DUXBURY – Some 270 people took to the highways and byways of Duxbury for an inside look at five standout properties with hydrangeas on display – as well as dozens of other plantings and 10 plein air artists painting scenes full of colorful blooms.
The Duxbury Hydrangea Festival, in its fifth year, included a garden tour for the first time and was hosted by the Community Garden Club of Duxbury.
A grant from the Mass Cultural Council supported including the artists. Partners included the Duxbury Art Association, the Duxbury Free Library, the Duxbury Student Union and the Alden House. Co-chairs of the festival were Andrea Brandeis and Laura Smith.
The five gardens on the tour were at the homes of Andrea and David Brandeis at 33 Bay View Road; Stephanie Bailey-Gates at 5 Deer Run; the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society in the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. House at 479 Washington St.; Nina Shervin and Tomas Dutheil at 44 Powder Point Ave.; and Bonnie and Chad Frost at 491 Temple St.
“The Hydrangea Festival was not only a chance to enjoy beautiful gardens, hydrangea arrangements and table settings, but a chance to meet and interact with old friends on a glorious day,” Hannah Boulton, of Duxbury, said. “Each home had its own beauty and style.”
In the Brandeis garden, she was intrigued by “small rocks in the garden with the names of the many species her garden features.”
The Brandeis home also featured Mal Condon, curator of hydrangeas at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich. Condon was generous with question-and-answer time and pruning demonstrations. He designed and installed the Brandeises’ hydrangea gardens in 2020 with 100 hydrangeas in 25 varieties.
The Frosts’ 1814 farmhouse on Temple Street featured a succession of breathtaking gardens, a screened-in porch with orchids and art, a modern greenhouse, a koi pond and an old barn housing antiques. The Frosts use the property to show clients different possibilities. Chad Frost is the owner of Hedges Land and Hardscaping and Bonnie Frost is owner of Frost & Found, a floral design and retail shop in Duxbury.
Boulton said she knew the property before the couple bought and transformed it and “I marvel at the space and expanse which have been revealed.”
The gardens at 44 Powder Point Avenue in the Old Shipbuilders District were a standout for the many large Italian container hydrangeas and the lush lawn with a view of Duxbury Bay.
In addition to its rose and hydrangea gardens, the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society also welcomed visitors to the first floor of the Winsor House, built in 1807, with a veranda overlooking 19th-century theme gardens.
The plein air artists were Kimberlee Alemian, Nancy Sargent Howell, Margaret Rosenbaum, Christine Bodnar, Jenny Kelley, Tina Watson, Margaret Farrell Bruno, Suzette Lebenzon, Laurinda Phakos O’Connor, Jack Haran and Sally Dean.
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