Autumn 2015

A Botanical Dreamscape

Cape Cod Home  /  Autumn 2015 / ,

Writer: Susan Dewey

At the end of a cul-de-sac in Falmouth, this magical garden landscape is a 30-year labor of love.

Get ready to imagine your own botanical dreamscape.

Photo by: Cape Cod LIFE

When Marcia and George Chapman bought a new house on a cul-de-sac in Falmouth in 1984 for their young family, the seeds of a beautiful landscape were already germinating in their imaginations. The couple—both of whom were already working in the garden center and nursery business—were excited to dig in to the scrubby Cape Cod half-acre that surrounded the house.

“The lot was heavily treed with scrub oak and pitch pine with an understory of huckleberry and sheep’s laurel—and the new lawn was full of poison ivy,” says Marcia. “We didn’t want the ‘builder’s special,’” so we planted the foundation of the house with dogwood, sand cherry, Torulosa juniper, Montana rubens clematis, redvein enkianthus, and willowleaf cotoneasters.”

Thirty years later the gardens surrounding the house are so beautiful that the moment you drive up to the house your senses come alive, stimulated by color, scent, and texture. This is a magical Cape Cod hideaway, where garden paths meander under arches of climbing hydrangea, where perennial gardens blossom with hundreds of flowers in every color of the rainbow, where fountains bubble, and birds seem to be singing at every turn.

We spent a delightful morning with George and Marcia and our photographers—Art Director Jennifer Dow and Staff Photographer Josh Shortsleeve—had a field day capturing the glory of this remarkable landscape. Get ready to imagine your own botanical dreamscape. Below, Marcia and George share a goldmine of horticultural information in their own words.

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Susan Dewey

Susan Dewey, former associate publisher and editor at Cape Cod Life Publications, lives in Centerville where she grows vegetables and flowers for Cape farmers' markets, designs perennial gardens for her son’s company, Dewey Gardens, and enjoys living on beautiful Cape Cod year round.