The Pepper Bush on Cape Cod

Cape Cod Pepper Bush
Cape Cod Pepper Bush
Pepper bush in our Cape Cod garden.

The pepper bush is native to coastal New England. The Palmer House has several of these bushes beside the entrance door. They are a pretty bush with oval green leaves and a cluster of white conically shaped blossoms. The flowers bloom in August and one of its most attractive features is its sweet delicate fragrance.

The New England pepper bush is not related to the bush of the same name that is found in the south sea islands and produces the the well known spice.  The story has been told that even before the sailors, on whaling ships had made landfall, they could smell the scent of this fragrant bush. What a welcome sign it must have been after years at sea away from home.

My Morning Commute to the Inn

Cape Cop B&B Garden with purple flowers (detail)

A short walk to the Inn

Cape Cop B&B Garden with purple flowers (detail)
Purple flower detail.

Each morning during the summer season I leave the “little house”, between 6:00 and 6:30, I walk down the wooden walkway that leads to the car park and on to the Inn’s main house to begin my day of inn keeping. The “little house” is a cottage at the far end of the Palmer House property, it is also known as the owner’s quarters. During this three-minute walk, my head is full of the tasks that are planned for the breakfast and the busy day ahead.

Cape Cop B&B Garden purple flowers
Purple blooms in the herb garden.

This morning I just happened to glance to my right and there was our herb garden glowing with the first long rays of the morning sun. It seemed to beckon me. The days plans that were racing through my head vanished as I strode across the slightly damp lawn and swished through the dew covered hosta leaves. The garden seemed to be enchanted. I took my trusty little camera from my pocket and attempted to capture that fleeting moment. The birds were singing and there was a gentle breeze rustling the leaves, otherwise this part of the world was peaceful silent and oh so beautiful.

Cape Cop B&B herb garden
Herb garden facing the main inn building.

When we bought the Palmer House Inn eight years ago I can remember walking the grounds with my sister. The gardens had been neglected for several  years. It seemed that everything was over grown. However, we could see the potential. After all we are our mother’s daughters. We talked and planned. Little did we know how long it would take to realize those plans. This morning I felt such satisfaction just standing among all of those thriving plants. The hops are growing on their iron frames surrounded by fragrant rosemary and lavender. The shiso, a Japanese herb also known as ” the beef steak ” plant, is blooming beautifully this year. Last year it was looking a little sad but in the spring I added new top soil and some plant food to their bed. It seems to have enjoyed the attention. The shiso surrounds an antique black iron bird bath.

Cape Cod Herb Garden Basil
This past year I chose some miniature basil along with some more traditional verities.

The chives are thriving as is the parsley, oregano, sage, thyme and lemon balm. There is one plant that is a bit unique. It is an Egyptian onion that my sister brought to us two years ago. It did not bloom the first year but it has really hit its stride this season. I like it especially because I can take clippings from it 12 months a year to use as garnish on the breakfast plates.  That little dash of green adds a nice contrasting color on the breakfast plates.

Each of the rooms in the Palmer House has a name so we decided to name the gardens also. The herb garden is called ” The Humble Innkeepers Garden”. Several years ago I had the opportunity of a lifetime.

Cape Cop B&B herb garden
Herb garden, facing the innkeepers quarters.

One of our daughters and her husband were going to China. He was studying at the London Business School and was going to China as part of his course work. She asked me to go along so that we could tour while he worked. One of the cities that we visited was Suzhou. It is known for its miniature gardens. My favorite garden was the “Humble Administrator’s Garden”. Upon my return to Cape Cod, I renamed my garden.

After taking a few photos, I turned, walked down the path that leads to the Thornton W. Burgess Garden, through the Guest House Garden across the drive and into the kitchen of the big house to begin the day.

As you can tell, I like my daily commute.

A Cape Cod Independence Day Parade

Cape Cod Parade: Children's Wagon

Happy 4th of July from the Cape.

The Independence Day Bike and Carriage Parade in Falmouth Village was an enjoyable event for one and all.

Cape Cod parade Velocipede at Start
George Sykes, Corner Bike Shop, and his antique velocipede

It began at 10:00 AM . The staging for the parade took place in the Saint Barnabas Church parking lot and ended at the Mullen Hall school playground.

Cape Cod 4th of July Parade Uncle Sam
Mike Kasperian as Uncle Sam.

George Sykes of the Corner Cycle Shop lead the way on his antique velocipede. He was followed by Mike Kasperian as Uncle Sam. Then came the children of all ages and sizes. They came with there bicycles. tricycles, wagons, strollers, cooters and carriages. Each one was decorated in red, white and blue by its owner.

Cape Cod Parade: start
Start of the parade.

The parade proceeded down Main Street then took a left turn onto Shore Street, across Katherine Lee Bates Road and into the playground. At the playground, gifts, prizes and snacks were handed out.  The parade is sponsored each year by the Falmouth Elks Lodge.