Growing Green Hands

Susan Spencer Read more…

Grandeur Recaptured

When interior designer Hope Van der Wolk began redecorating a grand turn-of-the-century seaside home in the Mid Cape area, she knew the house had a lot to reveal. But the summer house’s starry presence was being dimmed by some of it best features: the dark wood paneling, high ceilings, and vast scale.

So the Osterville designer, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and veteran of the studios of Ralph Lauren and Mario Buatta, called on her mastery of color, texture, and form to give the century-old beauty an interior lift. “I knew of the house, so the possibility of working on it was very exciting,” Hope says. She now has a deep relationship with the house, redecorating it two or three rooms at a time. Read more…

Treasure Found

Eric Roth “They call this a floater,” says Stephen Fletcher, executive vice president of Skinner, Inc., and owner of the circa 1815 three-quarter Cape house located in Provincetown. “It came over from Long Point.” Fletcher is referring to the tip of Cape Cod, where a thriving community—centered on a salt works—was established and more than 200 houses and a school were built between 1815 and 1850. Once the salt works went out of commission, families would float their homes across the harbor over to Provincetown’s West End. Today, many of these houses wear ceramic blue plaques depicting a house being floated on a boat. A bit of a history buff, Fletcher is well-versed in most things old. For 30 years he has been a chief auctioneer and appraiser for Skinner, Inc., heading up the company’s Americana Department—he is an expert on early American furniture and folk art. He appears regularly on PBS’s Antiques Road Show, making or breaking a participant’s dream of owning a priceless heirloom or national treasure. And he also sits on the board of trustees for the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.
Fletcher not only works in the antiques field, but he also lives it. His weekend house has become the perfect backdrop for his personal collection of antiques and artwork.

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East Meets West

A career with computer giant IBM brought John Crawford and his wife Suzy around the world, with assignments in exhilarating cities including Paris and Tokyo, but when they realized retirement wasn’t too far off, they had to consider where they would plant roots. “For a number of years we started taking our regular vacations to places people retire to down South, here and there, and each time we’d come and see my folks here on the Cape,” explains John. “Then we said, ‘You know? We find the Cape to be the place we like the most.’” Read more…

Seaside Stylish

“In 2010, the kitchen is the heart of every home,” says Rebecca Brown, Design Manager for Classic Kitchens and Interiors of Hyannis, the kitchen design and installation company of choice for the highly regarded Cape Cod architecture and construction firm Polhemus Savery DaSilva (PSD). The firm’s President, Peter Polhemus, says “For more than ten years we have engaged Classic Kitchens and Interiors for the majority of our projects. They are our preferred kitchen company because they provide consistently high quality design, products, installation, and service. As a firm that insists on working with consultants that share our commitment to thoughtful design and well-crafted construction, we find the relationship with Classic serves both us and our clients very well.” Read more…

Beach Baby Love

Home Winter 2010

It’s not that interior designer Lindsey Miller has anything against traditional baby colors. It’s just that there are so many other gorgeous shades to dip into—rich reds, burnt umbers, deep browns—that bring interiors to a new eye-pleasing level, even if the room is Baby’s.
“I’m a huge fan of color,” Miller says. “When people think of a nursery, they think it’s pink or blue, male or female. They think it has to be all baby style, toys everywhere. But it can go beyond that, while still being a baby’s room.” Miller has three big reasons to know: she is owner of Lindsey Dann Miller LLC, a design firm in Los Angeles; cofounder of Former Furniture, an online marketplace of previously owned and new designer pieces; and the mother of Max, born in June. Read more…

Collected Christmas

The small and unassuming exterior might lead one to think that the Samuel Fessenden House is just another historical home. But once inside the circa 1840 house on Main Street in Sandwich, a treasure trove of antiques and wonderful collections abound—and come Christmas, those treasures are on full display. Read more…

Tradition with a Twist

Dan Cutrona

The Captain Ezra Nye house has been much more than a lovely home in its more than 180 years on Main Street in Sandwich. It has served as a dentist office, a boarding house, a law office, and a bed and breakfast over the years. Still, its essential inviting character has always endured. Last year, during the Sandwich Holly Days Home Tour, homeowners Ellen and George Park opened this historic home to let visitors experience that inviting character firsthand. Read more…

Seaside Scentsational

Life December 2010 Pat Thrasher of East Falmouth first began crafting all-natural soap 12 years ago all for love and the fun of it. Today, her hobby has become her business: Cape Cod Soaps, inspired by the beautiful colors and divine smells of Cape Cod, are making appearances in wedding favors and gift shops all over the Cape & Islands. The bars of soap can be found in a scent for every fancy, including Hydrangea, cranberry, and ocean breeze. All are made with completely pure natural ingredients. Teak’s Tea Tree Dog Shampoo, named for Pat’s daughter’s Brittany Spaniel, is the newest addition to her line of products. The company also offers several theme gift baskets, and will work with you to create your own unique basket. For more information about Cape Cod Soap, visit

Community Spirits

Ashleigh Bennett A stroll through the Wellfleet Community Garden yields an array of sights. Mark Gabriel’s smiling Buddha, surrounded by pink and orange portulacas, seems to bless a barrel of herbs. Across the hay-strewn aisle, a tuba overflows with purple petunias. Across the way, a bit further up, horticultural therapist Bodil Drescher has planted raised beds constructed by her daughter, Nette. Maura Condrick opted for planting her crops in geometric patterns, with a bright red chair against the fence as a focal point. “We’ve been surprised at the creativity of the gardeners,” Wellfleetian Celeste Makely says. “People are expressing themselves in their own way. It’s kind of quirky. It’s Wellfleet.”

Makely, the garden’s project director, envisioned creating a community garden in Wellfleet where people from all walks of life could gather to grow vegetables and make friends. As she had her husband, John, spread the word, they found themselves surrounded by a circle of hands, all eager to dig into the soil of the football-field sized garden in front of the Council on Aging on Old Kings Highway. The garden is a fun place to be, full of imaginative decorations and 32 cleverly designed plots. The individual gardens are as varied as the folks who tend them. “When I garden, I garden with my ancestors, and when I cook, I cook with my mother,” says Makely, who began gardening with her father in a World War II Victory Garden. “It’s a nice feeling.”

Wellfleet’s first community garden in 50 years came to fruition when the town’s board of selectmen approved the Makelys’ proposal to use land in front of the Council on Aging facility for that purpose. “We started with a half-acre of scrub pines,” says Makely, whose enthusiasm and drive have steered this year-long effort. She was assisted by several local businesses: Dennis Murphy of Murphy-Nickerson, Inc. cleared land; Bartlett Tree conducted soil testing; Capello Well Drilling drilled a well; and many others donated their services to make the project a reality. “This is a community effort,” Makely says. “A lot of people donated their time, tools, and money to make this happen.”

Ashleigh Bennett The 32 gardeners lease their plots; a 20-by-20-foot plot is $30 a year, 10-by-20-foot plots are $15. One plot is set aside for seniors who want to garden from throughout the community and from the Council on Aging (COA). Gardeners planted blueberry bushes so those inside the COA building facing the garden have a pleasant view; soon gooseberry bushes will be planted. All of the available plots filled up immediately, and now there is a waiting list. The group is largely self-governed; five gardeners called the “Cabbage Heads” mediate disputes that arise. Some gardeners supplement their income with the vegetables they’ve grown. Others donate their surplus to the Mustard Seed Kitchen, the Wellfleet Food Bank, and the COA’s Iris’s Café.

Some plots have traditional rows while others plant in geometric patterns. One gardener sculpted a raised flower with petals that soon will bloom. Cedar and Ennie Cole, created a meandering path of log steps surrounded by sedum with driftwood adding vertical interest. Their scarecrow with a mannequin’s head stands guard with outstretched arms.

Further up the path, a gaggle of plastic dinosaurs circle Rich Sobol’s herbs. Sharyn Lindsay and her son, Caleb Potter, have built an elaborate driftwood arbor leading to a rustic bench surrounded by begonias and foxglove. A landscape designer, Sharon’s garden is a mix of flowers, lettuces, cabbages, tomatoes, and herbs. A Grecian urn filled with nasturtium and purple salvia flanks the bench while a stone birdbath beckons feathered visitors.

Claudia and Bruce Drucker have made a planter from a clam rake filled with moss, green beans, and thyme. Their garden has a criss-cross pattern with 48 varieties of plants. “I try to plant unusual varieties and different colors of plants,” said Claudia. She has yellow and purple peppers and tomatoes, golden beets, candy-striped radishes, and purple carrots. All the flowers are edible including nasturtium, calendula, pansies, and corn flowers. Claudia also has lovage, a perennial that she says “tastes like celery and smells beautiful.”

Gardening is an activity that benefits people of all interests and abilities. For more than 45 years, former horticultural therapist Bodil Drescher has helped the physically and mentally disabled garden. “Anybody can garden, you just need the right tools,” says Bodil. Her garden paths are wider for better accessibility and she has constructed special tools to accommodate the disabilities of her gardeners, She hopes to establish gardening programs at the senior centers in Wellfleet and Eastham.

Ashleigh Bennett This beautiful garden is generating a lot of interest in the community. The Makelys have given tours to people from all over who are interested in community gardening. The gardeners partnered with Wellfleet Preservation Hall for its June garden tour. As a master gardener, Celeste and other experienced gardeners are available to help beginners.

Perhaps the most gratifying aspect of the Wellfleet Community Garden for the Makelys has been the good friends they’ve made along the way. “This is a people place,” said Celeste. “You walk down that aisle and people are happy. Gardeners are nice people.”

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