Monday, July 20, 2015

Hydrangea Festival Week at Heritage Museum and Gardens

As we launch another week here, and I attempt to survive the very high temperatures and humidity, let me take you back to last Thursday, a most perfect breezy 70 degree day.  One I would clone, given the powers.

Serendipity was in play when  DIL, Alison, decided to take a few days off and keep Teddy home from camp for a week!!  We arranged to have Samantha join us, and this merry band of four set out on a glorious, clear, dry day to explore Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich. We didn't realize, until our arrival, that we had chosen the week when the hydrangeas and day lilies are at their peak. I can only try here, to convey a little of the astounding beauty that we encountered.  Heritage has such broad appeal as a destination, and Teddy has been coming here since he was 18 months, always loving Hidden Hollow, a huge outdoor, interactive with nature, play space. Of course, riding on the 1903 carousel is a huge hit, too. There was nothing like the glee of seeing the cousins rolling down hills on the beautiful lawns, sniffing flowers, sighting birds, and walking in a wooded labyrinth. We walked for hours, with surprises around each corner. We began by touring their famous Round Shaker barn which is filled with amazing antique cars.
As we bought our tickets, Teddy and Samantha posed by the entrance gardens.
Of all the hydrangeas of infinite hues, I still love these huge whites the best. As a child, my grandparents lived next door to us in a very old farm house, set behind a tall privet hedge. As you drove into the drive between the privet, there were huge white hydrangea bushes on either side, as a welcome.
The heritage Gift Shop and ticket office are almost invisible behind a lush welcome garden.
Approaching the round barn
The car collection is displayed on two floors of the barn.
Gary Cooper's Duesenberg
The gleaming front grille and hood ornament are amazing, and those massive headlamps!
My favorite!

Volvo P1800
There is only one of the cars you are allowed to touch, and you can bet you know who made a beeline to get to it....they had a great time, and Samantha did a fine job of telling Teddy how to drive.

This great old firetruck was just in front of the kids.
With Nana in the backseat, I could observe that Teddy didn't trust Samantha to steer on her own.

 This 1950 Ford is similar to one owned by my grandfather.
A wonderful Land Rover and the kids loved seeing photos of this type of car being used on Safari, complete with lions riding on the top.
A great display of old license plates from all the states.

It is probably about time to suggest you pour yourself a nice tall iced tea or coffee, and sit awhile, as this post is really long, but the displays of flowers were truly too beautiful not to capture, or at least try. Heritage was founded by the Lilly family who've had a very long presence on Cape Cod. This estate became home to their world renowned collection of trees, lilies, rhododendrons (at peak in May and June), and now of hydrangeas.  There are frequent exhibits found throughout the park, and this summer there is a fascinating collection of differing shelters, hidden so to be found when you least expect. The kids loved looking for them. Also, another beautiful barn houses an exhibit of work by three Wyeth family members, N.C, Andrew and Jamie.
So, off we go through the beauty!
Daylilies of every kind
The gristmill garden (whoops, no photo of the grist mill)
Red coneflowers, really stood out here.

Teddy, Alison and Samantha in the Gristmill Garden

There were a few lingering rhododendrons and some late azaleas

There were many of these glorious pines and I apologize for not having the name. They gleam in the sun and offer delightful shade.

The main daylily garden you just "visited" above, leads up to this pond-lily garden and waterfall.  There were white, pink, yellow and red pond lilies in full bloom.
As we continued our walk, headed to Hidden Hollow for the kids, and the hydrangea garden for me, a certain someone got a little anxious and couldn't resist picking a beautiful fern frond. He knew the minute he saw my face that he had stepped over the line.....oh, well.
One of the hidden shelters

Walking along a path, near the heather gardens, I looked down and saw this lovely, lacy branch.
Paths to wander on amidst the trees.
They were having such a fun time.....
At last, the hydrangea garden - there were tours everywhere

So many colors

From my seat on a bench...

Still on their way to Hidden Hollow, they found another of the shelters
and I found the Wyeth exhibit!! Alas, no photos.
The 1903 carousel. The kids rode on it 4 times!!

Back to walking and on our way back to the entrance...many more lilies and other hidden gardens

My camera battery gave out just after this photo, and I must say, IT IS MY FAVORITE.  So happy to share this with you all, and I wish you an opportunity to see Heritage someday!  It is only 2 miles or so from us, and we are able to visit often..such a wonderful gift from the Lilly family.


Judy said...

I learned to drive in a '54 Ford--same color as that antique, LOL.
I really love the blue Hydrangeas and the pink ones. Such a fun day and I am impressed that you could walk all of it!!! Apparently you don't have back problems!

Cheyenne said...

The flowers are beautiful. I would love to visit such a place. Also a great place to just sit and think amongst the beauty and tranquility.

Not a '54 Ford...that is a 1950 Ford. They had one bullet. In 1951 there were two bullets in the grille. In 1952 the body style changed. I love my Fords.

Cape Cod Kitty said...

Thank you so much for the correction on the Ford year, Cheyenne....I'll fix it.
You are right, it is a perfect place to meditate, and walk. We love it and fully appreciate how lucky we are to have it near. They also have a great outdoor musical space where I have seen my favorite folk singer, Tom Rush.