A Cape Cod B&B Welcome

Cape Cod Hydrangeas on the Porch for Breakfast

Fresh Flowers for a Morning Cape Cod B&B Welcome

Staging the Hydrangeas, a Cape Cod B&B Welcome
Staging the Hydrangea.
Cape Cod Hydrangeas on the Porch for Breakfast
The porch before breakfast

Today we have eleven rooms checking-out and eleven rooms checking-in. Our head housekeeper, Rosy, is quietly issuing directions to her well-trained staff. Monica, one of our housekeepers, was assigned this morning to serve one of our three course breakfasts to twenty guests, which she did seamlessly. However, I did not realize that during the breakfast Rosy had asked her to make up eleven flower vases. Without skipping a beat she took my nippers from their place under the kitchen staging table and went up into the hydrangea garden, gathered the flowers and had the vases awaiting Rosy when she returned – a beautiful blue Cape Cod B&B welcome to our morning guests. These young women are truly outstanding. Oh, and Rosy, well she is a Marine Corps drill sergeant with a velvet glove. Our student housekeepers adore her, as do Bill and I. This staff accomplishes an astonishing amount of work with grace and poise.

I was talking with a guest this morning and she said that one of the things that she enjoys most about staying here is, the calm relaxed atmosphere. That is the feeling that we try to create. It feels good to know that we have achieved our goal.

Hydrangea and a Cape Cod B&B Welcome

Cape Cod Hydrangea

It seems that this year’s crop of hydrangea has been especially beautiful. Perhaps it has been just the right amount of rain, sun and warm weather. Hydrangea have long been loved as Cape Cod’s quintessential flower welcoming and inspiring travelers.  They come in shades of pink, green, white, red, yellow, dwarf trees and climbing, in addition to the classic blue and white beauties. The Palmer House gardens have the blue and white mop-head variety and the less common blue lace-cap version.

Up until this past winter we had a dwarf tree that was the white conical variety. It was a real show-off at the corner of the Guest House veranda. However, during a severe nor’easter last winter six large locust trees were uprooted and one smashed down onto the hydrangea tree. When the tree workers arrived they said that the dwarf tree could not be saved. That was a very sad day because the tree had also provided some lovely shade for that quiet corner. However, much to my delight, new shoots have sprung out of the old trunk. We will not have flowers this year but I will not be surprised to see a few next August.

Cape Cod Wedding Cake with Hydrangea
A recent Cape Cod cake for a Palmer House wedding.

Hydrangea, although an old-fashioned flower in reality are not native to Cape Cod and the Islands. Their native country is Japan. However, hydrangea have long thrived in our sandy soil and moist summer climate. Over the past nine years of my tenure as the Palmer House gardener, I have learned how to care for these lovely plants.  I have discovered that although hydrangea like, at least four hours of afternoon sun, the ones that are exposed to too much sun tend to fade and wilt rapidly. Keeping them well watered takes the attention of both Bill and I and frequently the housekeepers can be seen giving them an extra afternoon drink.  Pruning is not necessary, however, I do remove the dead wood and tie a padded wire around the branches in the fall to prevent winter snow damage. Otherwise a little “Holly Tone” fertilizer and a sprinkling of aluminum sulfate each year and we have a lovely garden to behold.

Executive Retreat: Research Directors from the G8 Countries Meet on Cape Cod

Jonsson Center from the dock. Falmouth, Cape Cod,

Executive Retreat: Research Directors from the G8 Countries Meet on Cape Cod

Guests frequently ask if the Palmer House Inn hosts business groups or executive retreats. The answer is ‘yes,’ we have hosted a range of gatherings. In fact, we hosted this fascinating group a few years ago.

Executive Retereat Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast - Palmer House Inn
Cape Cod Bed and Breakfast – Palmer House Inn

In May of 2008 Falmouth’s Palmer House Inn, a bed and breakfast played host to the research directors of the prestigious G8 international science group. As you might remember, the G8 countries comprise the eight largest economies in the world.

During their stay our lovely Cape Cod town was its most beautiful. The sky was bright sparkling blue, the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, and the tulips and daffodils were also blooming. An additional treat was that the directors brought their wives. The ladies were able to do some sightseeing while directors were in meetings. (Executive retreat activities.)

Executive retreat at theJonsson Center
Jonsson Center from the dock.

For the executive retreat, we provided lodging for the two-day G8 conference. Our location near the center of Falmouth and Woods Hole was a wonderful for the group. The meetings for the research directors, took place on May 5th and 6th at the National Science Foundation’s Jonsson Center in Woods Hole. The countries represent about 65 percent of the world’s economy. Each year the meeting is  hosted by a different country. Last year, in 2007, the meeting was hosted in France and the directors gathered in Paris. I don’t want to brag but we did hear that some of them might have preferred the Cape Cod accommodations.

View of The Knob Beach from the Jonsson Center.
View of The Knob Beach from the Jonsson Center.

The Jonsson Center is a magnificent Victorian-style cottage that was built in the late nineteen hundreds as a summer residence for a wealthy family. It has been meticulously restored and maintained by the foundation and is used for meetings by the Woods Hole science community. It is located on a bluff and has sweeping views of Quisset Harbor, The Knob and Gansett Point. The sunsets are spectacular.

In the United States, the National Science Foundation is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, and was the representative organization to the group that hosted the meeting. Ardent L. Bement, JR., PhD. is the director of the Foundation.

The countries represented were Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States. The goal of the National Science Foundation is to promote research in all fields of science and engineering. The foundation is responsible for much of the federal funding granted to colleges and universities to support research. The foundation selected Woods Hole for the meeting this year because of the atmosphere of science and research in the village. Some participants remained after the conference to enjoy a few rounds of golf on Falmouth courses and to do some sightseeing around the Cape.

Some of the projects that the NSF are currently exploring are: The measuring of antiproton magnetic charges. This method measures the charge 680 times more precisely than in the past. They are also studying the digestive system of Alaskan trout. Additionally NSF is researching some of the quirky features of the lyme disease bacteria.   Also, one of NSF’s most significant work centers around research that probes how pancreatic cancers metastasize.

You too can stay in the room worthy of a G8 director. For guests with a discerning scientific leaning we recommend the charming Harriet Beecher Stowe room or the Emily Dickinson room. Both rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces and jacuzzi-style tubs.

Executive Retreats at the Palmer House

For more information on corporate events, executive retreat amenities, team-building activities or to request more information contact us at 508-548-1230 or innkeepers@palmerhouseinn.com.





A Cape Cod Mother’s Day

Cape Cod Mother's Day Roses

Bill and Pat and The Palmer House Inn staff, wish all mothers a wonderful day, filled with the joy of your youngsters. We are blessed with three beautiful daughters, three fine sons-in-law  and three wonderful grandchildren. We are truly blessed. Who could ask for more.

Cape Cod Mother's Day Roses
Mother’s Day Roses