Coming Up Roses
Hillary Hedges Rayport’s Nantucket oasis marries her love of freeform Italian gardens with her husband’s preference for symmetrical design.
The shed, which came with the house, offers a sheltered way to enjoy the garden during summer rains. Built of hardy reclaimed yellow pine, it’s adorned with wrought-iron Gothic sconces that the previous owner picked up at Nantucket Stock Exchange. Hanging on the back wall of the shed is a vintage Independent Order of Odd Fellows lodge sign, which features giant carved letters on lattice inside a wooden frame. But the true centerpiece of the garden is the armillary: Inscribed with the longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates of the home, it rests on a custom granite pedestal surrounded by Grosso lavender.
At night, Hillary lights the shed with sconces, Moroccan-inspired lanterns, and candlestick holders adorned with small birds that resemble gold finches—a common sight on Nantucket. She frequently spots the birds in her garden, especially on the echinacea and verbena. Hillary bought the wooden bench and farmhouse table, originally made for indoor use, at a Skinner auction. They were naturally distressed by time and the elements, making them ideal for use in the shed. She topped the table with a faux bois vase to bring nature inside.
The garden boasts a view of the climbing trellis of New Dawn roses that bloom during the third week of June around the frame of the shed.