Nearly 400 garden lovers turned out for the Eastham Garden Tour on July 13, which benefits the town’s public library. Visitors roamed six gardens that fit the event’s theme: Creative Gardens of the Outer Cape. They are distinctive for being “quirkier and less manicured than Chatham’s,” as one of the tour’s volunteer organizers, Willow Shire, put it. Here, the gardeners are hands-on, and their gardens inspire, not just with blooms, but with unusual collections including edible plants, quirky structures and spaces, hand-painted signs, and artfully crafted scarecrows.
Fifty shades of green and the canopy of a red maple invite visitors into “That’s Saul,” Cindy Saul’s garden on Heron Way.
Eastham’s Steven Kepnes dresses appropriately for his tour of the tall plumed grasses that populate James Carbone and Cheryl Nezmy’s garden, “At Last.”
A pilot whale bone rests on a stone wall at the entrance to “At Last.”
Eastham’s garden tour is part of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, but here the hydrangea has a subdued role, often seen amidst mixed borders of grasses, or alongside the complementary gold of black-eyed Susans.
Rose campion’s wild magenta flowers peek out, weed-like, but welcome.
A scarecrow watches over the Nauset Food and Research Garden at the high school in Eastham, where students learn about permaculture and grow native crops with guidance from Rand Burkert and Gretel Norgeot.
Signs of summer are everywhere at “Marsh View,” Diane and Richard Martin’s garden on Dyer Prince Road.