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Nantucket Gardens: What Makes Them So Special?

Written by:
Christine Cooper
The grass and wildflower gardens are by Piet Oudolf

Nantucket is marvelous, with key attractions such as the scenic sea, beaches, warm weather, and friendly locals. You can enjoy its niceties by planning a visit and taking refuge in the various homely vacation rentals dotting the island. 

A walk through the neighborhoods will introduce you to the chilled side of Nantucket, made vibrant with the amazing gardens. There is plenty to say about the gardens, which answers the common query: what makes them so special?

Stick on as we look at Nantucket gardens and explain why they stand out.

Flowers that Match the Environment

Hydrangeas are popular in Nantucket, with their bluish-purple color radiating many homes. The bloom matches the laidback nature of the island, giving cool vibes similar to the bluish-gray ocean. It is difficult to get a vibe that matches your surroundings, something that Nantucket gardens achieve effortlessly. 

Diversity Walks the Talk 

A noticeable thing about Nantucket is that it has something for everyone, especially for adventurers. The same diversity comes to play when you focus on the gardens. Most neighborhood gardens feature several flower species, creating a beautiful pattern.

As mentioned earlier, hydrangea-decorated yards are commonplace on this island. The blue flowers go hand in hand with other flowers, such as delphinium, which is also blue, but the shade may differ depending on the species. 

Hollyhocks are prominent in most homes, where their red or pink blossoms liven up the environment. Pentas, salvias, foxgloves, and verbenas are other flowers that make Nantucket yards special.

Simplicity is Key

Another noticeable element of Nantucket-style gardens is their simplicity, with most homes opting for minimalist designs. The gardens may have one or two species of flowering plants, with neatly maintained lawns in the background. 

Minimalism gives a touch of class to the homes, allowing a slight hint of color from the flowers. Other gardens may have a single heavily-blooming plant in a pot, in a green sea of yard grass - the utter definition of simplicity.


You can hardly go wrong when accessorizing your yard, especially if you bank on minimalism. Nantucket backyards feature several accessories to achieve different styles. The following are some of the famous garden extras on this island.

Flower Pots

A flower pot is a must-have in your garden if you want to group your flowers or make a specific spot stick out. You will encounter several pot styles in Nantucket, the most common being flower planters, which resemble flowerboxes.

Square and rectangular flower planters decorate many backyards and come in various colors. Regarding the planters’ colors, most are mild, such as gray, black, white, and light blue, to highlight the plants. Positioning matters, with the front porch being a popular spot. One to three strategically placed planters are enough to showcase the essence of Nantucket gardens.

Standard flower pots are ideal for the backyard. The flower pots feature nautical themes like seashells, anchors, and marine animals in their design.

Window Boxes

Many Nantucket houses sport a window box full of bright bloomers that neutralize their dull look. This accessory has many designs, but most places have simple ones for rustic house detail. Other houses go all out in the window box game, opting for colorful ones to match the beauty of the plants they hold.

Flowers are not the only thing that can go in the window boxes; your kitchen window box can hold herbs like dill, basil, parsley, fennel, and coriander.


Climbing plants show how lush your lawn is. For a proper display of the climber, you need a lattice, an add-on several Nantucketers have. This structure has a simple design, incorporating crisscrossing wood pieces forming diamond or square shapes, and offers anchorage for the plants.

If you want a Nantucket-inspired backyard, you can go for a small lattice with a flowerbox. Alternatively, you may opt for the large ones that span entire walls. Additionally, they work well as fences.


Cottage-style gardens decorate various Nantucket neighborhoods and are renowned for their accessorizing degree. A pond is the game-changer in these gardens, giving them a touch of sophisticated outlook. 

The ponds' size varies depending on the yard size, but small ones are more manageable. Rocks punctuate their edges, and exotic water lilies float on the water. Koi and other ornamental fish give the pond a personality. 

When setting up a pond, you should know about the regulations on the fish and reptile species you can introduce. Besides ponds, you may notice other water features like fountains and bird water feeders in Nantucket backyards.

Other popular garden add-ons are lights, swings, and chairs. Avoid over-accessorizing, as it may make your yard look congested.

Support Structures

Nantucket has plenty of support structures that ensure the gardens are tops. An example of the support includes commendations from the Nantucket Garden Club, a Garden Club of America member. This body promotes knowledge of gardening, horticulture, and flowers to enhance Nantucket’s beauty and contribute to conservation causes.

The Nantucket Garden Club holds three events annually to promote gardening culture and appreciation on the island. Moreover, it maintains the Hadwen House Garden, which is famous for its magnificently-manicured garden, and as an outdoor venue for various gatherings. 

The Benchmarking Element

If you reside in Nantucket, it is easy to get inspiration for your garden. The beautiful yards on the island are an excellent source of inspiration. You can also learn about tending to your lawn from experts, such as Bartlett’s Farm.

The farm is the largest and oldest family-owned farm on the island. Besides learning about gardening, you can get flowers for your home from this establishment.

Final Remark

Far from the beaches and vast sea, Nantucket packs more elegance in the neighborhood, where blossoming gardens greet you. Diversity is one of the main reasons behind the island’s vibrant groundskeeping culture. Nantucket homeowners display different arrangement ideas, decor styles and flowers. The well-tended yards and flowers do justice to the houses, most of which are dull, giving them an exotic essence. 

By Liliana Alvarez

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