Hogtoberfest.
In this issue, we also explore the wealth of Cape Cod’s multi-season art world in our feature on talented Rowley Gallery artist Lorraine Trenholm (don’t miss her oil painting demo in Orleans on September 24th!), take you along through the thrills and chills of a ghostly tour in historic Barnstable, and keep you warm on cool fall days with fresh bread and roll recipes from Cape and Islands bakers. And if you spent too much time in our famous summer sun, we even share hints from local skin care doctors and professionals on how to rejuvenate your skin.
In our new Social Life section, we share some snap shots of last summer’s fun. Be sure to take a look at one of the highlights of my summer—my first fishing trip ever as part of a fund-raising event for the American Cancer Society, I had the thrill of landing a whopper of a striped bass off Nantucket. The above photo is a preview of that moment. And that’s just the beginning of the fun and fabulous tales we share with you in this issue of your Cape Cod LIFE.
Come back again soon,