Putting a New Twist on an old Tradition
Cape Cod artist weaves tapestries from seaweed, grass, and other natural materials.
Shannon Goheen is a landscape designer, and for more than a quarter century, her work has involved transforming the grounds of hundreds of Cape Cod homes and businesses into special, one-of-a-kind spaces. Since growing up in Maine, Goheen has felt a kinship with nature, and she takes a thoughtful approach when selecting the plants, trees, and other materials she uses in these landscape projects, bringing different species together to establish just the right look and feel, while simultaneously creating practical gardens, walkways, and borders. She seems to “understand” the plants, the trees, the flowers—what will work best and how elements will work together—so much so that one client has bestowed on her quite the nickname: “garden whisperer.”
And while Goheen, who owns Second Nature Gardenworks of Dennisport with her husband, Thom Huettner, spends much of her day weaving these materials together to build the landscapes of her clients’ dreams, she has another passion that also involves bringing natural elements together to create artistic and eye-catching results. Goheen, the “garden whisperer,” is also a skilled weaver, yet her tapestries are made entirely from plants, rather than yarn.
On excursions to the beach or on walks in local woods and fields, Goheen collects natural treasures—grasses and seaweed, berries and wheat—and then folds, twists, and entwines the botanicals into unique and attractive tapestries. She also uses flowers, willow and birch stems, and whatever other seasonal plantings she gathers.