July 2023 | Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival | Orleans MA

Two days, three gardens, hundreds of visitors

The Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival for CCHA Orleans was held on July 12-13, 2023. We had two warm days, but thankfully no rain. Hundreds of visitors came from near and far – we had folks from South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas and California among others – and some visitors to our gardens travelled to the Cape specifically for the Hydrangea Festival.

We’d like to thank our gracious homeowners who opened up their gardens for the tour, our local supporters, our members who volunteered both in advance of and during the tour, and the hundreds of people who visited the gardens, helping us to raise money towards our pledge of $1M for Cancer Services at Cape Cod Hospital.

If you missed touring the gardens, here’s a description and some photos to enjoy. We hope to see you next year!

We are always looking for beautiful gardens for future tours. If you live in Orleans, MA  and would consider opening your garden for the 2024 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, reach out to us at info@ccha-orleans.org 

Gardens on Tour

Garden #1  Still Cove Delight 17 Blue Rock Road
Privately situated with its scenic view of the Mill Pond and Little Cove, “Still Cove “ is the former home of celebrated author Gladys Taber.  The current owners purchased the property in 2008 with a commitment to keep things as natural as possible and working with native species. Lining the driveway are Hydrangeas on one side and native Bearberry on the other.  Boxwoods and colorful lilies surround the fish pond. The front bed displays Peony, Sedum, Shasta Daisy, Iris and a Butterfly bush.  A small herb garden, leading to the back patio encompasses Beach Plums and Rosa Rugosa. The stepping stone path, bordered by Lambs Ear, leads to the lap pool.  Hostas and Ferns guide you back to a rock wall lined with roses.  The owners finishing touch of a field of wildflowers give color all Summer into the Fall. Gladys would have loved this garden as much as the birds, butterflies and insects do now. 

Garden #2 Hummingbird Haven  23 Champlain Road This garden also had a craft booth.
Moved to this location in 1880, this historic home began as a modest cape in 1830.  In 1948, radio and TV pioneer Orin Tovrov purchased the house and the surrounding acres.  He donated the land which is now Mill Pond Valley and part of the Orleans Conservation Trust and is located directly across from the house.  In 2017, the current owners purchased the property.  They added onto the house and concentrated on improving the hardscape design by adding a pool and flagstone patio.  An oyster-shucking outbuilding was relocated to become the pool house.  Early on they focused on ridding the property of invasive species and planting the perimeter.  The owner has taken a risk by planting Zone 7 species such as Camellias and Magnolia.  Gardens include the cottage garden, herbs and vegetables. The charming entryway gardens, patio planters and a small pond are a must see.

Garden #3 Pollinator Paradise 272 Tonset Road
Forever evolving over 20 years the garden is for birds, butterflies and bees. Enter next to the garage along the damp garden with winterberry and clethera. The hummingbird garden surrounds the sunroom. Wander the yard past the Pagoda Dogwood and up into the woodland which is planted with American Holly and native shrubs under the canopy of Eastern red cedars, which are slowly dying out. Return to the yard along the pollinator native plant border and note the large central garden that blooms in August/September. On your left you will pass the stone riverbed designed to control erosion. Stop on the patio for a rest and enjoy the pollinator container garden. Exit on the north side to the shade hardscape garden. Notice all the whimsical statuary, including birdhouses, many of which are occupied. Make sure to look for the oriole nest, but mostly ENJOY.

CCHA Orleans Event Chair and Member Volunteers

Special thanks to this year’s CCHA Orleans Hydrangea Festival Supporters

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