Things to Do in Martha's Vineyard

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The Sunny Side of a Rainy Day

BY VSH | 22 June 2009

Fed up with the rain? Me too! I am hard-pressed to remember a spring so chilly and dank. Looking in my closet for yet another sweater to wear, I wonder if the sundresses and sandals will see the light of day this year. But then I gaze out my windows, and if I can force myself to focus beyond the moss growing on the deck railing, I can’t help but notice that the yard has rarely looked so lush and healthy. And so it is all over Martha’s Vineyard. So instead of moping around indoors, letting mildew accumulate behind your ears, pull on your wellingtons, grab an umbrella, spit back in Mother Nature’s face, and treat yourself to a Vineyard getaway to admire just what she has brought us.

Although I’d be flattered to have you drive by my modest plot of land and comment on how lovely the peonies and roses are, many more satisfying vistas are available to you. First, put yourself in nature’s beauty at the Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury. Feeling gloomy while surrounded by 20 acres of magical plants, trees, and shrubs is nearly impossible. They are open daily from 9:30 AM to 4 PM, and offer tours at 2 PM.

For a peaceful afternoon, hop aboard the On Time Ferry in Edgartown and head to Chappaquiddick, where you will find Mytoi, a delightful Japanese-style garden nestled within an open pine forest. I guarantee you’ll feel your blood pressure drop while strolling around this gem of tranquility. It is open daily, sunrise to sunset.

And since you are already enjoying Chappy’s gifts, linger a little longer and visit the Cape Poge Wildlife Refuge or Wasque, both havens of indigenous seashore growths of the northeast. Just driving place to place, you will notice the extra lushness and height of the seagrass and bountiful white and magenta blooms weighing down the rosa rugosa.

By this time, you’ll be pretty damp and ready for a mug of hot cocoa or, better yet, a hot toddy. Park the car back in Edgartown, and on your stroll to the nearest pub, notice the profusion of cottage roses beginning to pop and the abundant, heavy buds on the hydrangeas that will follow close behind. Yes, it is going to be a gorgeous summer (eventually), and you will not only have cheered yourself up, but also have gotten a very special preview of what’s right around some dryer corner.

Image courtesy of The Trustees of Reservations