270 people visit 5 Duxbury hydrangea gardens, outdoor artists

DUXBURY – Some 270 people took to the highways and lanes of Duxbury for a glimpse of five remarkable properties with hydrangeas on display – along with dozens of other plantings and 10 outdoor artists painting scenes full of colorful flowers.

The Duxbury Hydrangea Festival, in its fifth year, included a garden tour for the first time and was organized by the Duxbury Community Garden Club.

Andrea Brandeis walks past her hydrangea garden at her Duxbury home during the Duxbury Community Garden Club Hydrangea Garden Tour on Tuesday July 12, 2022.

A grant from the Mass Cultural Council supported the artists in particular. Partners included the Duxbury Art Association, Duxbury Free Library, Duxbury Student Union and Alden House. The co-chairs of the festival were Andrea Brandeis and Laura Smith.

The five gardens on the tour were in the homes of Andrea and David Brandeis at 33 Bay View Road; Stephanie Bailey-Gates at 5 Deer Run; the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society in the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. home at 479 Washington St.; Nina Shervin and Tomas Dutheil at 44 Powder Point Ave.; and Bonnie and Chad Frost at 491 Temple St.

“The Hydrangea Festival was not just a chance to enjoy beautiful gardens, arrangements of hydrangeas and tables, but a chance to meet and interact with old friends on a glorious day,” said said Hannah Boulton, of Duxbury. “Each house had its own beauty and style.”

In the Brandeis garden, she was intrigued by “the little rocks in the garden with the names of the many species her garden features”.

Brandeis also featured Mal Condon, Curator of Hydrangeas at Heritage Museums and Gardens in Sandwich. Condon was generous with question and answer times and pruning demonstrations. He designed and installed the Brandeises hydrangea gardens in 2020 with 100 hydrangeas of 25 varieties.

Duxbury Horticulture Chair Jeanette Mackenzie prepares plants and arrangements at Alden House in Duxbury during the Duxbury Community Garden Club Hydrangea Garden Tour, Tuesday July 12, 2022.

The Frosts’ 1814 farmhouse on Temple Street featured a breathtaking succession of gardens, a screened porch with orchids and artwork, a modern greenhouse, a koi pond and an old barn housing antiques. The Frosts use the property to show customers different possibilities. Chad Frost owns Hedges Land and Hardscaping and Bonnie Frost owns Frost & Found, a floral design and retail boutique in Duxbury.

Boulton said she was familiar with the property before the couple purchased and remodeled it and “I marvel at the space and expanse that has been revealed”.

Wellfleet artist Suzette Macdonald Lebenzon creates paintings of hydrangeas at the Duxbury home of Andrea and David Brandeis during the Duxbury Community Garden Club Hydrangea Garden Tour, Tuesday July 12, 2022.
Members of the Duxbury Rural & Historical Society, Sally Redmond, left, and Jayne O'Farrell stand by a table displaying hydrangea arrangements at the Nathaniel Winsor Jr. home in Duxbury during the garden tour of 'hydrangeas organized by the Community Garden Club of Duxbury on Tuesday 12th July , 2022.

The gardens at 44 Powder Point Avenue in the Old Shipbuilders’ Quarter were notable for the many tall Italian hydrangeas in containers and the lush lawn with views of Duxbury Bay.

As well as its rose and hydrangea gardens, the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society also welcomed visitors to the first floor of the Winsor House, built in 1807, with a veranda overlooking 19th century themed gardens.

Andrea Brandeis, left, and Laura Smith, Co-Chairs of the Duxbury Hydrangea Festival, in front of their Insta Wall designed in partnership with the Duxbury Student Union.

Outdoor performers were Kimberlee Alemian, Nancy Sargent Howell, Margaret Rosenbaum, Christine Bodnar, Jenny Kelley, Tina Watson, Margaret Farrell Bruno, Suzette Lebenzon, Laurinda Phakos O’Connor, Jack Haran and Sally Dean.

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