Guide to Gardening

A new book depicts the private and public gardens of Cape Cod.

“I HAVE BEEN GARDENING ALL MY LIFE,” says C.L. Fornari, author of A Garden Lover’s Cape Cod, released in May (Commonwealth Editions). The garden writer and speaker, whom Senator Ted Kennedy and his wife Vicki have consulted about their gardens in Hyannis Port, was a professional artist until she moved to Cape Cod in 1993. That’s when she conceived the idea for a full-color book depicting the private and public gardens that she saw around her new hometown of Osterville.

“I started taking photographs of gardens,” says Fornari, who took all of the photos featured in her new book. The colorful images show Cape Cod blooming with everything from rhododendrons to foxglove, around businesses and homes and in public parks.

“I hope that everyone who loves gardens or loves Cape Cod can use the book as a resource,” says Fornari. “Residents will find advice. Visitors will find a guide to public gardens.” She points readers to green spaces that might not be as well known, such as Spohr Gardens, along with private gardens that are open to the public like Coonamessett Farm.

The book also offers local gardeners plenty of advice on overcoming the Cape’s off-ocean wind and sandy soil to cultivate Cape Cod standards such as hydrangea, as well as more challenging flowers such as orchids. Readers will even find hardscaping ideas and container gardening tips.

“I believe gardening is one of the most life-affirming things we can do,” Fornari says. “With this book, I wanted to celebrate people who put effort into gardening.”