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Looking Behind the Walls

Did you ever rubberneck your way up Main Street wondering what the gardens might look like behind those houses? If you have, now is your chance to get an up-close look at six fantastic Nantucket gardens. Garden Conservancy holds their ‘Open Days’ program throughout the country every year, and here on Nantucket we are lucky to be able to view six private gardens.  If you like gardens at all, you should plan on taking a couple hours out of your day to see at least a couple of them. The gardens are open 10am to 4pm and admission is $5 per garden or $25 for all six gardens.

The garden tour is self-guided and you can visit any one or all six in any order you choose.  I have not toured any of these gardens, so the following descriptions are straight from the Garden Conservancy. All of them are located withineasy walking distance so it will be easy to see all of them without driving.

• East Brick Garden, 93 Main Street – extensive displays of hollyhocks, Casablanca lilies, and overflowing annuals

• Maclean Garden, 2 Spring Street – includes a retired carousel as a whimsical focal point, a vegetable garden, and is organically maintained

• Meredith Marshall, 141 Main Street – climbing roses, a border of boxwood and summer flowering perennials and bulbs, and a vine-draped pergola in the pool garden

• Hilary Hedges Rayport’s Garden, 89 Main Street – an informal parterre, rose-covered garden house, herbaceous border, stonework, and espaliered crabapple

• The Sussek Garden, 85 Main Street – a cottage-style garden with heirloom foxgloves, peonies, roses, and herbs

• The White Garden, 12 Coffin Street – a raised bed garden of white flowers and complementary textures, garden ornaments, and a koi pond

You can buy tickets at any of the gardens. I will be volunteering from 2-4 at one of the gardens (I’m still waiting for my assignment) so if you see me, stop to say hello!

And here's a only slightly tongue-in-cheek list of gardening visiting rules: Garden Visit Etiquette, by our contributor Ryder Ziebarth.

Have you ever visited a private garden?  What was the best or worst thing that ever happened to you?