The Flowers of Nantucket 2018

 

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Nantucket Wildflowers as displayed by Charlene on Main Street. 8AM. June 30, 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Nantucket Wildflowers as displayed by Charlene on Main Street. 8AM. June 30, 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

 

Blog Delinquent…but not for long!

I have been a total blog delinquent for the past few months...but there is always that period after Garden Week in Virginia that starts with the college pick up (and the laundry resulting therefrom!) and doesn't end until the last load of clothes, sheets and my favorite Lilly cotton rugs are all washed and ready to roll for the summer. We are almost there. The cotton rugs are spinning in the dryer as I type. So it's time to get back to my blog. If you follow my Instagram account, you have undoubtedly seen (well, I should say that I *hope* you have seen...I have no idea what sort of algorithms they use to populate feeds....) at least a few of my photos of Nantucket. I posted a handful of them when I was here bringing the first batch of "stuff" down over Memorial Day weekend and into the beginning of June, and then I posted another handful last week. The flowers are coming along, and things look absolutely beautiful on this island! Have a look...

Wildflowers

If you're looking for wildflowers grown right here on Nantucket, look no further than Nantucket Wildflower Farm. You can pick up some flowers on Main Street from 8-1pm Monday-Saturday. If you'd like further information on them, check out their Facebook page at Charlene-The-Flower-Truck. Another fantastic place to find a gorgeous assortment of cut wildflowers is at Bartlett's Farm. Their cut flowers may be purchased at the farm or at their farm stand locations (Main Street in Town and Main Street in Sconset). And if you're interested in learning more about Nantucket wildflowers generally, the Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a wonderful resource. This list, from the Conservation Foundation's website, provides photos and descriptions of some of the plant material native to Nantucket. Another terrific (and my favorite) resource for those interested in Nantucket wildflowers is the book "Wildflowers of Nantucket," by Peter W. Dunwiddie (illustrations by M.J. Levy Dickson). It's the Nantucket Garden Club's guide to the island's wildflowers. Though I begrudgingly resigned from the NGC several summers ago due to restraints on my time, I still always volunteer to help for whatever events I can, whenever I can. The Club is very active--it provides excellent educational programs; puts on outstanding flower shows and always presents the most wonderful House and Garden Tours. It was through my membership in the NGC, in fact, that I first discovered Peter Dunwiddie's essential field guide, and I own no fewer than five copies at the moment. I'm sure I'll buy at least one or two more copies this summer. *JUST* to make sure that I always have one with me. (They make great gifts, too!) While Nantucket is known for its wildflowers and its beautiful cut wildflower arrangements as seen all over social media, it is also an amazing place to grow an abundance of different "conventional" flowers, as well. I've been very happy with the plant material that I've purchased from Bartlett's, and I also love everything that I've purchased from Surfing Hydrangea.  Whether I'm looking for wild or conventional, these two garden centers are two of my favorites.

On the way to Radar Beach. And YES! That IS Bamboo splintered amongst the wild daisies and the grass. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

On the way to Radar Beach. And YES! That IS Bamboo splintered amongst the wild daisies and the grass. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Milk Thistle at Radar Beach. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Milk Thistle at Radar Beach. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Our Hydrangeas are making their way into the season! They came from Surfing Hydrangea. Sconset. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Our Hydrangeas are making their way into the season! They came from Surfing Hydrangea. Sconset. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Flowers on Chestnut. Always fabulous! June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Flowers on Chestnut. Always fabulous! June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Floral Design with Cut Flowers

As far as floral designers on the island, I am one of several. Because I don't have access to the Flower Market in Boston from my spot out in Sconset, I do very little during the summer. The thought of sourcing flowers to the island is not one that I relish. So when I'm working on a project, I turn my floral design needs over to the Nantucket based shops. One of my favorite shops, because of its fabulous assortment of ultra fresh flowers that comes in at least once a week, is Flowers on Chestnut. In addition to having gorgeous conventional cut flowers that can be purchased in the shop, Flowers is also a gift and home decor shop in and of itself, which I LOVE! It also has a fantastic garden section, as you can see from the photo above. It's just all around gorgeous. There's no other way to put it. And while there are certainly other flower shops on the island, I am not aware of them. (Discovering Flower Shops on Nantucket....maybe that should be the next item on my "to do" list....!) The Marine Home Center dabbled with the idea of a cut flower department a few years ago. I SO wish they'd kept it!!

But I think that competition from the new Stop and Shop (and its huge assortment of flowers) may have been one reason they nixed the flowers from their mid-island location. As it is, Stop and Shop and other grocery stores across the country are putting quite a strain on traditional florist shops. So why would an island business, which could devote space and resources to another--and likely more profitable--department, bother competing with a brand new store that promised pre-made bouquets and fresh cut flowers? Especially when they are the go-to spot for most of Nantucket--and for most things...from furniture to kitchen drain stops and everything in between...including the VERY BEST selection of Matouk that I have ever seen assembled in one place!~)

So Marine Home opted not to pursue the flower business. It was a good little experiment. And I bought a lot of flowers there during its time. Now that it's gone, though, I must admit that I often find things in the Nantucket Stop and Shop that I can use to create stunning arrangements that I would never put into the category of "grocery store" arrangements. And I mix them with flowers from Flowers on Chestnut and/or with wildflowers that I buy on Main Street, depending upon what I'm working on. So, on Nantucket, as is the case everywhere else, if you're looking for flowers, you have all sorts of choices. From farm (or your own cutting garden) to florist to big box grocer. Or all three!!

The roses are climbing in Sconset. My favorite house. Nauma 1676. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

The roses are climbing in Sconset. My favorite house. Nauma 1676. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Pretty privet and trees lining the drive towards the ocean. Sconset. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Pretty privet and trees lining the drive towards the ocean. Sconset. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Roses are climbing all over Sconset! The Bluff Walk. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

Roses are climbing all over Sconset! The Bluff Walk. July 2018. ©betsygibsondesign

A Sconset Rose. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign.com

A Sconset Rose. June 2018. ©betsygibsondesign.com

Wow! I had intended for this post to be nothing but photographs. Oh, well. At least I left you with a few photos of pretty floral sights from our yard and from various yards and gardens around Sconset. Enjoy!

I hope I've inspired you to go out and take in the beautiful flowers native to your area...and maybe even inspired you to do some planting!! Until next time...

xobetsy

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