Of Hydrangeas, Rose of Sharon, Arbors and Tenneball…

Last week we had a great vacation in a village on a bluff overlooking the ocean.

It’s kind of a private place, but I have to share a few glimpses.

It was all about the beach, the gardens, our family, good food and tenneball.

IMG_9275One of the best parts of the week was that the Rose of Sharon and hydrangea were in full bloom.
IMG_9276There’s something perfect about the combination of hydrangea and Cape Cod houses.  The soft colors and texture of the flowers really complement the gray shingles. I’m asked for advice about how to grow hydrangea all the time so I need some experience. I’m looking around my garden for the right spot to fully experience hydrangea propagation and care so I can share with others.
IMG_9277 I could do some great things with blooms like this.

IMG_9279I found this gorgeous clump of cleome on a corner property and I’m tucking the idea away for our front garden next year.
IMG_9293A salt marsh borders the village to the west. The colors seem to change throughout the day.
IMG_9297Turning around from the view of the marsh one finds this long Rose of Sharon hedge. I think of this as Yankee thrift at it’s best because the Rose of Sharon plants send off new plantable shoots every year. I could probably start my own Rose of Sharon Border quite easily here in my garden at home.
IMG_9299One of the gardens featured a beautiful collection of dahlias. I’ve grown them in small quantities in pots and borders, but never close to this degree.

IMG_9392Of course I was interested in how they were staked up. It looks like the gardener used simple go away green poles and ran garden twine along and through them to hold everything together.
IMG_9385Even as they faded, the dahlias were delightful!

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IMG_9390I would love to be a gardener who could name every variety of each plant, using the common and latin names…

…but I’m not.

I just enjoyed each bloom for it’s beauty.
IMG_9301I also enjoyed this beautiful house, arbor and another Rose of Sharon border. There seemed to always be an arbor in view or just around the corner in the village.

IMG_9349 In Oak Bluffs on Martha’s Vineyard, and in several other communities in New England, tented church camps grew into more formal cottages which grew into fully equipped seasonal and year round homes. The village we stayed in has similar roots as a church camping ground. This house reminds me of the Oak Bluffs cottages.
IMG_9358The old Post Office building is decorated with patriotic spirit.
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One of many inviting porches in the village.

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Our young boys created a game that they named “tenneball”,  a wacky combination of tennis and badminton with very specific, unconventional rules. They held a tournament in the volleyball court to the left and I decided that I could have  watched tenneball all day as long as I was admiring those pretty blue sailboat shutters, the gardens and the arbor. I won’t be posting pics of my participation in the tenneball tournament. Let’s just say that the kids got a pretty good chuckle…
IMG_9365When not playing tenneball or admiring gardens, we were enjoying the interesting architecture.

IMG_9368and pretty tiered gardens. Yes, still in the garden… they were clearly one of my top reasons for enjoying our vacation so much!

IMG_9379Another reason was the beach that was just down the hill. The walkway to the beach involved negotiating a steep forty step staircase.

It was very easy climb up and down with such beautiful sights to enjoy on each end.

I hope you had a restorative vacation in a special place this summer too~

Thanks for stopping by!

Michele