Recently we were invited to join some dear friends for a few days on the island of Nantucket. I had never been to that part of the country before and had no clue what to expect.
|Sankaty Head lighthouse|
I knew the roses were pretty much gone for the year, but I was hoping to discover what else might be blooming in mid-October. So after a flight from Boston on a plane not much larger than my living room sofa, I set off to explore the island that was once the foremost whaling port in the world.
|Cranberries are still harvested from this bog|
Nantucket is 3.5 miles wide and 14 miles long. The entire island was designated a historic landmark in 1966. There are quiet harbors, lighthouses, sandy white beaches, cobblestone streets, imposing mansions, widows’ walks, museums, shops – even cranberry bogs. There are no traffic lights, neon signs or fast food joints.
There is much to see wandering around town and the waterfront. As a result of strict building codes introduced in the 1950s, the gray-shingled homes, cottages and businesses look much like they did two hundred years ago. But despite the charm of the architecture and lure of the harbor, it was the sight of so many gorgeous window boxes that captured my attention.
The first thing that struck me was that no two houses had similar window box designs. Some featured a mixture of annuals or perennials, but others were a creative combination of fruits or succulents. Then during my second day of window box mania, I noticed some of the displays had disappeared.
Later that afternoon, I wandered down to one of the beaches where I spied a pick-up truck overflowing with all manner of lush plants. As I moved closer (to take a picture of course) I could see the beauties had been pulled out of the window boxes, thrown in the back of the truck and were now headed for the town dump.
|So many gorgeous plants on their way to be trashed|
It seemed such a shame, but the workers informed me “the season was over” and the owners wanted the boxes dismantled and stored for the winter. They were not able to give any of the plants away, although they said there was a very happy man at the dump waiting with a large garbage bag to take away as many plants as he could carry.
Good for him.
Our visit was magical, but too quickly came to an end. I spent most of the last day on the island checking out the Nantucket lightship baskets (I couldn’t afford one) and investigating quiet lanes where a few window boxes remained.
Thanks to my Nikon, they will live forever.