Gardens at the Captain Freeman Inn on Cape Cod

by Donna Cain

I have had a tradition of blogging about the gardens every spring. This year was a pivotal year for us as we sold our second inn, Brewster by the Sea in November and have been concentrating on the Freeman-upgrading bathrooms, creating new gardens and adding several new outdoor sitting areas for our guests to enjoy.

Pool fence and rose garden

I was hesitating to take the pictures as we had several projects finishing up- the last one of installing a new pool fence was completed on Thursday and so this blog is a fun way to celebrate and to show all of our friends our beautiful new gardens. This inn keeping job of being caretakers of these beautiful old building is a labor of love and one that Byron and I enjoy. Here is a glimpse of our new gardens at the Freeman.

Our front gardens are filled with spring bulbs, petunias and Coreopsis. I have to smile as I have tried to add more perennials to this garden and nothing thrives more naturally then Coreopsis. I decided this year to just let it fill up with this beautiful yellow flower as it’s a stunning welcome for our guests that can be seen from the Old Historic Highway. This old bike was in the basements when we purchased the inn. Beyond repair, it seemed fitting to let it grace our front gardens.

Front gardens at the Freeman

I love out door fires and knew a fire pit would be a perfect addition to our pool area. We always have s’mores available for an evening treat.

New fire pit and seating

New pool gate with side walkway to the back gardens. Always nice when plants come up year after year with little maintenance. These grasses and ferns thrive in this partly shady area.

Side fern and grass garden

We remodeled our front entrance, using the existing granite for the side columns and adding steps that are much easier to traverse. Everyone has commented on the improvement.

Front stairs at the Captain Freeman

I love fountains, and we found this one from an antique dealer in town, Antiques by the Bay. It fit perfectly in the front side garden next to the new clematises that we hope will climb on the pool fence. The fountain is not working presently and this winter we hope to have some metal work done on the upper part to make it functional. Right now it’s a perfect piece of lawn art.

Antique Fountain

We have always had hanging baskets on the front porch that were filled with colorful petunias. This year I saw a picture on Pinterest that included potato vines in hanging baskets. I love that green color and thought it might be a fun change. We order our baskets from Crocker Nursury and the owner Ann Marie teased me in saying,  “you know those really are weeds:)”  I still like them although I must say I miss the vibrant colors that contrasted to the green paint on our exterior.

Potato Vines

The raspberries look especially healthy this year and I am looking forward to harvesting plenty of Raspberry jam and pies. The bird house on the left was made by my Uncle Al over 50 years ago. I treasure it!

Raspberry patch

This is a new garden to the back of the property. Since it’s mostly shade I planted Hostas and Ferns. The new plants seem to be happy and the original brick was given a fresh coat of paint that contrasts beautifully with the sage color.

Back garden

We planted 4 new trees in our back yard. This red maple graces the new bluebird house.

Red Maple

My mom always planted a tuberous begonia in a planter in the shade. This arrangement reminded me of her as I added a delicate fern on the side.

Tuberous begonia in a porch planter.

We added some new seating in the back yard. I was determined this year to buy quality pieces that will last for years. This collection is made well, can be left out all year and is comfortable. Byron and I just love to sit here and look over our new garden.

New seating area overlooking the back garden

This fountain use to be my moms and we use it as a bird bath as the entrance to our garden. I planted petunias around the fountain but the rabbits ate them down. So glad we have a fence around all of our vegetables. Those rabbits may be cute but they can also be destructive!

Bird bath

We planted tons of nasturtium seeds for our plate garnish. The flowers are just starting to bloom.


I have always loved Cone Flowers and planted several in our gardens next to the fence.

Cone flowers

We had beautiful Lilacs at Brewster by the Sea, and I miss them. After doing some research I learned that there are new types of lilacs that bloom twice a year. These are a mini version and I thought they would dress up our shed.


The pumpkins look mighty happy!


Every garden has to have a sitting area to rest and mine is complete with a fountain and umbrella!

Pole beans with a sitting area

There is nothing more soothing then weeding, hearing the birds singing and the peaceful sounds of running water. Byron gave me this fountain as a birthday present and I could not be more pleased.

New fountain in our garden

I wanted to have some height to the garden so that guests could see things from their rooms. The sunflowers and cosmos are both tall and make for a perfect presentation for the back fence. Who said one can’t have flowers in your vegetable garden?

Sunflowers and cosmos

This was Byron’s Birthday present as he wanted plenty of fall color in the back. It’s a Red Bark Maple and the Red bark stands out year round.

Red Bark Maple

We had a new pool house built complete with a hand carved whale. This has always been my herb garden and is now complete with a pretty Hosta, Monks Hood, Peony Tree and roses. I just love that English Garden look of everything mixed in together.

Herb garden

Our pool also received a major face lift including new salt water, a new liner, solar heat and fountain.

Salt water pool

The hydrangeas are in full bloom with this beautiful Fox Glove at their side. While the blooms on the flower do not last long it is so beautiful.

Fox Glove in the pool garden

We had a well dug in the spring and have totally irrigated the property. What a treat not to have to water every day. Our grass has never looked this good. We just learned that the iron in the well water acts as a natural fertilizer for the grass. Byron teases me that he gets up early to start his day as the plants and grass gets watered by the new system between 3-5 am, just before the sun rises.

New garden

Byron and I are just so pleased with our new gardens and remodeling this year. We have a few rooms left this summer so consider a trip to the Captain Freeman Inn to enjoy our sparking salt water pool and to relax beside one of our new gardens.

Exhaling on Cape Cod and loving every minute of it!  Happy summer everyone.

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