Thursday, November 7, 2013

The window boxes of Nantucket: gorgeous, then gone

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.


A triple-decker

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.


The Principal Undergardener said...

An absolutely glorious array of window box gardens, Lynn! You have captured them for posterity. They will indeed live in thanks to you and your camera

Lynn Hunt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you, Neal! I am wondering if there is some sort of plan people submit before doing the boxes since they are all so different. When I get a minute I will phone the Chamber of Commerce to find out. (A little late for the posting but inquiring minds want to know!)

jual jaket kulit said...

nice for posting this article much information and interesting for all people regards..

Lynn Hunt said...

Thank you Jual! I hope you will come back and visit again soon.

Janneke said...

So beautiful those windowboxes and all different. May be they had a competition last month before dismantling: " Who has the most beautiful windowbox of the island".

Lynn Hunt said...

That is what struck me, Janneke, that all the boxes are so different. I plan to investigate more and will add to the posting if I find out anything interesting! Thanks for visiting and take care!

Les said...

I may have to steal some of these combos. I especially like the first one and the one with the succulents.

Lynn Hunt said...

Go for it, Les! Will look forward to seeing your creations next year.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Love the cranberry bog, something I haven't seen before. All those lovely windowboxes going to the dump are such a shame....though I will come back in the spring when I get ready to plant my windowboxes for some ideas.

Lynn Hunt said...

Janet, I had never see a cranberry bog either and was quite impressed. The colors looked like an Impressionist painting. Yes, I will be coming back (along with you and Les) next spring for window box inspiration!

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