The perennial gardens at the Scarborough Inn are like a kaleidoscope – an ever-changing display of colors, shapes, sizes, and scents.
The first spring flowers push through the soil long before the first Inn guests arrive. It is still chilly and gray when purple Crocus appear, followed closely by red and yellow Tulips, and impossibly sweet-smelling blue Hyacinth. Soon, the Flowering Pear Trees that flank the driveway are covered with delicate white petals that look like gigantic, round bouquets and the Weeping Cherry Trees are adorned with pink petals that brush the earth.
Daffodils, in a variety of cream and yellow color combinations, appear about this time and purple lilacs planted near the front stairs perfume the air as we pass. Other lilac varieties grow in the side gardens. One is deep purple and another features thin lines that outline each tiny petal like white eyeshadow. Elegant Iris blossoms are also predominately purple, but the Gladiolus are bedecked in a rich palette of hues. Some feature solid colors – white, yellow, deep burgundy, and lavender. Other “Glads” pair colors like magenta with cream or navy blue and white and all of them remind me of old-fashioned frilly prom dresses.
The patio garden near the fountain is accented in shades of blue in early Spring. Brilliant blue colors miniature Forget-Me-Not blossoms and royal blue tones color intricate Columbine. There’s also an intriguing flower that looks like tiny pantaloons hanging on a washline. When the Azaleas and Rhododendron bloom, pink and rose become the predominant hues. Asiatic Lilies continue that color theme as June approaches.
We have just enjoyed the brief appearance of Peonies – their enormous flowery heads covered with white petals – some streaked with pink – and all sweetly perfumed. Inside, in small arrangements, the air is filled with their fragrance.
Purple Clematis covers the arbor near the Rose Garden and trails up a new trellis adjacent to the bath house, too. The Roses have completed their first flowering, but will continue to bloom throughout the Summer. They are a deep, pink shade and covered with a bounty of flowers. Liatrus – waist high – and sporting tall, spiked blooms grow nearby. Another Rose variety, planted near the parking area, is trained on trellises and are the palest, pastel pink. Hydrangeas are just beginning to bloom now and are pink this year; sometimes they are blue or lavender depending on soil conditions. Presently, the front flower beds also have a variety of annuals and perennials in shades of blue, lavender, and purple.
The flower colors were all carefully selected to complement the seven paint colors that adorn the inn and highlight its interesting architectural features. Many of the flower varieties were chosen because they would have been available and popular when the building was constructed in the late 1800s.
Scarborough Inn guests frequently comment on the beautiful gardens circling the Inn. One thing is certain…they are different every time and always a joy to behold!