The Humble Innkeepers’ Garden

By Pat O’Connell

Photography By Pat O’Connell

Cape Cod Herb Garden Basil

This past year I chose some miniature basil along with some more traditional verities.

There are many locations on the Palmer House Inn’s property where I enjoy spending time, however, without a doubt, our herb garden is my favorite. When we first bought the inn the basic design of the garden had been laid out. There were eight four by four foot plots that had been outlined with cobblestones by the previous owner.  Some of them had been planted with perennials that were well established. There also were two rectangular granite posts at the entrance. However, the entire garden had been neglected for several years. It just looked like a large tangle of leaves and stems. I was not sure where to begin but over the years with lots of trial and error, the design has evolved. I have been to lectures and done some reading and had advice from knowledgeable friends and guests.

The choice of the name for the garden goes back to a time when I had the opportunity to travel in China with one of our daughters. One of the most beautiful places we visited was “The Humble Administrator’s Garden”. It is located in the city of Suzhou and is a miniature garden. It is said to be one of the most beautiful gardens in China. I decided to name our garden in memory of that wonderful trip.


Cape Cod's Stowe Room, A

Harriet Beecher Stowe room

Cape Cod's Emily Dickinson Room Five

Cape Cod’s Emily Dickinson Room Five

While all of our guest rooms have their own charm suitable for relaxation after the most wonderful day exploring the workshops of our Cape Cod craftsmen, we recommend the Harriet Beecher Stowe room, the Theodore Roosevelt room or the Emily Dickinson room. These rooms feature comfortable king beds, fireplaces, jetted tubs and a relaxing stay before and after your day.