United States of America, Massachusetts, Norfolk, Cohasset
Cedar Ledges (Cohasset, Massachusetts)
Cedar Ledges is a historic property of nearly three acres that features trees reminiscent of the years the current owners spent in the Foreign Service, and more recently Native American trees, shrubs and wildflowers. The property has been owned by members of just two families since the 1730's, and has descended in the present owner's family since the 1920s. Native granite ledges form a rock garden with a waterfall that trickles into a lily pond, with a clump of birch trees, mature cedar trees, and Japanese maples along with ferns, azaleas and spring bulbs. A formal rectangular garden has been switched from roses to dwarf fruit trees, bordered by boxwood hedges, espaliered apple trees, raspberries and blackberries trained to arches.
Nearby grove of Eastern red cedars is under planted with flowering shrubs, spring bulbs and perennials and edged with elderberries and gooseberries. A vegetable and herb garden in raised beds also serves as a nursery for young fruit trees. A woodland path features trees and shrubs with colorful bark that add interest in the winter, including red and yellow twig dogwoods. A garden devoted to birds and memories features tall pines, a lower story of trees that fruit, flowering ground covers and an old twisted juniper. A hundred-foot long perennial border with old-fashioned flowers and flowering shrubs adds color. A small stream is decorated with wildflowers, dogwood, crabapple and sweet gum trees. Near the road a spring garden includes bulbs and ferns, lilacs along a granite ledge and wisteria.
The seaside garden at Cedar Ledges has been cited by the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, with plants in the lower meadow including hibiscus, rugosa roses, bayberry, broom and tamarisks that thrive in the increasing salinity of the soil caused by more frequent high tide flooding. The owners stopped using pesticides and chemical fertilizers in the 1960s, convinced by the research of Rachel Carson, and practice organic gardening methods including composting, mulching with beach seaweed, companion planting, and introducing beneficial insects. Their gardens are havens for birds, butterflies, bees and small mammals with thickets for shelter and many varieties of berries for food. Birds that nest on the property include great-horned owls, Baltimore orioles and hummingbirds.
Persons associated with the garden include: William Bailey (former owner, c. 1732-c.1760); William Whittington and Lothrop family (former owner, 1926-1936); Charles Higginson (former owner, 1926-1936); Rebekah Higginson and Edwin J. Cohn (former owners, 1926-1956); Joseph Barrow (gardener, 1932-1965); Samuel Esposito (gardener, 1965-1985); Cecil Wylde (garden designer, 1975); Gary Barrow (arborist, 1985-present).
Newspaper articles and photographs printed in the Boston Herald, Boston Globe, and Washington Post.
The folder includes worksheets and a planting list.