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Yarmouth Port gardener has ‘flower power’

For Helen McVeigh, time spent in the garden is fulfilling, inspiring, and fun

You might say she’s got ‘flower power,' Cape Cod Life, April 2017 |

Helen McVeigh is at home in her Yarmouth Port garden. Photograph by Paige Biviano

Helen McVeigh describes her gardens as “her bodacious dream,” and a visit to her charming Yarmouth Port home provides colorful clues revealing the dream’s nature. There are flourishing flowers, perennials aplenty, and an abundance of blooms—it’s a colorful world. Much like a house, the gardens McVeigh has created in her yard are organized in an array of distinct “rooms,” each offering a unique arrangement.

From the Monet “room” with its succulent greens and the occasional color burst neatly housed in a medley of stone pots, to the cutting garden’s colorful sea of annuals and perennials, to the coleus “room” which features several plantings with peculiar, serrated leaves—the gardens offer colorful surprises in every corner.

McVeigh, 70, was introduced to the world of gardening as a young girl, weeding for her mother at the family’s home in Worcester. What began as a chore transformed over the years into a passion. “Gardening,” says McVeigh, “has become my joy. Being able to share my flowers with friends, family, strangers—it just makes me happy.”

After growing up in Worcester, McVeigh settled down with her late husband, Walter, in Wayne, New Jersey, where she taught English as a second language for 22 years. As a teacher, she didn’t have the time she wanted to devote to gardening; she maintained a garden of annuals in the yard, but craved more.

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