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A Memorial Day Meal • Cr azy for Tulips • Kitchens to Tour NEW HAMPSHIRE HOME

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New Hampshire Home | 13







50 A Home Meant to Be Theirs

18 From the Editor 20 Letters From Our Readers

James Aponovich and Elizabeth Johansson found the perfect home in Peterborough whose style evoked their beloved Italy. By Andi Axman | Photography by Nancy Belluscio and Morgan Karanasios

60 A Serene Sanctuary

Surrounding her Jaffrey home, Louisa Thoron has created exquisite gardens that provide colorful blooms and food. By Robin Sweetser | Photography by Joseph Valentine

70 The People’s House for Two Centuries

The historic New Hampshire State House celebrates its bicentennial in June. By Carrie Sherman | Photography by Nancy Belluscio and John W. Hession

24 On the Town 26 Favorite Finds

For the Garden

30 Home Cooking

Reflections on Memorial Day By Mary Ann Esposito

36 M asters of Their Craft

Garden Designers’ Favorite Plants By Jenny Donelan

42 Garden R x

Crazy for Tulips By Robin Sweetser

78 Special Advertising Section

Landscape Designers’ Showcase

86 Inspiration

A Sleek, Contemporary Kitchen By Carrie Sherman

92 Architectural Icon

An Impressive House By Debbie Kane

98 Home Resources

100 M ark Your Calendar ! 103 Index of Advertisers

104 At Home in New Hampshire Becoming a Gardener

By Sally Hirsh-Dickinson Illustration by Carolyn Vibbert


On the cover and page 60: Against the dramatic backdrop of Mount Monadnock, anise hyssop, clematis, catmint, daucus and Verbena bonariensis bloom in Louisa Thoron’s Jaffrey garden. Photography by Joseph Valentine

Visit us online at to read our digital edition, learn about events and use our resource guide. As part of our ongoing effort to support sound environmental practices and preserve our forests for future generations, New Hampshire Home is printed locally by Cummings Printing, a Forest Stewardship Council printer. USPS permit number 008-980. New Hampshire Home is published bimonthly by McLean Communications, Inc.; 150 Dow Street; Manchester, NH 03101; (603) 624-1442. © Copyright 2019 by McLean Communications, Inc. Periodical postage paid at Manchester 03103-9651. Postmaster, send address changes to: McLean Communications; PO Box 433273; Palm Coast, FL 32143

14 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Rob Karosis Photography

res i d ent i a l co m m erc i a l i nter i o r d es i g n


may/j u n e 2019  |   Vol . 13 , No. 3

Nancy Belluscio is a photographer specializing in architectural and environmental images. Originally from the White Mountains, she and her family now live and work in the Monadnock Region. She may be reached at Jenny Donelan is an editor and writer with a wide variety of interests, and has covered areas that include computer technology, best business practices, pets, skiing and home design. Her articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe and numerous other publications. Mary Ann Esposito is the host of the public television series Ciao Italia, now in its twenty-eighth season, and the author of thirteen cookbooks, including her most recent, Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy. She lives in New Hampshire. Visit her website at

Sharron R. McCarthy Andi Axman Art D irector John R. Goodwin P hoto E ditor John W. Hession Asso c iate E ditor Kara Steere editorial Assistant Rose Z. King photo grapher Morgan Karanasios


senior desi g ners

Jodie Hall, Nicole Huot contributors

Nancy Belluscio, Jenny Donelan, Mary Ann Esposito, Sally Hirsh-Dickinson, Frances Hodges, Debbie Kane, Morgan Karanasios, Rose Z. King, Carrie Sherman, Robin Sweetser, Joseph Valentine, Carolyn Vibbert, Greg West reg ional sales m anager

Sally Hirsh-Dickinson is the author of Dirty Whites and Dark Secrets: Sex and Race in Peyton Place. She is an associate professor of English at Rivier University in Nashua and a fill-in host for New Hampshire Public Radio. She lives in Penacook with her husband and two children.

Jessica Schooley: (603) 413-5143 • (603) 345-2752

Frances Hodges is an interior designer based in Newmarket who specializes in residential and hospitality projects. Her goal is to create environments that reflect the individuality of each client. See more of her work at

Paula Palmer: (603) 413-5145 • (802) 238-5625

Debbie Kane is a writer and editor based on the New Hampshire Seacoast. She writes about home, design, food, spirits and a variety of other subjects for regional publications and clients across New England. She may be reached at Morgan Karanasios is New Hampshire Home’s photographer. While she was a student in Dijon, France, she took photographs throughout Europe and continues to develop her passion for photography.

seacoast sales m anager

Brook Holmberg Sherin Pierce BUSI N ESS M ANAG ER Mista McDonnell Event & Mar keting m anager Emily Torres Business & Sales Coordinator Heather Rood Di gital Media S pe c ialist Morgen Connor Sales Support Manager Angela LeBrun VP/consumer m ar keting VP/retail SALES

e d i to r i a l Co r r e s p o n d e n c e

Andi Axman, editor

New Hampshire Home 150 Dow Street; Manchester, NH 03101 (603) 736-8056

Rose Z. King is New Hampshire Home’s editorial assistant. She is a PhD student at the University of Glasgow, specializing in Venetian Renaissance art. Carrie Sherman works as a freelance writer/editor. She also writes fiction, and her short stories have been published in the Saint Katherine Review and Yankee magazine. She lives in Kittery Point, Maine, with her husband, Terry, and their dog. She can be reached at Robin Sweetser writes a gardening column for the Sunday Concord Monitor and is a contributor to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, among other publications. A former Seacoast resident, she now lives and gardens in Hillsborough.


Subscriptions, New Hampshire Home PO Box 433273; Palm Coast, FL 32143 or call (877) 494-2036 or subscribe online at or email

© 2019 M c L ean C ommunications , I nc .

Joseph Valentine specializes in garden photography, and his work has been published in this country and abroad. When he’s not photographing or writing about other gardens, he’s tending his own at Juniper Hill in Francestown. Visit his website at Carolyn Vibbert is a Portsmouth illustrator whose work also appears on packaging for food and wine brands such as Barbara’s, Stone Cellars and Williams Sonoma. She is represented by Freda Scott, and you can see more of her work at Greg West is a photographer who believes that “in every room, in every building, there is a visual character that makes the space unique and worth a second glance.” He may be reached at 16 | New Hampshire Home

New Hampshire Home is published bimonthly by McLean Communications, Inc.; 150 Dow Street; Manchester, NH 03101; (603) 624-1442. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without the publisher’s written permission is prohibited. The publisher assumes no responsibility for any mistakes in advertisements or editorial. Statements and opinions expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect or represent those of this publication or its officers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication, McLean Communications, Inc.: New Hampshire Home disclaims all responsibility for omissions and errors. may/june 2019




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from the editor

Choosing a Sustainable Lifestyle


s I write you this note, I’m hopeful because spring officially arrives tomorrow; the days are already longer and warmer, and soon the landscape will be lush and green—the way I like seeing it. To jog my memory, all I have to do is look at the

stories we share with you in this issue. One of the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen was created by Louisa Thoron in

Jaffrey [cover and page 60]. During the last twenty years, she transformed an overgrown landscape in to a serene sanctuary filled with numerous plants that provide colorful blooms and food throughout the season. Every border is meticulously designed and exquisite; one that stood out to me is more quiet and subtle than the others. This shade garden is planted with a variety of ligularia, Japanese painted ferns, epimediums and pulmonaria— a perfectly composed symphony of texture, shape and color. James Aponovich and Elizabeth Johansson rebuilt their garden before they began interior renovations to the Tuscan-style home they moved in to six years ago (page 50).

The stories in this issue cover some extraordinary gardens, and

The couple was immediately drawn to the single-story house—with its stucco exterior, Palladian windows and marble floors—because of their love for Italy, where they spend a portion of every year. This is a good time of year to decide what to plant in the garden. We asked several garden designers what their favorite plants are for their own gardens (page 36). We also indulged in a little “tulipomania” by asking some professionals to suggest

the people who

which varieties to plant and the best way to protect the bulbs. If cut tulips are your

nurture them.

places to visit—its gardens are lovely in June and many of the furnishings inside are

established and

preference, we found some great places to get them (page 42). For road trips this time of year, put the historic Rundlet-May House on your list of original (page 92). Also happening in Portsmouth is The Music Hall’s Annual Kitchen Tour on May 11. You can get a sneak preview of one of the tour’s state-of-the-art kitchens on page 86. In Concord, there are festivities the week of June 3 when the State House celebrates its bicentennial (page 70). The historic landmark is the oldest in the country where legislators still meet in the original chambers and was recently renovated in honor of its milestone birthday. Happy birthday to the “people’s house,” and here’s looking forward to drinking in those luscious, spring gardens!


18 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

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letters from our readers One-of-a-kind homes

Thank you for thinking my Hidden Gem (March/ April 2019) might resonate with your readers. I appreciate the way writer Jenny Donelan balanced my personal story with that of the building’s Photography by john w. hession

transformation over its one-hundred-plus years, showing the many possibilities in change. Nancy Belluscio’s talented eye brought life to my hearth Photography by Michael Nerrie

and garden. Her photographs are amazing! I admire how you value and acknowledge collaboration. This project was full of it. Architect Once Sacred Heart in Concord was decommissioned as a church, all the windows with religious images were removed and replaced. The colorful and graphic tracery sections of the windows remain in place.

A repurposed church

Daniel Scully and garden designer Michael Gordon took the lead by creating the magic in the private/ public garden by pushing the envelope. My home took life because of all the wonderful and —Susie Hunter in Peterborough

Everything was wonderful in your March/April 2019 issue—the cover, the photographs and the story (A Converted Church). Needless to say, we were thrilled and surprised to see our condo on the cover. Thank you for everything! We stopped by Jon Chorlian’s house and he already had a copy of the magazine—he looked very proud and pleased. This morning, I was at the dentist’s office in Bedford and there was your magazine right there on the coffee table with our home on the cover. That was kind of surreal actually! —Vicki Patric and Dr. Stephen Del Giudice in Concord

The hummingbird clearwing moth is often mistaken for a hummingbird while sipping nectar with its long proboscis.

committed people who worked on it.

Feeding the pollinators

We just received the March/April 2019 issue

Creating Pollinator-Friendly Gardens (March/April

featuring your award winners, And the Winners

Are … (great selections there!), and the article on

2019) looks very nice with all the colorful pictures

the Jarrard-Cole home, A Mountaintop Retreat.

and drawings! —Catherine Neal, landscape horticulture specialist at UNH Cooperative Extension in Durham

This article’s photos and copy are fantastic; thank you and your team for their work in highlighting that satisfying project for my company.

Editor’s note: We apologize for omitting contact

You are just amazing at what you do to enhance

information for the extension in the story. Readers

the work of all of us around the state. I am always

can find a wealth of information at the Education


Center’s Home, Yard & Garden page at extension.

—Sue Booth of Vintage Kitchens in Concord

A good blend

Marc and I were so thrilled to get your March/April issue. What a great spread on the Sacred Heart

There was much to be enjoyed in your January/

project (A Converted Church)! We love everything

February 2019 issue. I was very interested, amazed

about it, and this story was a great tribute to the

even, at the addition to the farmhouse (Connecting

work that Jon Chorlian does and the people who

Past and Present). You did a masterful job writing

support his projects in many ways.

so us lay folks could have an understanding, and

Thank you for the time you spent with us, and

appreciation, of all the expertise that went into the

congratulations on another amazing edition of


New Hampshire Home! May be your best yet. ;)

I cannot imagine how you find such wonderful

—Kimberly and Marc Normandin in Concord

houses and architects to feature in your magazines. New Hampshire is not a large state, yet the

You did an amazing job with the March/April

homes you feature I can only marvel at as I enjoy Photography by Rinne Allen

edition of New Hampshire Home. I am personally grateful that you shared our home, the former Sacred Heart Church (A Converted Church), as the unique and special place it is. It is a respectful community, and I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to live in downtown Concord. Jon Chorlian and John Jordan’s vision was a gift, and you wrapped it up well. Thank you. —Kathi Russ in Concord

20 | New Hampshire Home

Kitchen designer Sue Booth, of Vintage Kitchens in Concord, located the sink between two ceiling rafters to create balance and to avoid head bumps. To match the heft of the timber, the granite countertops were made two inches thick.

your photos and explanation of the projects coming to be. Another special feature of your magazine is your ongoing support of sustainability. —Jane Peabody in Bremen, Maine

We love hearing your thoughts about the stories we’ve published, and we’re always on the lookout for homes and gardens that might interest our readers. Write to us at Editor; New Hampshire Home; 150 Dow Street; Manchester, NH 03101; or e-mail We look forward to hearing from you! may/june 2019

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on the town Makers of fine furniture

Gathering to celebrate the opening for the New Hampshire Furniture Masters’ Red Carpet Show in December in Concord were, from the left, Jeffrey Cooper, Duncan Gowdy, Jami Boyle, Jon Brooks, Roger Myers, Ted Blachly, Evan Court, Mary McLaughlin and Jeff Roberts. On view through March, the show featured fine studio furniture by ten Furniture Masters: Ted Blachly, Jon Brooks, Tim Coleman, Jeffrey Cooper, Evan Court, Duncan Gowdy, Garrett Hack, Owain Harris, Roger Myers and Jeff Roberts.

Savoring food and art

Kelley Stelling Contemporary in Manchester hosted a special dinner in the gallery in January. Among those attending were, from left, Joan Brodsky, Bill Stelling, Pat Findleyn, Paul LeBlanc, Howard Brodsky and Karina Kelley. Guests were treated to a one-of-a-kind, three-course meal prepared by Chef Tom Puskarich and served within the installation created by Katie Commodore and Julie K. Gray for their exhibit, Food Porn.

In February, the gallery presented Contemporary Landscapes: Seen and Lost. Enjoying the reception were gallery co-owner Karina Kelley and Tricia Anderson Soule, executive director of the New Hampshire Business Committee for the Arts.

Out-of-this-world architecture

All Photography by John W. Hession

The New Hampshire chapter of the American Institute of Architecture (AIA) met at the McAuliffe Shepard Discovery Center in Concord for its February meeting. NASA architect Taylor Phillips-Hungerford gave a fascinating presentation about the challenges of creating habitable spaces in extreme environments beyond Earth (below). Also there were (top right ) New Hampshire Home Editor Andi Axman and David McDonald, of Meridian Construction in Gilford, along with (lower right) Sheldon Pennoyer, of Sheldon Pennoyer Architects in Concord (left), and Brian Murphy, of Manypenny Murphy Architecture in Portsmouth.

24 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

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favorite finds

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Water your plants, but leave this brass-plated watering can out. CB2 •

Hide your hose in a terracotta pot. Frontgate •

Add a touch of Zen with a Japanese-style lantern. Stone Forest •

Place plants in glazed planters hand-crafted in Italy. Terrain •

Cut roots or divide shrubs with Sneerboer’s Field Shef.

Learn how to transform vegetable cutoffs and scraps into harvestable, edible plants with No-Waste Kitchen Gardening.

Cole Gardens in Concord (603) 229-0655

Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord • (603) 224-0562

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may/june 2019

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Hang a plaque on a garden wall for an architectural accent. Restoration Hardware

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28 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Home cooking with

mary ann esposito

Reflections on Memorial Day Make your holiday memorable with these recipes!


emorial Day is a sacred day when we pause to honor and remember those through-

out our history who have served our country with great sacrifice, courage

and commitment. First and foremost, this day is for them. As someone once remarked, “We don’t know them all, but we owe them all.” Memorial Day is also considered the unofficial start of the summer season, when seaside and country cottages— shuttered over a long, cold winter—are swept clean, windows are thrown open for that rush of spring air and everything is ready for dreamy sunny days ahead. It is a time when antique and ice cream shops hang their “open for the season” signs again and there is a feeling of optimism and excitement as vacation plans are made. Of course, there are the many gatherings of families and friends that take place with backyard barbeques, fireworks and parades. We lay out a parade of “picphotography courtesy of Paul Lally

nic” foods—and one dish that is a must on the table is my father-in-law’s grilled hero hotdogs; each one housing slivers of sharp cheddar cheese and each one wrapped in ribbons of bacon. The hot dogs are grilled until the skin crackles and the cheese oozes and the bacon is crispy. It is hardly the healthiest offering, but it is a family tradition; once a

heavy mayonnaise, but instead mari-

year, in his honor, this is a special treat!

nated in olive oil, with herbs and a hint

Other favorites—such as grilled sweet peppers and mushrooms—are great

of vinegar. Everyone looks forward to dessert—

fruit, or cool wedges of watermelon. When everyone is gathered at the table decorated with American flags, we can reflect on the true meaning of

go-togethers with chicken, hamburgers

such as rhubarb and strawberry crisp or

Memorial Day, and give thanks for self-

or grilled seafood. Don’t forget a really

cobbler topped with vanilla ice cream, or

less gifts of the brave men and women

good potato salad—not one cloaked in

a light angel-food cake served with sliced

in our military.


Text and Food Styling by Mary Ann Esposito | Photography by John W. Hession 30 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Rhubarb Strawberry Crisp

Ser v es 6 – 8

Spring rhubarb and fresh strawberries team up in this crisp that can be baked and re-heated just before serving with vanilla ice cream, of course! 1 cup sugar 3 tablespoons cornstarch 3 cups fresh sliced rhubarb 2 cups sliced strawberries Juice and zest 1 large lemon 2 tablespoons butter, diced 1 cup oats 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar 1/2 cup melted butter 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground cloves Vanilla ice cream, optional 1. P reheat oven to 350ºF. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add rhubarb, strawberries, lemon juice and zest, and gently toss well to coat the fruits. Transfer the mixture to an 8- or 9-inch casserole dish, and dot with diced butter. 2. I n a separate bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, melted butter, flour, cinnamon and cloves until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle over the fruit and bake until the crisp in nicely browned, about 35–40 minutes. ool slightly, then scoop from 3. C casserole to serve. Serve with the ice cream. Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito

Spinach and Melon Salad

Ser v es 4 – 6

This cool spinach salad with cubes of sweet honeydew and cantaloupe melon is almost like eating dessert! D r ess i n g

Sal ad

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar Juice and zest of 1 large orange 2 tablespoons lime juice 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons minced spring onions 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon dry mustard

4 cups fresh spinach, washed, stemmed and spun dry 3 cups cubed cantaloupe 2 cups cubed honeydew melon

1. I n a small bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until well emulsified. 2. Place spinach and melon cubes in a large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss to coat. Serve immediately. Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito New Hampshire Home | 31

Home cooking

with mary ann esposito

Dad’s Bacon-Wrapped, Cheese-Stuffed Hot Dogs

Ser v es 6 ( … m ay b e )

If you are going to eat hot dogs, this is the way to have them, according to my father-in-law. You have been warned: you will not be able to have just one. These can either be grilled or baked.

6 all-beef hot dogs 12 pieces sharp cheddar cheese, cut into thin strips 12 slices bacon Toothpicks 6 toasted hot dog buns 1. With a small knife, cut a lengthwise slit about 3/4 of the way through each hot dog—but do not cut all the way through to the ends. Insert two pieces of cheese into the slits, pressing the cheese in tightly. Starting at one end of the hot dog, wrap 2 strips of bacon around each hot dog, overlapping the slices. Secure the bacon with toothpicks. 2. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. Place the hot dogs over indirect heat and grill on one side for 4 minutes, or until the bacon is crispy and cooked through. Use tongs to turn the hot dogs on the other side and cook until the bacon is crispy. 3. Remove from the grill, remove the toothpicks, and serve the hot dogs on the toasted buns with relish, ketchup and mustard, if desired. Note: If you choose to bake the hot dogs instead of grilling, place hot dogs on a broiler pan and put in 400ºF pre-heated oven; bake about 12–15 minutes or until bacon is crispy. Recipe courtesy of Angelo “Dad” Esposito

32 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Sweet Peppers with Garlic and Mint Paste Ser v es 6

Sweet bell peppers—a mix of red, yellow and orange—are combined with a garlic and mint paste for this colorful and refreshing salad. 2 large red bell peppers 2 large yellow bell peppers 2 large orange bell peppers ½ cup extra-vergin olive oil 2 cloves garlic Fine sea salt, to taste ½ cup packed fresh mint leaves 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar Pepper, to taste 1. Preheat the grill to 400ºF. Wash and dry the peppers, and place them whole on the grill until blackened all over. (If using an oven, preheat to 400ºF and roast the peppers until they soften and collapse, and the skin begins to blister and turn black.) Grilling or roasting time will depend on how large the peppers are. Remove the peppers from the grill or oven, and allow them to cool. 2. Remove the stem, skin, core and seeds from each one. Cut the peppers into ¼-inchthick strips and place them in a bowl. Set aside.

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3. Sprinkle the garlic with the salt and let stand 1 minute. Then, chop the garlic with the mint leaves almost into a paste. 4. Stir the paste into the peppers and toss well. Add the olive oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to marinate—covered, at room temperature—for at least 1 hour and then serve.

creating beautifully functional spaces

Recipe courtesy of Mary Ann Esposito

Cheryl Tufts Lea Kelsey Owner/President Designer

7 Henniker St, Concord, NH 603.226.3399


New Hampshire Home | 33

Home cooking

with mary ann esposito

Italian Potato Salad

Ser v es 4

No cloying mayonnaise masks the flavor of this Italian potato salad that is a perfect picnic partner. Yukon Gold potatoes work best in this recipe, lending creaminess as well as color.

4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes 2 tablespoons chopped black olives 8 cherry tomatoes, cut into quarters, or 4 small tomatoes, sliced

1. Wash and dry the potatoes, and poke them in several places with a small knife. Microwave them according to the baked potato setting. Cool and peel. Cut the potatoes into Âź-inch thick rounds and layer them in a rectangular serving dish. Sprinkle the olives and tomatoes over the slices.

1 clove garlic, minced

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the potato salad and scatter the oregano over the top.

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

3. Cover and marinate at room temperature for several hours before serving.

Salt and black pepper, to taste

Recipe from Ciao Italia: My Lifelong Food Adventures in Italy

2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves, torn into bits, or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano 34 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

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New Hampshire Home | 35

Masters of tHeir Craft

Garden Designers’ Favorite Plants Discover what three experts like to plant at home. Michael Gordon, Marc Hudson and Maude Odgers are well-known garden designers who live in New Hampshire. Because they’ve helped clients realize their dreams and also transformed many public gardens, New Hampshire Home asked them what kinds of plants they grow at home.

By Jenny Donelan Photography by Joseph Valentine


s the owner of The Artful Gardener in Peterborough, Maude Odgers (above) helps design gardens for clients as well as works alongside other volunteers to design and maintain the Town of Peterborough’s eight public gardens.

As a painter and a former textile artist, Odgers has an eye for both the overall impression of a garden and the smallest details of a leaf. She describes herself as “motivated by working with interesting textures that play off one another all the way around a garden.” These are some of her favorite plants. 36 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Daucus carota ‘Black Knight’: This one is from the carrot family. “What I love is that it’s lacy, with a lovely mauve pink color,” Odgers says. “The more you cut it back, the more it grows. It’s nice and airy, and will thrive in sun to part shade. It’s also a bee and butterfly magnet, a great pollinator.”

Beesia calthifolia (aka ‘Ginger-leaf False Bugbane’): “This is a small woodland plant with an interesting, variegated, shiny, heartshaped crinkly leaf appealing to my love of textures,” Odgers says, adding that it has “tiny, star-like, white flowers in the spring.” It grows in dappled shade to about eight inches tall.

Melinus nerviglumis ‘Pink Crystals’: This is a grass with dark pink seedheads and blue-green foliage. It starts blooming in mid-July through hard frost. “It’s great for large pots or en masse in the garden,” Odgers says. “Like most grasses, it likes hot and dry conditions, so my patio is a perfect spot for it. But it would thrive anywhere in the sun.”

Brunnera ‘Alexander’s Great’: This plant thrives in total shade and offers welcome texture to the garden. “It has tiny blue flowers, and the leaves are bigger than my hand,” Odgers says.

Salix babyloniska ‘Crispa’: This tree from the willow family with its distinctive, curly leaves is also called “ramshorn willow.” “It can grow to be twelve feet tall, but I cut it back to more like four feet,” Odgers says. This tree requires sun and some moisture.

New Hampshire Home | 37

Masters of tHeir Craft


ichael Gordon (left) is an optometrist with a practice in Peterborough. He is also a designer of public gardens. If you visit downtown Peterborough in spring or summer, you are bound to notice

the handsome flower boxes on the bridge railings or the cheerful beds in

Putnam Park—all due in part to his influence. Gordon is particularly passionate about garden spaces that blur the line between public and private; he recently designed just such a garden next to the Peterborough Community

Theatre for homeowner Susie Hunter (see A Hidden Gem in our March/April 2019 issue). Gordon also hosts garden tours. His next, “The Late Summer Gardens of Southern England,” takes place in September. Below are a few of the plants that Gordon says are favorites.

Rosa villosa: Another name for this plant is “apple rose.” According to Gordon, it is pest free. “It has glaucous foliage with amazing crimson fruit. The single pink flowers are subtle but lovely.” One of his favorite things about this plant is that it looks good for the whole year, unlike many other varieties of rose, which tend to look “sad” at some point. The apple rose is able to tolerate different types of soil but requires full sun.

Peucedanum verticillare: “This is a biennial umbellifer that has great structure through autumn,” Gordon says. He was inspired to plant it because Piet Oudolf (garden designer for New York City’s High Line park and greenway) has it in his own garden in Holland. “Oudolf uses it a lot, so I wanted to try it,” Gordon says. The plant thrives in sunlight to slight shade and likes a little bit of moisture in its soil.

38 | New Hampshire Home

Melianthus major: Gordon uses this blue-green foliage plant from South Africa as an annual for a mixed foliage border. “This plant makes the autumn garden look really fresh,” says Gordon, adding that the plant becomes very large leading up to the first frost— “almost like a bush.” He enjoys the plant for its great color. Also, he says, “If you rub the foliage between your fingers, it smells like peanut butter.” Melianthus major tolerates a variety of soil conditions, and requires a sunny or mostly sunny location. may/june 2019

Imagine a kitchen...

Imagine a kitchen...

Stewartia pseudocamellia: Gordon calls this a “perfect year-round tree.” It has white flowers in June, rich red foliage in fall and “mottled bark reminiscent of a boa constrictor all year long.” Gordon propagated this tree from seed he collected at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston. The tree grew quickly, he says, and now has “an elegant stature.” The tree is hardy in New Hampshire (zone 5), and grows well in full sun or dappled shade, such as that found at the edge of a woodland.

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603.224.2854  24 South Street  Concord, NH 03301 Acer griseum x ‘Gingerbread’ (a cross of the Acer griseum and Acer nikoense): Gordon likes this plant for its scarlet fall foliage and especially for its “exquisite, cinnamon-colored, exfoliating bark.” This is a great tree for New Hampshire, Gordon says, especially as it is more robust than Acer griseum alone. The tree is not fussy about soil, and enjoys full sun or “mostly sun.” Gordon’s tree grows near his patio and provides pleasantly dappled shade there.

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Masters of tHeir Craft


arc Hudson (left) has operated Inspired Gardener, a small, specialty nursery in Westmoreland, for nearly twenty years. He also offers design and installation services; landscape consultations and garden care; as well as maintenance for

residential and small business customers. Inspired Gardener is known for its unique array of rare and unusual plants, which

are enthusiastically collected, cultivated and curated by Hudson. Some he discovers in other gardens—such as the American pokeweed variation pictured below that he first saw in the garden of Bill and Eileen Elliot of Hancock. “They told me that it was a cultivar of the native pokeweed,” Hudson says, “which commonly grows in New Hampshire, often at the edge of woods and fields.” Others—such as the full moon maple (also below)—are a happy accident: “I planted this tree in my garden one October after I failed to sell it at the shop,” he says. That maple, the pokeweed and an Oriental spruce are now three of his favorites.

Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’ (American pokeweed): This plant is a standout with its variegated leaves and pinkish-purple stems, Hudson says. It can be hard to find at nurseries, but will readily grow from seed, which can be found online. Locate these plants in a sunny spot and give them some space, says Hudson, noting that pokeweed has a “formidable” tap root and is difficult to move once planted. “One word of caution for folks with children,” he says. “All parts of the pokeweed plant are toxic, including the showy blue-black berries, which appear in late summer.” Hudson says, however, that these are routinely consumed by birds, including robins, bluebirds, cardinals and catbirds—with no ill effects. Acer japonicum ‘O taki’ (full moon maple): Acer japonicum is a species of maple native to Japan and Korea, often overshadowed, Hudson says, by the much more common Acer palmatum or Japanese maple. The tree has green foliage during summer, but in the fall, he says, “It is transformed when the leaves turn shades of yellow, orange and red.” Acer japonicum is a great choice for smaller properties, as it grows slowly, Hudson says, advising that the tree be planted in average, welldrained soil in full sun or partial shade. “It’s been a great addition,” he says. 40 | New Hampshire Home

Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’ (‘Skylands’ Oriental spruce): “I like to use some yellow in the garden for contrast, so the appeal of this tree was obvious,” Hudson says. Picea orientalis holds its yellow color all season long, although it is at its brightest when its buds first open in the spring. “It’s a quick grower and requires some space as it can grow upward of twenty-five-feet tall,” Hudson says, adding that it’s ideal to plant this tree in sun or partial shade. “Too much shade will mute the color.” Resources Bay State Perennial Farm • (413) 665-3525 Broken Arrow Nursery • (203) 288-1026 Michael Gordon • (603) 924-3270 • Inspired Gardener • (603) 399-4354 Plant Delights • (919) 772-4794 • The Artful Gardener • The Bunker Farm • (802) 387-0223 may/june 2019

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New Hampshire Home | 41

Photography courtesy of wicked tulips flower farm

garden rx

Wicked Tulips Flower Farm is located on the historic Snake Den Farm. Owned by the State of Rhode Island, the farmland is leased to several small farming ventures, including Wicked Tulips, in an effort to keep the land open and productive.

Crazy for Tulips While growing

these bulbs can be challenging, the rewards are great.


ven though they had been cultivated for

sweet blossoms and chomp down the buds as

centuries, tulips sparked a craze called

soon as they appear. A multitude of rodents—

“tulipomania” that swept through Eu-

including voles, squirrels and chipmunks—

rope in the 1600s with individual bulbs com-

thinks nothing of digging through your

manding astronomical prices. What goes up

garden beds, mining for the bulbs as if they

must come down, and when the market for

were buried treasure and devouring them.

tulips crashed, it rocked the Dutch economy.

Landscape designer Lizette Sliter, owner

Speculation on tulips was the boom-

and founder of Garden Life in New London,

and-bust of that time.

specializes in garden rejuvenation projects,

Nowadays we are crazy for tulips because

landscape design and seasonal care. When

they signal the welcome end to winter and

she has clients who want tulips in their gar-

start of spring. Unfortunately we are not the

dens, she warns of the difficulties. “We begin

only beings in love with these plants and

with educating people of the obstacles since

in New Hampshire, they are under assault

so many animals enjoy the tulip’s flower, foli-

from above ground and below. Deer love the

age and bulbs for a tasty meal,” Sliter says. “If

By Robin Sweetser 42 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

you live in a deer yard, perhaps another

tions in the populations of rodents and

in an area deer do not typically visit.

choice of bulb is the best decision.”

deer, Sliter has found tulips may per-

“The wire cage is the best long-term

form wonderfully for several years and

solution for protection,” she says. “But

protect the plants. “To deter pests from

Sliter has found various ways to

then, in a year of numerous chipmunks

after a while, the bulbs will need divid-

eating the bulbs themselves, we have

and voles, half—or more—of the tulips

ing. We make cages with a top that

tried everything from planting them


lifts off so we always have access to the

with garlic, blood meal, rock chips or

She recommends putting in clusters of tulips where they can be protected

in steel wool,” she says. With fluctua-

with wire cages and planting the bulbs

bulbs.” If you plant some tulip bulbs this fall, you’ll find a staggering number

Photography courtesy of tarrnation flower farm

pea stone, to wrapping individual bulbs

Vanessa Tarr, of Tarrnation Flower Farm in Sugar Hill, harvests armloads of tulips from her unheated greenhouse to create spring bouquets.

New Hampshire Home | 43

garden rx

Photography by morgan karanasios

Late-season tulips at Fuller Gardens in North Hampton should be in full bloom for their season opening on Mother’s Day weekend.

44 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Photography on this page by john w. hession

to choose from. There are 150 species of tulips with more than three thousand varieties available. Sliter recommends heirlooms for their staying power. “Many bulbs bred in the horticultural world are not as hardy. They may bloom beautifully the first year, but not return the following year due to a number of reasons. Heirlooms are the toughest of the tough. These tulips have made it through different weather patterns, exposure to different insects and diseases, and are still able to grow and thrive today,” she says. “With the proper protection, they will grow for a longer time.” A few of her favorites heirlooms are ‘White Triumphator’, ‘Greenland’, ‘White Parrot’ and ‘Rococo’ as well as petite species tulips, such as biflora, saxatilis and linifolia.

Visit a display garden If you don’t have the time or aren’t willing to take the steps necessary to grow tulips in your own garden, visit a public garden this spring, where tulips

Top: In the fall, Lizette Sliter and her crew from Garden Life in New London planted a mass of late-blooming, doublewhite tulip bulbs in a large custom-made wire cage. Come spring, they blossomed freely in this garden in Newbury. Above left: Heirloom double late tulips ’Mount Tacoma’ date from 1915, are fragrant and resemble white peony flowers. Above right: Sliter holds one of the wire cages she uses to protect tulip bulbs from marauding rodents. The cover lifts off to make access to the bulbs easier. New Hampshire Home | 45

garden rx

are on display. Fuller Gardens in North Hampton opens for the 2019 season on Mother’s Day weekend, May 10–12, just when the tulips are in their prime. (Fuller Gardens is a public botanic garden that was once part of the summer estate of Massachusetts Governor Alvan T. Fuller.) There are nine beds—including the central one around the antique wellhead—planted with tulips. They will be a treat for your color-starved eyes! “We grow late-season tulips that typically are in bloom in early May, including red ‘Menton’, white ‘Maureen’ and a dark purple called ‘Queen of the Night’,” says garden director Jamie Colen. Even though the gardens are located just a stone’s throw from the ocean, they still are troubled by fluctuating populations of deer, voles, chipmunks and rabbits. “These pests feed mostly by scent, so anything you can do to make the plants unappetizing to them interrupts their feeding habits,” Colen says. “We have had great success spraying Photography by morgan karanasios

natural animal repellants that are made from putrefied egg solids.” These readily available products have a paraffin sticker mixed with the solution to keep it from washing away after rains. The spray is harmless to the plant, has no odor after it dries and can keep repelling herbivores for between six and eight weeks. The use of predator scents in and around your yard can also help

Photography courtesy of wicked tulips flower farm

fend off deer and rabbits. Colen also advises home gardeners to plant tulip bulbs late in the fall, just before the ground freezes to thwart rodents who may dig up and eat the bulbs. “It is all a matter of proper timing,” he says.

Buy a local bouquet Looking to bring the beauty of tuTop: Tulips in bud are ready to open when the sun comes out. The chapel in the background is across the street from Fuller Gardens in North Hampton. Above: Scores of people turn out on a sunny day to admire the sight of thousands of tulips in bloom at Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Johnston, Rhode Island, and pick a bouquet to take home. 46 | New Hampshire Home

lips indoors to enjoy? Pick up a New Hampshire-grown, organic bouquet at your local farmers’ market. In the North Country, Tarrnation Flower may/june 2019

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“Brookwood”: This mountain view country estate was the model for “Clue” boardgame. Preserved original gardens & sensitively updated interior. 1790 Dutch Colonial expanded in 1925 by the addition of a 1769 Salem, MA manse. 4 BR guest house, outbuildings. $1,980,000.

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Tuscan style…in New England: This on-the-level 3,600 sq. ft. unique residence features 10’ ceilings, marble, tile, slate and hardwood flooring, central AC, 25’ x 25’ skylit atrium, updated kitchen, master suite with deluxe bath. 14 acres with exquisite landscaping. $785,000.

A Singular Estate: On 500 acres, this C. 1880 residence Exemplary Hillside Residence: Over 6500 sq. ft. on three has a 2005 addition of 51’ great room/gallery. Two story levels (13 rms, 5 bedrooms, 5 ½ baths) looks southerly to cupola, elevator, central AC. Outbuildings include 4 BR three mountains across landscaped grounds on a road’s guest house, caretaker’s cabin, library, shop buildings, end 20 acre site abutting thousands of “supersanctuary” Offering the Monadnock theupper finestlevel real office. estate services since 1948. and 40 x 45Region barn with $3,750,000. conservation acres. $975,000.

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New Hampshire Home | 47

garden rx

Farm of Sugar Hill grows more than two thousand tulips in their unheated greenhouse. “They start blooming mid-late April, but this is always dependent on the weather,” says co-owner Vanessa Tarr. The bulk of the tulips are dug up, bulb and all, right before their buds start to color and are stored in the cooler for up to six weeks. “When they are needed, I simply cut the bulb off and place the stem in water. They will open from there and have a long vase life for the customer,” Tarr says. Specialty bunches are available for local delivery; on Mother’s Day weekend, you can find Tarrnation Flower Farm’s flowers for sale at Crumb Bar Bakery on Main Street in Littleton. “We will be having a Mother’s Day flower pop-up there on May 11 and 12,” Tarr says. She grows unique single and double varieties, including Orange Princess, Rococò, Ollioules, Dream Touch, Design Impression, Sensual Touch, Apricot Impression, La Belle Opaque, Copper Image, Angelique and Miami Sunset for her mixed bouquets. “Customers are impressed by specialty tulips they have never seen before!” If some tulips are still left when Tarrnation Flower Farm opens on Memorial Day weekend, they will accompany other spring blooms for sale, including narcissus, lilac and lily of the valley.

Tiptoe through the tulips For a field trip to see acres of tulips in bloom that doesn’t involve a trans-

Tulip Talk If you are giving a gift bouquet, different color tulips have different meanings in the language of flowers. • Red signifies true love and passion. • Purple symbolizes royalty, prosperity, elegance and admiration. • White apologizes and asks for forgiveness. It also offers condolences, and denotes purity and new beginnings. • Pink shows affection, gives congratulations and wishes good luck. • Orange offers understanding and appreciation. • Yellow used to mean unrequited love and jealousy in Victorian times, but has undergone a modern reboot and now expresses cheerful thoughts, such as hope and friendship, as well as get-well wishes. 48 | New Hampshire Home

Atlantic flight, head to Wicked Tulips Flower Farm in Johnston, Rhode Island. This is the largest pick-your-own tulip field in New England with more than six hundred thousand bulbs planted on five acres. Wicked Tulips Flower Farm is such a popular destination that you need an advance ticket, sold only online, to get in. There is a limited number for each day, and those tickets sell out fast. may/june 2019

Photography courtesy of tarrnation flower farm

Vanessa Tarr, of Tarrnation Farm in Sugar Hill, creates bouquets using a mix of specialty tulips that are hard to resist.

OPENING MAY 1ST! Horticulture Learning Center at Strawbery Banke Museum

Pam and Lenny Cornwell of

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Greenfield visited there last spring. “It is an amazing experience,” Pam says. “We arrived about an hour or so after the day’s opening, and the parking fields were already covered with cars!” The crew at Wicked Tulips has crowd control down to a science. Entry into the tulip fields is quick and efficient; the tulips are well-labeled and instructions on how to pick

SBMMayJun2019.indd 1

3/22/2019 10:46:38 AM

them are given. Volunteers in bright orange shirts are everywhere to make your visit as enjoyable as possible. Pam advises dressing for comfort. “You are walking in fields, after all,” she says. “The day we visited, the temperature was in the low 90s, but the heat and full sun did not deter anyone. Our tulips weathered the trip home well, and were such a joy for a week or two after. We can’t wait to return!” In the fall, you can purchase bulbs from Wicked Tulips as well. Wicked Tulips is the only certified-organic tulip bulb grower in the United States, and sells only organic U.S. and Dutch bulbs.



Fuller Gardens • Garden Life • (603) 526-2654 • Tarrnation Flower Farm • (603) 348-2223 Wicked Tulips Flower Farm • (401) 297-3700

New Hampshire Home | 49

A Home

meant to be theirs

After looking at more than twenty houses for sale in one month, James Aponovich and Elizabeth Johansson found the perfect home whose architectural style evoked that of their beloved Italy. By Andi Axman | Interior Photography by Morgan Karanasios | Exterior Photography by Nancy Belluscio 50 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Moving is a lot of work, but doable when you can take time to carefully scrutinize homes on the market, plan your move, and then sort through furnishings and other belongings before packing. But when someone makes you an offer you can’t refuse and you have one month to find a new house and move? Now that’s what this writer calls a very scary deadline. But that’s what confronted artists James Aponovich and Elizabeth Johansson in February 2013. Thanks to help from Realtor Andy Peterson, of The Petersons, Inc. in Peterborough, the following month they became the new owners of a home that looks and feels like it was custom built for them.

Knowing the perfect home when you see it Since 2007, Aponovich and Johansson have spent several months a year—sometimes more—in a small town called Panicale, in the Italian region of Umbria. They discovered Panicale thanks to Kurt Sundstrom, senior curator at The Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, who knew about a The focal point of the living room is the carved wood fireplace surround, which is flanked by two of James Aponovich’s portraits—on the left is the 1987 charcoal on paper of his daughter, Portrait of Ana Aponovich, and on the right is his 1986 pencil on paper Portrait of Elizabeth Johansson, his wife. Above the mantel is Carl Austin Hyatt’s photograph Eastport, Maine. The metal sconces behind the couch were custom made in Pienza, Italy, for Johansson and Aponovich, seen in the portrait (above right) seated in the garden just outside the living room window.

New Hampshire Home | 51

Near right: The library is filled with art books and features a painting of Ana Aponovich as a child. Below: The Provençal trestle table in the living room anchors a display of James Aponovich’s drawings and paintings (Three Pots of Iris: Tuscany, an oil on canvas, was painted in 2008; the bearded irises were grown in Aponovich and Johansson’s garden, and the landscape is Barga in Tuscany) as well as other sketches, prints, small paintings and ceramics the couple has collected. Aponovich also painted View of Florence and Portrait of Peter, both oils on the table.

fresco there by Italian Renaissance painter Pietro

erything wonderful about the Italian culture are

Perugino. His most famous student was Raphael;

all in Panicale. And Siena, Florence and Rome are

Perugino’s exquisite fresco called Martyrdom of

easy to get to.”

San Sebastiano was painted in 1505 in Panicale’s San Sebastiano Church.

52 | New Hampshire Home

This love of Italy entered Aponovich and Johansson’s stateside lives when the couple re-

After enjoying a weekend dance festival and

ceived the offer on their Hancock home with the

winetasting in Panicale more than a decade ago,

stipulation that they move out a month later.

Aponovich and Johansson were smitten with the

So, they immediately began looking for another

medieval, walled town that dates back to Etrus-

home. “We looked at twenty-five houses near Pe-

can times. “We now go every year, and it’s be-

terborough as well as on the Seacoast where our

come a second home,” Johansson says.

daughter lives,” Johansson says.

“There’s a community of people from all over

Peterson told the couple that he had “a nice

the world who return each year,” Aponovich

Mediterranean” to show them in Peterborough.

adds. “The beauty, the warmth, the food and ev-

The home included nearly fourteen acres, and may/june 2019

from its terrace, one can see the Pack Monad-

single-story home features a stucco exterior, Pal-

nock range in the east with a peek-a-boo view of

ladian windows, marble floors, interior archways

Mount Monadnock. What made the home unusual

and columns, a large living room fireplace and

was its Tuscan-inspired architectural design—

ten-foot ceilings. “The rooms’ sizes are out of the

“you don’t see many of these in New England,”

ordinary,” Peterson says. “You typically don’t

Peterson says.

see such large spaces as the nearly six-hundred-

The home was built in 1953 by Carl and Mar-

square-foot living room and the even larger sun-

ian Keller from Boston; Carl was a Harvard Col-

room. The home has more than four thousand

lege graduate and accountant who collected rare

square feet on one floor.”

editions of Miguel de Cervantes’s Don Quixote.

Peterson says this home “is a singular

After his death in 1955, the home was sold to

property perfect for two of the finest artists in our

Virginia Baker; her family had founded Baker’s

state. It’s great that James and Elizabeth found a

Chocolate. According to Peterson, Baker updated

home that suits their lifestyle and interests in

the house with additional Tuscan touches. The


The large sunroom is directly across from the front door and provides a relaxing place to read or visit with friends.

New Hampshire Home | 53

Howard Mansfield, a friend and author who

Above: The dining room shelves on the right hold ceramics from Deruta, Italy. On the wall to the right are James Aponovich’s pencil drawings of Umbrian and Tuscan landscapes in Italy, and on the left is Elizabeth Johansson’s oil on canvas, Unwound. “I’m attracted to the colors of decorative ribbons and the way they roll, twirl and swirl into patterns creating rhythm,” she says.

lives nearby in Hancock, adds, “James and Elizabeth’s finding this house is a lucky instance, like a happy marriage or a lifelong friendship. It’s a perfect fit.”

Making themselves at home As soon as he saw this house, Aponovich felt at home. “The light, the scale and layout of rooms, and the height of the ceiling all felt familiar to us.” The chestnut beams were brought back from Europe, as was the fireplace surround. The home

Facing page: The couple renovated the kitchen in 2016. The cherry cabinets were repurposed, and a peninsula counter with a cooktop and hood was added.

was solidly built, and its construction was topnotch. Each room had buzzers, and there was a maid’s quarter in the lower level. Being the extraordinary gardeners they are— the couple’s Hancock garden had been featured in magazine articles and books as well as on garden tours, and the colorful, luscious flowers they The master bath was renovated in 2018. Johansson says, “In keeping with the Tuscan style of the house, we selected Carrara marble for the vanity top and commissioned sconces from an ironworks in Pienza that are in a typical Italian style.”

grow appear in both artists’ work—the first order of business was to renovate the gardens. “One was a white moonlight garden,” Johansson says. “It was overgrown, and its soil needed to be invigorated.”

54 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

New Hampshire Home | 55

Right: Elizabeth Johansson planted a variety of hostas in her shade garden. Below: Outside the living room window is a border that goes from shade to sun. Planted there are bearded iris, ladies mantle, peonies, hostas, day lilies, allium, foxglove, tall phlox, yarrow, heuchera, poppies, hyssop and hydrangea, among other perennials, as well as annuals such as nicotiana and verbena. The round shrubs are boxwood and the tall ones are DeGroot’s arborvitae.

56 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

The hemlock trees, which had gotten so big they covered the side of the house, were cut way up and a shade garden was put in beneath them. The couple edited, divided and added to the perennial border at the back of the house. Out back, Aponovich and Johansson pulled out four hundred burning bushes—more than six truckloads. And they restored the great lawn with its European beech, honey locust and painted shag-bark hickory trees planted in the 1950s. “The pin oaks at the house’s four corners remind me of Maxfield Parrish’s home in Cornish called The Oaks,” Aponovich says. The view out the large living room window, which has a colonnade similar to that of an Italian loggia, is reminiscent of what the couple had seen in a Tuscan palazzo in Pienza built by Pope Pius II, where the distant landscape was part of

A close up of Still Life with Peonies, a 2018 oil on canvas by James Aponovich. “Peonies are one of my most loved flowers,” he says, “so I find myself doing a peony painting each year when they are in bloom in our garden.”

James Aponovich’s Paintings James Aponovich is an internationally renowned painter who was born in Nashua and served as New Hampshire’s artist laureate from 2006 to 2010; he is known for his elaborate still-life compositions and his paintings are part of the collections at The Currier Museum of Art, the DeCordova Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, among others. In 2011, Aponovich challenged himself to an unprecedented marathon: to create one painting every week for a year. The resulting fifty-two paintings were shown at the Clark Gallery in Lincoln, Massachusetts, in 2012. He also blogged about his process, techniques and philosophy at Aponovich 52 (, which was also the name of his show. You can see some of Aponovich’s new work in June at Kelley Stelling Contemporary in Manchester. Called James Aponovich: Out of the Studio; Recent Drawings and Paintings, the show features still lifes, landscapes and his newest figure paintings from his Parable and Portraits series and opens Thursday, June 6, with a reception at 5:30 p.m. Since Aponovich’s work is part of the Currier’s collection, Kelley Stelling Contemporary will donate 5 percent of all sales to the museum’s art programs. Aponovich returns to the Clark Gallery on October 8. The show, called James Aponovich: Parables, Portraits and Recent Still Lifes, runs until November 16. Clark Gallery •145 Lincoln Road in Lincoln, Massachusetts • (781) 259-8314 • Kelley Stelling Contemporary • 221 Hanover Street in Manchester (603) 345-1779 •

Aponovich works on the peonies seen above in his studio. Surrounding him are paintings from his Parable and Portrait series, including, from the left, The Soup Kitchen, The Club and Self Portrait, Maine.

New Hampshire Home | 57

Interior renovations After Aponovich and Johansson rebuilt the gardens, the couple began renovating the home’s interior, including the electrical system, and had central air conditioning installed to provide climate control for their paintings. In 2016, they renovated the kitchen, with help from architectural designer and cabinetmaker David Dubois, of D.A. Dubois Woodworking and Design in Antrim. In 2018, the master bathroom was redone. Both rooms had last been renovated in the 1980s. The kitchen only had one working burner on the cooktop and replacement parts were unavailable. Aponovich and Johansson repurposed the cherry cabinets, and kept the framework of the galley kitchen and breakfast nook. A pantry was added, as well as a peninsula counter with a cooktop Top: Lemon day lilies add a soft touch to the summer garden. Above: Peonies from the garden are seen in James Aponovich’s paintings.

58 | New Hampshire Home

the view from the garden. “Here we have our gar-

and hood.

den and yard, with the longer-range view of Pack

Since both Aponovich and Johansson are

Monadnock,” Aponovich says. “This home is so

enthusiastic and accomplished cooks, they had

well sited.” The master bedroom, library, living

a wood board crafted on which to make pasta.

room and breakfast room all get morning sun,

“A smooth surface like marble works for mak-

while the couple enjoys afternoon sun in their

ing pastry, but pasta needs a surface it can grip,”


Johansson says, remembering what she learned may/june 2019

at a cooking school in Cortona, Italy. When the couple makes ravioli, they like to use ricotta from Maple Brook Farm in Bennington, Vermont—“it’s the closest in taste to Italian ricotta,” Aponovich says. They also enjoy cheeses from Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop in Manchester. “We shop the same way in Peterborough as we do every day in Italy,” Johansson says. “Fortunately, we can get high-quality local foods, meats and fish nearby.” In 2018, the couple renovated the master bathroom. First they gutted the five-foot-byseven-foot room, since the floor under the shower was rotted. Then they “borrowed” space from the library to increase the bathroom to eight feet by ten feet. “We wanted a bathroom that was both functional and elegant,” Johansson says. “In keeping with the Tuscan style of the house, we selected Carrara marble for the vanity top and commissioned sconces from an ironworks in Pienza that are in a typical Italian style.” Johansson says the sunrise in the living room is gorgeous, and at sunset, “the trees are

nated and beautiful.” While the house is great for entertaining, it’s also a perfect place to work, affording privacy and quiet while still being only a twenty-minute walk to downtown Peterborough—a perfect blend of Italy and New Hampshire, and the best of both worlds. NHH

Herbert L. Whitney took the top photo in the mid-1950s when Virginia Baker owned the home. Flanking the front door today (above) are two stewartia trees and zinc containers planted with boxwood.

Resources AD Ceramic Tile • (603) 876-4689 • Angela’s Pasta and Cheese Shop • (603) 625-9544 Aponovich 52 • Aponovich and Johansson at Home and Away Carl Austin Hyatt Photogragher • Clark Gallery • (781) 259-8303 • D.A. Dubois Woodworking and Design • (603) 494-1912 Kelley Stelling Contemporary • (603) 345-1779 Maple Brook Farm • (802) 440-9950 • RE Marble & Granite • (603) 654-7750 • The Currier Museum of Art • (603) 669-6144 • The Petersons, Inc. • (603) 924-3321 • New Hampshire Home | 59

A Serene sanctuary Surrounding her Jaffrey home, Louisa Thoron has created exquisite gardens filled with countless annuals, perennials, shrubs, fruit trees and vegetables that provide colorful blooms and food throughout the growing season. By Robin Sweetser Photography by Joseph Valentine

60 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Louisa Thoron’s gardens in Jaffrey are her personal works of art, with many of her ideas coming from the site. The view of Mount Monadnock in the distance, illuminated by the setting sun, can be savored from many vantage points both inside the house and out.

New Hampshire Home | 61


Gardens have long been a source of sustenance and delight, but they can also serve as a comfort in troubled times—a place to restore the spirit and escape from a cha-

otic world. “This place is an antidote to difficult times,” says homeowner Louisa Thoron of Jaffrey. “I like having people come and chill out here.”

Where it started

She purchased the neglected 230-year-old Cape, located on 103 acres, in 1998 and began renovations the next year. “It was a total dump,” she says. The original center-chimney Cape had been added onto several times, and there was an old barn on one side. The house needed to be raised up so a basement could be put in for support, and the attached barn was razed.

Thoron retained many of the old features of the classic Cape, including wide pine floors, wainscoting, handwrought hardware and windows with wavy glass. A sunny great-room addition with attached screened-in porch takes the place of the old barn, and a new kitchen makes the house even more inviting. It is a home for relaxed living and a haven for her guests. The overgrown vegetation and underbrush that had encroached around the house was cleared away. With plenty of windows to let in light and allow views of the property from every room, it is easy to make the transition from indoors to the outside.

62 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

Above: Bright colors of plants in containers are cheery and upbeat, providing guests with a welcoming entrance to Louisa Thoron’s home. Monarch butterflies are frequent visitors, and she has found their chrysalises attached to porch pillars, to clapboards and on some of the potted plants. Far left: The interplay of colors— ranging from lime green to black, pink to red, and purple to orange—is provided by papyrus, begonias, coleus, zinnias, marigolds, angelonia, scaevola, fuchsia, heliotrope, lantana and colocasia, to name just a few of the plants found in the seventy-plus pots stationed by the back door. Left: Yellow and white Asiatic lilies, maroon-leaved smoke bush, white hydrangea, red poppies, blue nigella and orange ‘Profusion’ zinnias fill this bed along the driveway where it branches off from the house toward the barn.

New Hampshire Home | 63

Once the house was

Although a physician by profession, Thoron is an

livable, Thoron turned her

artist at heart with an amazing eye for color and

attentions to the land-

composition. She now has sixteen gardens cover-

scaping. The property of-

ing two acres and more to come.

fers a bit of everything— open

ow planted with wildflowers and twelve thou-

fields, woods, a beaver

sand daffodil bulbs that put on quite a show

pond with ten acres of

in the spring. Climbing hydrangeas clamor

wetland and a spectacular

along the stone wall, and a weeping crabapple


Top: Raised beds in the working garden behind the barn supply a wealth of vegetables and greens for the table. Inside the wire enclosure, beds filled with broccoli and other brassicas are kept safe from insects. Above: Louisa Thoron says that growing food and flowers provides a welcome antidote to the stress of modern life. She can be found in her garden almost every day getting her “nature fix.” 64 | New Hampshire Home


To the left of the driveway is a rolling mead-

view of Mount Monad-

that shares her name, ‘Louisa’, is planted at the

nock—the ultimate bor-

corner where the driveway takes a turn toward

rowed landscape.

the house. The circular parking area is cut into

Using an old map from

the hill behind the house, but Thoron has soft-

1930 as her guide, Thoron

ened the imposing edge with nine large pots

was able to clear the over-

of mini-arborvitae. Visitors are welcomed at

grown acreage back to the

the back door by a dazzling array of seventy-

original stone walls. The only plants worth sav-

plus terra-cotta containers planted with colorful

ing were some old apple trees and a rhododen-

annuals and tender perennials. “It was a very green

dron. One of the apple trees has been struck by

garden and needed a burst of color,” she says.

lightning twice and now has a metal rod inside it for support. Close to the house, the tree is under-

Sunny side

planted with red astilbe and two clematis vines

A tall, cedar hedge at the entrance to the back

twine lovingly around the tree, one a deep red

yard hides the gardens from view, its opening a

and the other a double flowering white.

threshold to the personal space beyond. Here a

Early on, Thoron enlisted the aid of two well-

brick path—inspired by Thoron’s visit to Great

known landscape designers to help with the gar-

Dixter in England—runs the length of the house,

dens around the house but found that her ideas

and is richly planted on both sides with boxwood,

often clashed with theirs. “We used to spar,” she

peonies, penstemon, blue salvia, crocosmia, acan-

says. “They love straight lines, and I love curves.”

thus, irises, calendula, cannas and much more. may/june 2019

“There is a quietness about this place,” Louisa Thoron says. “The karma is good here.”

Raised beds on the knoll behind the barn overlook the ten-acre wetland and beaver pond.

New Hampshire Home | 65

Above: Adirondack chairs painted in Louisa Thoron’s signature sky-blue paint provide a spot in the garden for relaxation and conversation. Right: Red astilbe on the left surrounds an old apple tree. White lilies, yellow dahlias, lavender betony, shiny boxwood and feathery amsonia fill this end of one of the curved French gardens.

66 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

A retaining wall built using stones from the old barn foundation holds back the hill behind

from destroying the developing fruits and deter tomato hornworms from defoliating the plants.

the house, creating a two-level garden with flow-

On one side of the house, a new septic sys-

ers below and vegetables above. Granite slabs

tem was a major alteration that left a scar. Here

from the foundation are used for steps cut into

Thoron planted a pair of curved garden beds full

the hill, leading to the vegetable and cutting gar-

of lilies, phlox, dahlias, white roses, blue star am-

den at the top of the knoll. Designed with four

sonia, gas plants and red astrantia major, facing a

quadrants forming a Celtic cross, this garden is

curved retaining wall planted with blue nepeta. “I

ornamental as well as practical. Multi-colored

saw something like this in France, so I call them

lettuces are planted in a starburst pattern. Yellow

my French gardens,” she says.

peppers, purple cabbages, red onions, rainbow

Next to the house is a kitchen garden filled

chard, artichokes and beets are grown as much for

with herbs. “This space is much loved by every-

color as for their flavor, and dahlias and peonies

thing that gets planted here,” Thoron says. Sun-

grow alongside them for cutting. “I let some of

ny and sheltered, it is conveniently located by

the artichokes bloom,” Thoron says. “They have

the door that led to the original kitchen of the

beautiful soft purple flowers.” Tomatoes are pro-

house—now a repository for garden books, vases,

tected by an enclosure covered with quarter-inch

clippers, hats, gloves and seeds, just steps from

wire mesh to keep the crows that nest nearby

the new kitchen.

Blue nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ follows the sinuous curve of the stone retaining wall. Two curved beds opposite were inspired by a garden Thoron saw in her travels. She calls them her French gardens.

New Hampshire Home | 67

Japanese irises thrive in the moist conditions near the pond.

Shady edges Around the front of the house, a deep bed broken only by a blue gate is backed with rhododen-

garden opposite. Each bed is enclosed with min-

drons, viburnums, Japanese maples and magno-

iature boxwood edging and planted with fragrant

lias obscuring the nearby road.

David Austin shrub roses blossoming in shades of

In front of it is Thoron’s ligularia collection. “I planted every kind of ligularia I could get,” she says. This includes large-leaved ‘Desdemona’;

pink, apricot, yellow, white and crimson—nine plants per quadrant.

spiky, yellow-flowered ‘The Rocket’; and ‘Britt-

Mountain view

Marie Crawford’ with its dark maroon foliage and

From the orchard on top of the knoll, the vista

orange daisy-like flowers. Japanese painted ferns,

opens to include the woodland gardens that

epimediums and pulmonaria also thrive in this

flow downslope from the barn toward the beaver

shady roadside garden. The border winds back to

pond and wetlands, with Mount Monadnock as a

the sunny gardens where there is a gazebo with a


garden of boxwood in front and a small grove of

On one corner of the barn, lilacs are sur-

river birches to one side, offering a quiet place to

rounded by yellow-leaved spirea, red physocar-

sit and meditate on the view.

pus, meadow rue, yellow verbascum, Montauk

Roses, roses, roses

68 | New Hampshire Home

There is a formal rose garden designed in four parts echoing the Celtic cross of the vegetable

daisies, yellow giant scabiosa, dahlias and darkleaved cannas.

Roses are planted everywhere! There are red

Behind the barn, there is a utilitarian veg-

climbers growing on a trellis attached to the side

etable garden with raised beds, cold frames

of the house. Twin beds of Knock Out roses flank

and another enclosure covered with wire mesh

the steps leading to the vegetable and cutting gar-

to protect broccoli and other brassicas from the

dens, and more climbers include ‘William Baffin’

destructive cabbage moth. Thoron calls this

and ‘New Dawn’ grow along a cedar fence near

the working garden since it produces much of

the orchard.

her food. may/june 2019

A walk on the wild side The woodland garden was just a thicket in 2004 when Thoron began work there. Certified arborist Dan Tremblay, of Broad Oak Tree and Shrub Care in Peterborough, marked the trees to keep and thinned out the rest, making room for planting. Shade-lovers—including epimediums, tiarella, Japanese anemones, hellebores and variegated Solomon’s seal—carpet the ground between the rhododendrons and tall maples. Most of the stones used here for walkways and edging came from the old barn foundation. “We might as well use what’s on the place,” Thoron says. As it winds downhill, the path passes through metal archways planted with clematis, the soil becoming moist as it nears the wetland area. Native plants—including clethra, turtlehead, Joe-Pye weed, black cohosh and red cardinal flower—love the damp conditions. Thoron is reclaiming the wetland area, starting by clearing out the buckthorn that has taken over this side of the pond. She envisions this as a sanctuary for people and wildlife. “I’m trying to make it a comfortable space for us all,” she says. Cranberries grow at the water’s edge; there is a white pine nursery and lots of ferns and low-bush blueberries. “I’ll try not to plant too much in here because I love the way the light filters through the trees.” A wooden

activities, in the future Thoron would like to in-

walkway crosses the bog, leading to three octago-

vite the schoolchildren involved in the Cornuco-

nal platforms with seating, offering a spot to de-

pia Project to visit as well. The nonprofit seeks

compress and recharge while viewing the herons,

to connect people of all ages to real food and to

ducks and geese, and listening to the frogs. Tho-

each other with programs that range from school

ron points to a stand of milkweed saying, “This

gardens to kitchens and community education,

will be butterfly land; I want to add more plants

in order to promote the importance of food and

to feed them and send them on their way.”

agriculture to our health and the environment.

Day lilies were given a home in a sunny spot overlooking the pond.

“My gardens are very important to me, and I


want people to come and enjoy them,” Thoron

Thoron likes to share her garden and has opened

says. “There is a quietness about this place. The

it to the public in several different ways. What

karma is good here.”


better setting could there be for Monadnock Music to hold a concert than in a garden with a view


of Mount Monadnock? Thoron has offered her

Broad Oak Tree and Shrub Care • (603) 924-6139

garden to them again this summer—check their website ( for details. Last year, she participated in the Garden

Broadfork Company • (603) 289-5927 • Coll’s Garden Center • (603) 532-7516 • Cornucopia Project • (603) 784-5069 •

Conservancy Open Days program, allowing fel-

David Austin Roses •

low gardeners to see what she has cultivated over

Garden Conservancy •

the years. To get kids thinking about where their food comes from and engage them in garden-based

Gordon Services Property Management • (603) 325-8457 Ideal Compost • (603) 924-5050 • Monadnock Music • (603) 852-4345 • New Hampshire Home | 69

In 2016, a complete and thorough restoration of the State House dome was completed. With new wood, paint and gold, the building looks almost brand new— and quite splendid with its rhododendrons in bloom.

70 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019



House for Two Centuries Celebrate the bicentennial of the New Hampshire State House in June.


By Carrie Sherman | Exterior Photography by John W. Hession Interior Photography by Nancy Belluscio The New Hampshire State House is

In 1815, architect and builder Stu-

the oldest U.S. statehouse in which the

art James Park submitted a proposal to

House of Representatives and Senate

build a granite statehouse for $32,000.

still meet in their original chambers.

The contract was approved that June.

Known as the “People’s House,” this

The two-story building would house

much-loved landmark has just been

the House of Representatives, the Sen-

beautifully restored. Its dome and eagle

ate, the council and the governor. There

have been newly gilded, and it looks

would be galleries for the public and a

glorious! A weeklong celebration of its

cupola on top. Being built of masonry,

two hundredth anniversary is planned

the State House would help to protect

in June—see sidebar on page 75 for

the state’s archives from fire. The City


of Concord’s bid was attractive because

Finding a home for the State House

it offered free land and free stone; in addition, inmates from the state pris-

During and after the Revolution, from

on in Concord would cut and finish

1776 to 1782, New Hampshire citizens

the granite. And, the finished granite

and legislators met in Exeter. The Old

blocks would be delivered to a prepped

New Hampshire State House in Ports-

building site.

mouth, which had housed the Colonial

Park had recently completed the

government, was considered to be vul-

New Hampshire state prison, two oth-

nerable to bombardment by the Royal

er prisons, a jail and stone locks for a

Navy. Concord, a transportation hub,

Massachusetts canal. These structures

came to be recognized as the perma-

had established Park as the premier

nent seat of state government in 1809.

U.S. expert on building with granite.

New Hampshire Home | 71

Additionally, he presented a winning

had learned to build with granite from

Paul Smith, current clerk of the

design for an elegant, welcoming, Fed-

his father, a Scotsman who came from a

House, was once one of the youngest

eral-style statehouse.

long line of masons. Soon, inmates were

representatives in the House at the age of

James L. Garvin, the retired state

hard at work up on Rattlesnake Hill

twenty-two. Last summer, as a member

architectural historian, and Donna-Belle

just north of town, chipping away with

of the Bicentennial Committee, Smith

Garvin, editor emerita of Historical New

hammers, chisels and steel wedges at

orchestrated a re-enactment of the

Hampshire, have published a scholarly

the large granite boulders strewn about

thirteen toasts to the unveiling eagle on

article called The Granite State House (see

on its slopes. Technically, the boulders

the cupola—a celebration that originally

Resources on page 76 for information).

were “erratics,” large stones rounded off

took place on July 18, 1818. “The State

Their work informs this article. Garvin

and dumped by the glacier eons ago.

House is a bit imposing, but it’s also

notes that the State House helped to

Granite pieces were then transported

warm and welcoming,” Smith says. “It

establish granite, and especially Concord

by wagon over to the prison. There,

is not full of professional politicians.

granite, as the premier building material



The reps and senators are working

for New England’s most important

building-worthy blocks or ashlar. At

people, and the governor’s office is right

structures. “Commentators consistently

the site, the stone was finished further,

upstairs. You can just walk into the State

described the State House as one of the

fitted and placed by masons. This light

House, go up into a visitors gallery and

finest edifices in New England, if not in

gray, finely grained granite came to be

listen in. It really does belong to all

the entire United States,” Garvin writes.

known famously as Concord Gray.

of us.”




“Their praise makes me regret that the

If you look closely at the front of

To finish the building—constructing

building ever had to be enlarged and

the State House, you can easily iden-

the cupola, finishing and appointing

remodeled. I wish I could have seen it in

tify those original granite blocks. The

the rooms inside—the most talented

its original condition.”

somewhat rough, dark-gray blocks with

craftsmen and furniture makers from

slightly rounded edges go up two sto-

around New England participated. Many

ries. Since it’s not quarried stone, these

craftsmen even moved to Concord.

The cornerstone for the new State

stones have a softer, more uneven sur-

Notably, woodworker Levi Brigham of

House was laid on September 24, 1816,

face. The stonework was completed in

Boston served as one of the master

and construction began that fall. Park

the summer of 1818.

builders. New Hampshire had few wood-

The building begins

Originally known as Doric Hall, this entry became a memorial to New Hampshire soldiers after the Civil War. Since then it has been known as the Hall of Flags and continued that tradition. 72 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

The Memorial Arch at 107 North Main Street was erected in 1891 and is inscribed: “To the memory of her soldiers and sailors, the City of Concord builds this monument.” The arch marks the main entrance to the State House.

carvers, so the eagle atop the cupola was provided by Leonard Morse of Boston. Inside, the chambers were finished in the Federal style. As the building was remodeled over time, this style changed. Only Doric Hall—now known as the Hall of Flags—with its rows of slender Doric columns is mostly original. The cupola that Brigham masterminded—a layered, lightfilled crowning touch—was later replaced by the present dome. But Brigham’s work set the tone. The cupola itself had Palladian windows with Ionic columns. The cupola was topped with an octagonal lantern that had enclosed windows and more Ionic columns, then a tin-plated dome, and finally the gilded eagle. Completed in 1819, the State House opened to critical acclaim. It was heated with wood stoves, lighted with candles and supplied with an outside privy. Although much has changed, the original building remained the foundation for all future renovations.

Once lit by candles, Representatives’ Hall switched to gas chandeliers in 1866. By 1895, many State House fixtures were partly electrified. By 1910, electricity was utilized throughout the building. The hall was recently refurbished with new paint, carpeting and restored plasterwork.

New Hampshire Home | 73

The Civil War era By the 1860s, the House of Representatives had grown from the 194 members in 1819 to 340. Architect Gridley J. F. Bryant of Boston drafted renovations, which were completed by 1866. The expanded and remodeled State House sported a fashionable mansard roof, which provided for much-needed committee rooms on a third floor. The façade had a two-story granite portico with a pediment. A monumental dome rose from the roof, and iron trusses and girders had been installed in the attic to support the dome. All the Top: In 1942, Barry Faulkner of Keene painted four murals for the Senate Chamber. In the mid-1930s, he painted scenes for the National Archives in Washington, D.C., relating to the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Above: The Senate Chamber’s color scheme continues to be carefully coordinated with the murals. In preparation for the bicentennial, the chamber was recently refurbished and the murals cleaned. 74 | New Hampshire Home

second-floor windows were now arched. To extend the building twenty-eight feet to the west, rear exterior walls were rebuilt on new foundations. may/june 2019

A Bicentennial Celebration Celebrate the State House’s two hundredth anniversary from Sunday, June 2, through Saturday, June 8, with these events: • Monday, June 3: Governor’s Day in the House of Representatives, with a roundtable moderated by WMUR’s Adam Sexton • Tuesday, June 4: Supreme Court oral arguments in the House of Representatives • Wednesday, June 5: Cultural Heritage and Arts Day, with displays by museums and cultural heritage centers • Thursday, June 6: Legislative Old Home Day, with former speakers of the House and Senate presidents addressing the members • Friday, June 7: New Hampshire Made exposition at the State House Plaza • Saturday, June 8: Final celebration beginning in the late afternoon, with performers on the State House Plaza. The State House will be open for tours, with fireworks at night For more information, follow New Hampshire State House 200 on Facebook ( On Instagram, go to

Taken between 1859 and 1864, this is the only known photograph of the early State House when the building was about forty years old.

These changes prompted interior

tee member and also a former, longtime

space in downtown Concord at consid-

renovations. Representatives’ Hall piv-

representative—walks through the Hall

erable expense.

oted its west-facing orientation to face

of Flags, he passes the battle flag that his

By 1909, a legislative committee rec-

north toward the relocated speaker’s

great-great-grandfather fought under.

ommended enlarging the State House

rostrum. More elaborate Corinthian

“This is a sacred space,” Jasper says. “It’s

by building a fireproof addition and

columns and moldings in the Victorian

a memorial. Tens of thousands of New

making improvements to the existing

style replaced the older, spare Federal-

Hampshire people who visit here under-

building. The full legislature concurred

style columns.

stand that experience.” For this reason,

and, with unusual swiftness, money was

visitors are not allowed to take photo-

appropriated; for the first time, Concord

graphs in the Hall of Flags.

did not foot the bill. The work was to

Shortly after the Civil War, veterans and families of Union soldiers spontaneously brought flags carried by New

be completed by December 1, 1910. The

Hampshire soldiers to the State House.

Turn of the century

Joined together, these battle-worn flags

By 1900, the House had increased from

and Stearns was engaged and drawings

created a moving memorial, transform-

its 340 members in 1866 to nearly 400.

were completed within two months.

ing Doric Hall into the Hall of Flags.

The Senate had doubled in size to 24

The mansard roof was removed, and

Since that time, battle flags from other

members. The New Hampshire Su-

a full third floor built with granite re-

wars have been added.

preme Court and, until 1895, the State

placed it. Once again, the State House

When Shawn Jasper—commissioner

Library all vied for room as well. State

was extended to the west. This new U-

of Agriculture, Bicentennial Commit-

commissions and boards were renting

shaped addition with a courtyard in

Boston architectural firm of Peabody

New Hampshire Home | 75

The Executive Council has met in this chamber, as is, since 1910. Steam radiators were installed at that time. New upholstery, carpet and curtains have recently refreshed the look. Portraits of early New Hampshire governors grace the walls.

the middle allowed for natural light in

ship was officially capped at 400. These

be celebrated in June, a complete and

Representatives’ Hall. Third-floor offices

and other measures helped with over-

thorough restoration has been complet-

as well as a large executive suite for the

crowding, allowing the business of the

ed. Many have worked diligently on the

council and the governor were now in

State House to focus on the governor

restoration and upcoming celebration.

place. At this same time, the visitors

and council, the secretary of state and

Renny Cushing—chair of the Bicenten-

gallery in the Representatives’ Hall was

the legislature.

nial Committee and a longtime repre-

enlarged. This meant that the dome needed added support. The Swenson Granite Company on Rattlesnake Hill supplied quarried gran-

In the following years, maintenance

sentative—has approached this charge

and refurbishing were undertaken. In

with a rare combination of gravity and

1957, the wooden eagle was replaced by


a similar sculpture made of copper.

“When I walk through the State

ite for this construction. You can eas-

In 1942, thanks to a grant awarded

House, I hear echoes of people debating

ily spot the clean, sharp edges of those

by the National Academy of Design,

the issues of times past—slavery, child

granite blocks.

Barry Faulkner of Keene, one of the fore-

labor and women’s enfranchisement,”

most American muralists, was commis-

Cushing says. “In the House chamber,

sioned to create four panels that depict

I debate where people who were born

In the ensuing years, the State House

scenes and figures from New Hampshire

before the Revolution served. In our

Annex was built in 1938 and partly

history: Dartmouth founder Eleazar

time, we’ve debated marriage equality,

funded through the Works Progress Ad-

Wheelock, Bennington hero John Stark,


ministration. When Virginia Drew, di-

statesman Daniel Webster and artist Ab-

transgender people and the death

rector and chief tour guide, gazes out at

bott Thayer. These dignified, handsome

penalty. The decisions made here affect

the annex, she comments with typical

murals join a well-established Ameri-

the lives of everyone in our state. The

humor and acuity, “It’s just like the Em-

can tradition of historical paintings in

State House is an enduring symbol of

pire State Building,” Drew says. She re-

public buildings.

our democracy.”

Maintenance and reflection

ally knows how to captivate each visitor.

In 1964, a visitors center was estab-

Each year, some thirty thousand fourth-

lished to be open seven days a week to

graders visit the State House, and Drew

“serve as welcome center for the entire

invariably holds their rapt attention.

state.” In 1965, the dome was clad in

During the state’s 1938 to 1941 Constitutional Convention, House member76 | New Hampshire Home

copper and gilded for the first time. This year, with the bicentennial to




Resources New Hampshire General Court Visitors Center (603) 271-2154

The Granite State House • Published by the New Hampshire Historical Society • (603) 228-6688 • may/june 2019

S TO N E & T I L E

Zenstoneworks Zenstoneworks is the Seacoast’s premier showroom for tile, natural stone and solid-surface countertop products. We are the only shop that services our products from sales to installation, employing our own in-house team of fabricators and installers. With a second-generation industry owner and a team with more than one hundred years of combined experience, we excel at taking your vision from concept to reality. Our strong background in installation and fabrication ensures greater understanding of the details that makes your project a success. Whether you’re just looking to add a personal touch of style and color with a kitchen backsplash, or you’re building a new home with multiple material elements, we can assist you from design to finished product. Our showroom offers a wide breadth of materials from classic, hand-stamped subway tiles to delicate patterned marble mosaics. We offer elite lines of quartz stone counters made in North America, such as Cambria, Viatera, Hanstone and many more. Our showroom also has an extensive offering of natural stone for your fireplace, feature wall and decorative masonry ideas. Our industry is one of creating custom, personalized spaces. At Zenstoneworks we recognize that more than ever your project is also about the communication and the relationship. This is why we are the preferred showroom and installation house for many leading contractors, designers, and builders in the Seacoast. Check out our five-star reviews on Houzz and Google. Like us on Instagram and Facebook. And visit our website at to learn more about who we are and what we do!

459 Islington Street • Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 319-8700 •




a showcase of

landscape designers

78 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

landscape design showcase

Belknap Landscape Company

We turn Dreamscapes into landscapes


ots of companies can provide landscape design services that mirror the latest trends—but very few walk you through the experience the way Belknap Landscape Company does. With Belknap Landscape Company, your project doesn’t end when the last tree is pruned or the final lawn chair is put out. Our dozens of experienced professionals will see you through every phase of your landscape needs, from the design and build, through the first year of maintenance. With a Belknap design, not only will the look of your space be unparalleled but the service you receive will be as well. Our full-service landscape company has been serving the New Hampshire Lakes Region since 1989 and we pride ourselves on using materials that are “naturally native” to the state. Whether those are granite pavers to match your Granite State home or stones that complement the look of your backyard, we will ensure that everything in your project has the local touch. Our team has the expertise to effortlessly create a trendy or timeless look for your property. Fire pits are a growing trend—have you seen one you liked at a home remodeling show? We can make that dream come true—we have installed nearly fifty in the last year. If you can dream it, we can make it a reality. When you choose Belknap Landscape Company for your landscape project, you can rest assured that you’ve gained a partner for every step of the way. Our team will help you design the exact patio, outdoor kitchen or backyard space you want, and we’ll stay in close contact as we bring the design to life. Once your project is installed, our team provides a full year of maintenance


and communication to sustain the Belknap experience long after you’ve held your first garden party. We provide naturalistic solutions to our clients’ landscape needs— and the personal touch to make your experience unforgettable.

25 Country Club Road; Village West, Unit 101 Gilford, NH 03246 (603) 528-2798 • New Hampshire Home | 79

landscape design showcase

db Landscaping

creating innovative and engaging landscapes


hen you choose a New Hampshire vacation home, a certain caliber of automatic landscaping comes standard. Whether your property boasts leafy woodlands, sweeping vistas, or a waterfront locale, Mother Nature’s landscapes are guaranteed to impress—and db Landscaping can help you bring that same natural wow factor to your man-made landscapes. Some companies opt for concrete and other industrial materials for their landscaping installations. Not so with db. The team at db works with you to select natural materials that blend in with your home’s surroundings. Gorgeous stone steps can complement the rocky shores behind your beach home, and the welcoming hearth of an outdoor fire pit can continue the woodsy feel of your lake house. Local materials also feature heavily in db’s work, so every element of your landscape design can reflect the natural resources of the Granite State. In addition to designing the outdoor living space of your dreams, db Landscaping will keep the details of permitting and regulations from turning your project into a nightmare. The team—led by trained landscape architect Dan Bruzga—has more than ten years of experience navigating the legal side of landscaping, from environmental regulations to zoning and historic preservation guidelines. With db Landscaping, you can leave the legal details to the professionals. Your role is simply to sit back and enjoy your new space. Whether you need landscape design at your new vacation home, help overhauling shoddy or outdated work from a previous landscaper, or even a fresh take on the landscaping at your full-time residence, db Landscaping is here to help. 80 | New Hampshire Home

3 Alpine Court., Suite #1 Sunapee, NH 03782 (603) 763-6423 • may/june 2019

landscape design showcase

Greatscapes by R&R Landscaping, Inc. TRANSFORM YOUR PROPERTY


oland Fong, owner of Greatscapes by R&R Landscaping, Inc. in Nashua, knows how to transform a typical property into a remarkable oasis, and he can literally shine some light on how to do that. Greatscapes by R&R Landscaping is a premier New England certified dealer of Coastal Source Night Lighting—a dramatic exterior lighting solution that gives an opulent touch to your home. An investment that adds livable outdoor space to your property, it not only creates a warm, welcoming environment, it enhances jaw-dropping curb appeal. “It enhances the whole property in a way that elevates your options to entertain or relax into the evening,” Fong says. Originally developed in the Florida Keys, Coastal Source Night Lighting fixtures use new LED technology and a rigorously tested cabling system that’s designed to withstand being submerged. The result: A long-lasting solution that is as reliable as it is striking. “Coastal Source offers the best warrantee on the market. There’s nothing else like it,” Fong says. Greatscapes by R&R Landscaping creates brilliant environments by integrating our long list of expert services. Coastal Source Outdoor Audio elements can be tailored to fit your outdoor environment with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled solutions that incorporate easy-to-use technology, such as Sonos. Bring crystal clear audio to your outdoor living space and completely immerse all your senses with an outdoor kitchen, water elements and a fire pit. Complement and refine outdoor spaces with custom patios, walkways, decorative walls, granite staircases and cobblestone


bed edging. Your home becomes the envy of the neighborhood— a welcoming showcase. Greatscapes by R&R Landscaping, Inc. has been transforming properties for more than thirty-five years with pride, dedication and quality. Start the process of creating your dream environment with a consultation. Visit the Nashua showroom or meet with us at your home. Fong and his team can craft a demonstration to illustrate the difference his expertise can make. Whether it’s outdoor lighting, audio or a host of other services, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination.

131 Daniel Webster Highway #332 Nashua, NH 03060 • (603) 889-0856 New Hampshire Home | 81

landscape design showcase

james brewer garden design An Englishman in new england


n 1995 I started my garden design and construction business in England, recalling the charming stone villages of the Cotswalds where I lived. As my gardens grew in size, the complexity and the scope of them increased, too. In 2006 the BBC asked if they could air a live broadcast of garden I was working on in Hambleton. This proved a fantastic springboard to bigger and better things. In 2014 I moved to New Hampshire, where I continued to design and create unique gardens. I’ve immersed myself in the rich diversity of materials, plants and stone found here. One of my signature projects has been Wolfe’henge, a stunning granite garden in the mountains of Wolfeboro. My clients had collected vast amounts of granite over the years, in order to design a garden that bridged the ligature of the aged granite with a charm and informal feel, so the garden would feel as though it had always been there and would be as familiar in England or France as it is in New England. I spent hours at the drawing board, hand drawing as I do with all my designs. The result was a charming English cottage courtyard-style garden with an abundance of perennials, all-season structural shrubs and a back drop of granite with meandering paths. Wolfe’henge continues to mature, and with each passing season grows closer to the vision in which it was imagined. While gardens can be designed and installed to a timeline, nature works at her own pace. The charm of gardens is that they get better with age. 82 | New Hampshire Home

James’ gardens are refreshingly unique. Combining timeless elements of classical English design with our matchless plants and materials of stunning New England.

Suite 426, Lower Mill, Rollinsford, NH, 03869 • (603) 970-0201 may/june 2019

landscape design showcase


Landscape design and INstallation


hen a simple deck or porch isn’t enough, more and more homeowners are expanding their outdoor living spaces with interconnected patios. These spaces can also include fire pits, fireplaces, outdoor kitchens, and even pool and spas. Connecting existing decks, porches, entrances or outbuildings with patios creates the opportunity to have one cohesive, connected space allowing better flow throughout the property. These spaces become focal points when entertaining, as they allow guests to choose rooms or features to visit while socializing. Some designs allow guests to enter the space directly from the driveway, with access to the house via the patio. Drainage of patio areas away from buildings is an important consideration, one that becomes more challenging when areas are at different elevations. Decorative drains can alleviate water issues and creative grading also provides architectural interest. When making choices for materials, natural stone is still the most popular option; granite and bluestone are used the most. Other important design considerations are: determining the size of the patio and outdoor rooms so that there is enough room for furniture and for people to move around; providing landscape lighting for safety and to highlight features; and including plantings, when possible, to soften the scale of a large space. Having an interconnected patio is a great way to increase the size of your outdoor living area, providing ample room for fun and entertaining. 88 Rogers Lane;
Richmond, VT 05477 (802) 434-3500 •


New Hampshire Home | 83

landscape design showcase

Simpson landscape company

welcome to the world of finE landscaping


andscaping is more than property maintenance—it’s an art form. And Chuck Simpson, owner of Simpson Landscape Company in Dublin, has been perfecting that art for decades. “A plant growing in nature is like a wild animal,” Simpson says. “It takes care of itself. When we adopt those plants and begin taking care of them, they become pets and we must treat them so. We need to supply water, food and proper care. It’s a commitment. No one likes to see wild looking, feral animals mulling about a house.” Simpson Landscape has created award-winning landscapes and parks in Keene, Spofford, Amherst, Bedford and the entire Monadnock region. The team specializes in walkways, stonework, irrigation, lawns, perennial gardens, water features, soil preparation, grading and drainage, and trees and shrubs. It’s a combination of a studied eye, an artist’s hand and—in Simpson’s case­—years of experience in the industry that can make the difference. “Quality landscaping is when a building melds into its landscape,” Simpson says. “It appears to have always been on its site. It could be as rigid as a proper English garden or as subtle as a nature representation landscape. Each is proper so long as there is an integration of building and gardens. While walkways, patios, perennial gardens, trees and shrubs, water features, arbors and fencing, grading and soil preparation are all the parts, we supply the whole. Our job is to be good landscape ‘fitters.’” It can all begin with a simple consultation. Ideas are shared, the Simpson team brings its decades of experience to the plan and then the design phase begins. 84 | New Hampshire Home

“A designer meets with our client for an hour or two to discuss the wishes and dreams concerning their landscape,” Simpson says. “We talk about budget numbers so that we can incorporate that budget into the plan. There is the presentation of the plan and menu to the client and a final concept. Starting time frames are discussed. From there, we look at the whole season and devise a game plan.” Transforming a loved, but unremarkable environment into an award-winning showcase starts with a call.

Monument Road Dublin, NH 03444 (603) 563-8229 • may/june 2019

landscape design showcase

Stephens Landscaping professionals Lakes region landscaping services


ith the right attention this spring, your landscape can be restored so it looks its best. Let Stephens Landscaping become your valued partner. Led by owners and brothers John and Mark Stephens, Stephens Landscaping, now in its tenth year, can see a project through from inspiration to installation. One of the few certified landscape professionals in the region, company president John Stephens oversees the installation, design and permitting operations, allowing you to pursue your vision without the administrative challenges. Leave the paperwork and legal navigation in the capable hands of this University of New Hampshire horticulture and business graduate, and enjoy watching your dream space take shape. As certified landscape professionals, staff members are required to undertake extra training and take part in continuing education to maintain the designation that sets them apart from other landscapers. Stephens Landscaping’s maintenance programs offer seasonal services throughout the year, including cleanups, lawn mowing, mulch installation, irrigation and snow removal. If a little inspiration is needed, visit the garden center in Moultonborough for a diverse selection of high quality plants, decorations and gardening supplies, as well as bulk materials including mulches, sand, loam, compost and crushed stone. While Stephens Landscaping can do it all, the team specializes in residential waterfront properties. By taking an ecological approach, we help homeowners create comfortable sanctuaries that are as beautiful as they are functional and welcoming. From lighting and


color, to softscapes, patios and outdoor kitchens, Stephens Landscaping has a long history of excellence, renowned for its skill and years of creating proven, breathtaking results. Call to schedule a site visit to discuss your thoughts. Transforming your home’s landscape into a stunning showplace is as easy as taking the first step. hens g t e pMoultonborough S62 Neck Road s c a,pLLin C L a n dsion als

Moultonborough, NH 03254 (603) 707-0630 •


New Hampshire Home | 85


Sculptural forms define space here in unexpected ways, from the industrial pendant kitchen lights, to the delicate glass artwork on the far wall, to the cascading chandelier glimpsed in the living room.

A Sleek, Contemporary Kitchen See this




o pass under Memorial Bridge, cap-

cabinet maker Eric Bessemer. I think Frances

tains of tankers and tugs, sailboats and

understood me from the moment we met.”

fishing boats must navigate the river’s

When Hodges talks about the home’s

notoriously swift current. Pedestrians stop to

design, she does so rapidly, but clearly and

gaze at the boats, and then stroll down to the

precisely. “The Daigles were really open to

park or scurry to work. It is a vibrant, seaport

doing something new,” Hodges says. “Susan

Music Hall

scene—and the Daigles’ condominium gives

said she wanted their home to be beautiful

them a front and center view of it.

and modern, but intimate; and Mike wanted

in May.

tion, Susan Daigle recalls it as a wide-open

space on The Kitchen Tour

As their new home was nearing complespace. Essentially, it was a blank canvas. “To finish this home, we worked with two

something with that ‘pop and wow’ quality.” Working with architect Jen Ramsey, of SOMMA in Portsmouth, and the building team, Hodges was able to create a completely

outstanding individuals,” Susan says. “Inte-

custom home. As Hodges and Susan talked

rior designer Frances Hodges, and builder and

more and developed a vision board together,

By Carrie Sherman | Photography by Greg West | Styling by Frances Hodges 86 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

some themes emerged: water, the coast and, in particular, waves.

Bessemer crafted sleek custom

Wolf ovens—dual convection, convec-

kitchen cabinets and the island. Subtle

tion steam and drawer microwave; a

curves define the space in a graceful

Sub-Zero refrigerator/freezer and wine

and welcoming way: the island’s coun-

cooler; and an Asko dishwasher. On the

“To ‘ground’ the kitchen area, we went

tertop edge and its rounded corner, the

wall opposite the refrigerator, Bessemer

for a combination of stone and mush-

metal barstools’ sinewy curved backs.

neatly installed a capacious food pantry

roomy colors,” Hodges says. “There

Even the cabinetry’s hardware has a

with cocoa-colored double-doors.

are creams, taupes and putty colors.

gentle curve, emphasizing that wave

Those earth tones define the space. We

theme. Hodges, who loves to shop

able choices a priority from the bamboo

also introduced different textures. The

locally, purchased the barstools from

flooring to the cork on the island to

kitchen island is wrapped in a recycled

Cabot House in Portsmouth.

the engineered stone countertops.

The kitchen

cork material that is shot through with

The kitchen appliances are located

Throughout, Hodges made sustain-

“Those are made from post-consumer

silvery metal flecks. It’s a heavily tex-

within a convenient triangle. These

waste,” Hodges says. “Basically, they

tured material. I love it.”

include: a Wolf stovetop and wall hood;

take limestone that’s a byproduct of

The design team included Eric Bessemer, builder and cabinet maker based in Greenland; Susan Daigle, homeowner (seated); and Frances Hodges, interior designer in Newmarket.

mining, grind it down and mix it with resin. Then they impregnate it with a pigment. It’s a bit like working with concrete. The product looks like marble, but it’s engineered stone. And, it’s resistant to staining and etching— all the concerns that marble counters present.” Hodges worked with Portsmouth colleague, Scott Purswell of Dovetailed Kitchens in Portsmouth, who supplied, templated and installed the stone. “We’ve used this product quite a lot,” Purswell says. “It’s always a pleasure to Simplicity makes “small” touches stand out—the rounded end of the kitchen island, the silvery flecks in the cork that wraps one side of it and the curved hardware on the cabinets.

work with Frances.” Pendant lights from Hubbardton New Hampshire Home | 87


Earth tones define this kitchen—stone, mushroom, creams, taupes and putty colors. The backsplash and curved counter, made from engineered stone, read like a watercolor throughout the kitchen. At the far end of the counter, a handy wine cooler and coffee station make entertaining easy.

Forge light the kitchen island. “I love

are covered in a white, vinyl fabric.

the way the glass on those lights is like

Red-wine lovers can relax. Spills can

a slip of paper on the bottom, topped

just be wiped up. Making the furniture

with little hats. Plus, the fixtures are

accessible and comfortable was a top

both angular and curved,” Hodges says.

priority. As Hodges puts it: “You don’t

“All of the lighting came through The

want to worry about that stuff.”

Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric in Newington. While working on this

handcrafted blue bowl that centers

project, I took a deep dive into Euro-

the whole room. Hodges looks for just

pean lighting design, especially Terzani.

the right objects and art, and almost

They have awesome lighting.”

invariably, finds them in Portsmouth.

The dining room

Wonderfully functional, this kitchen’s pantry is across from the counter. The barstools are from Cabot House in Portsmouth.

The bowl came from Nahcotta, a Portsmouth gallery. “The owner, Deb

The kitchen and dining room share an

Thompson, lets me explore their stock

open space. While Hodges grounded

that hasn’t yet been displayed to look

the space in the kitchen, she focused on

for pieces,” Hodges says. “I love con-

lifting and brightening up the dining

necting my clients with local artists.

room. The chandelier over the dining

This is such a great environment for

table epitomizes the wave theme. “It

creativity, and the work of local artists

looks like foam on a wave,” Hodges

is deeply inspiring.” Hodges gets every-

says. “It also looks like sound waves.

thing framed at Kennedy’s Gallery and

While everything else is linear, then

Custom Framing in Portsmouth.

there’s this dancing piece.” The white dining table has a hard glass surface and the dining chairs, 88 | New Hampshire Home

On the dining table is a simple,

Art was also commissioned; notably a painting of Mount Everest that now hangs in the dining room. It’s one of may/june 2019

Cottage furniture collection

Custom wood counter tops

767 Islington St. #1C Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 365-9286 Eport Wood Products, located in beautiful Portsmouth, NH, is a specialty provider of custom wood prodJUNEucts. 13 Our local craftsmen 5-7 P.M. have decades of experience building quality wood products that will pleasantly enhance the decor of your home.




THE PREMIER TABLETOP The Seacoast creative communityDESIGN joins forces THE PREMIER TABLETOP DESIGN ON, aTHE SEACOAST forSHOWCASE Tablescapes 2019 one-night event that SHOWCASE ON THE SEACOAST showcases stunning table settings created by area designers, artists and florists. The event includes a silent auction and light refreshments. Proceeds benefit Arts in Reach, a Portsmouthbased nonprofit that empowers teenage girls through inclusive, creative community. Free admission, donations gladly accepted. FOR TICKETS & MORE


Arts in Reach (AIR) is a non-profit organization empowering teenage girls through FOR TICKETS & MORE INFO: ARTSINREACH.ORG/TABLESCAPES FOR TICKETS &accessible MORE INFO: ARTSINREACH.ORG/TABLESCAPES and innovative arts programming and mentoring. Arts in Reach (AIR) is a non-profit organization empowering Arts in Reach (AIR) is a non-profit organization empowering accessible and innovative arts programming and accessible and innovative arts programming and

teenage girls through teenage girls through mentoring. mentoring. New Hampshire Home | 89


A fixture dances over the dining room table. “It looks like foam on a wave,” says interior designer Frances Hodges. It just seems to make everyone smile.

The Music Hall’s Annual Kitchen Tour You can see the Daigles’ kitchen in person by taking The Music Hall’s Twenty-Eighth Annual Kitchen Tour on Saturday, May 11. A celebration of stunning views, sleek settings and cozy charmers, this year’s kitchen tour showcases state-of-the-art kitchens in both new and historic downtown Portsmouth homes. This Mother’s Day weekend event is like a homerenovation show come to life. All are invited to spend an inspiring day with family and friends exploring dream kitchens of all shapes and sizes in enviable and surprising locations. Plus, if you’re looking to turn your imaginings into reality, the craftsmen, artisans, designers, architects and builders involved in creating these spaces will be on-site to answer your questions. The tour runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; for more details and ticket prices, visit themusichall. org/events/28th-annual-kitchen-tour.

Mike’s dreams to hike to an Everest base

chandelier provides a shimmering focal

camp. When Susan surprised Mike with

point. Bessemer crafted the floating

this painting by Jan Croteau, also a

shelf in front of the glass wall.

mountaineer, Mike immediately wrote to Croteau: “It is so appropriate and in-

space has been transformed with light,

credibly meaningful to me on so many

color, texture and sculptural forms—

levels. I am honored one mountaineer

frame by frame—into the beautiful,

painted it for another.”

modern home the Daigles envisioned.

Working together

like to sit out on their deck to enjoy the play of light and their lively

living room, the passageway is framed


in black walnut. A slender, silver band embedded in the walnut—like a horizon line—leads the eye into the next room to a softer, more intimate space. Working with Hodges, Bessemer built this entryway and the living room’s coffered ceiling, which creates In that room a rectangular fireplace

Photography courtesy of David J. Murray

When it’s warm outside, the Daigles

Gazing from the dining area into the

shadows and depth. burns brightly; and soft, white, textured couches and generous armchairs look inviting. The living room furniture was purchased at JRenee Design Center in Rye and was entirely customized for the Daigles, work that included upholstery and wood finishes. A stunning, central 90 | New Hampshire Home

What was once just a wide-open



Cabot House • (603) 436-9091 Dovetailed Kitchens • (603) 433-9918 Eric Bessemer, Woodwright-CabinetryArchitectural Millwork • (603) 772-3266 Frances Hodges • (603) 986-2245 Jan H. Croteau Art • (603) 393-5937 • JRenee Design Center • (603) 964-4260 Kennedy’s Gallery and Custom Framing (603) 436-7007 • Nahcotta • (603) 433-1705 • Somma • (603) 766-3760 • The Lighting Center at Rockingham Electric (603) 436-2310 • may/june 2019

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S I N C E 1 9 23



New Hampshire Home | 91

architectural icon

An Impressive House If you haven’t yet been there, put the historic Rundlet-May House in downtown Portsmouth on your list of places to visit this summer. Its gardens are splendid.


n a city filled with grand historic homes, Portsmouth’s Rundlet-May House may be among the finest. Set

on a large, tree-filled lot just beyond downtown Portsmouth, the imposing three-story Federal-style home is designed to impress. Built by textile merchant James Rundlet in 1806 and

1807, the Rundlet-May House was home to five generations of the Rundlet and May families. Many of its original furnishings still exist—as does its carriage house and stables as well as a formal garden and orchard behind the home. Thanks to Rundlet’s detailed financial records about building and furnishing the home, it’s one of the bestdocumented structures in Portsmouth. Painstaking details—from a list of plants originally purchased for the garden to how much rum was consumed by workmen during construction—are all in the home’s permanent records. In 1971, Ralph May, James Rundlet’s greatgreat-grandson, deeded the RundletMay House and its furnishings to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), America’s largest and oldest regional heritage organization. “This is one of my favorite houses,” says Gwendolyn Loomis Smith, regional site manager of Northern New England for Historic New England. “James Rundlet kept exquisite records that give us a lot of clues about how the house was put together.”

The Rundlet-May House’s formal garden and orchard are part of its original design. Crisscrossed by walking paths, the terraced garden features a rose arbor and a variety of flowering plants, including peonies, love-lies-bleeding, Siberian iris and these bellflowers in bloom in the summer garden. The outdoor space was nurtured by generations of the Rundlet and May families.

By Debbie Kane | Photography by John W. Hession 92 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019

A sense of presence Rundlet grew up on a farm in Exeter but made his fortune in Portsmouth, a booming port in the late-eighteenth century. A textile merchant, he was a savvy businessman; during the War of 1812, while the United States was mired in an economic depression, Rundlet thrived because he procured the wool used to make soldiers’ uniforms. His businesses and investments included a retail store in downtown Portsmouth and Dover’s Salmon Falls Mills. Rundlet chose the location for his Portsmouth home carefully, near enough to his business interests but just outside downtown (he owned a working farm on Sagamore Creek, south of the city). “This was a part of Portsmouth where fashionable families established their estates,” Smith says. The home was built to be seen, perched on a man-made hill seven feet above street level, with a large garden and orchard as well as connected outbuildings, including a carriage barn, stables and privies. As grand as any eighteenth-century mansion found in Salem or Boston, Massachusetts, the house is topped by a low-pitch hip roof, surrounded by a wooden balustrade. The home is a prime example of Federal-style architecture, popular here from 1780 to 1820. With its simple, clean lines and symmetrical layout, the home “has a wonderful sense of presence,” Smith says. A copy of the Rundlet-May’s design plans hangs in its front hall on the first floor. Researchers believe Rundlet designed the gardens himself and had a lot of input on the home’s design. “Rundlet was personally interested in building and architecture and had a Top: Combining both English and American styles, the Rundlet-May House is built on a man-made hill above the street, creating a sense of presence.

number of books on the subjects in

Above: The home’s grand front entrance intends to leave an impression. A central heat register in the floor— a technical marvel in the nineteenth century—warmed family members and visitors on cold days.

documents in Historic New England’s

his library,” Smith says. According to archives, the house cost $12,604.47 to build; $104.38 was spent on plantings,

New Hampshire Home | 93

architectural icon

Lining the walls of the sunny upstairs landing are framed engravings of animals, a nod to James Rundlet May’s passion for pets and other four-legged creatures.

such as pear and peach trees, grape-

both a Rumford roaster and a Rumford

the eighteenth century), including fine

vines, rose bushes and more.

range, both novel cooking inventions

examples by accomplished craftsman

during the nineteenth century. An elab-

Langley Boardman, a cabinetmaker who

case for innovation as well as James

The Rundlet-May House is a show-

orate venting system serviced a smoke

was also a neighbor of the Rundlets.

Rundlet’s business success and refined

room on the third floor, and there’s an

Family portraits and engravings of

tastes. A central heat register in the

early coal-fired central-heating system

American presidents, another nod to

front hall—installed in the mid-nine-

and an indoor well. “The house was

the home’s Federal style, hang in the

teenth century—warmed visitors on

really ahead of its time,” Smith says.

public spaces, as well as pieces that

a cold, snowy day. The kitchen boasts

Special Rundlet-May Programs Visitors can explore the Rundlet-May House gardens this summer through City House, Country Garden: A Landscape Design Tour of Rundlet-May. During this stroll through the garden with Historic New England landscape staff, the program offers insight about the landscape as well as how staff maintains and preserves the garden (an optional house tour will be offered after the garden tour). Sketch and See enables visitors to sketch inside the house with a visiting artist. For more information about each program and to purchase tickets, visit 94 | New Hampshire Home

A showplace and a home

represent Rundlet’s life in trade and business, including vases from Japan

Most important, though, the Rundlet-

and Germany, a heavily carved Asian

May House was a home: to Rundlet, his

export étagère, and two elaborately

wife, Jane, and their thirteen children

carved and gilded girandole mirrors.

and subsequent generations of the

A black and white silhouette, the only


existing depiction of James and Jane

The first-floor spaces highlight the family’s grand circumstances as well as

Rundlet, hangs in the sitting room. James and Jane Rundlet’s daughter,

the entertaining style of the nineteenth

Louisa Catherine, had twins; one was

century. The front parlor and sitting

James Rundlet May, a physician who

room “speak of the fashions of the

lived in the home during the latter part

time,” Smith says. Furnishings include

of the nineteenth and early twentieth

a large selection of Portsmouth-made

centuries. The home’s second-floor

furniture (the city was renowned for

rooms provide glimpses into his life as

manufacturing high-end furniture in

well as that of his son, Ralph May and may/june 2019

Gladys May’s bedroom features nineteenth-century, Empire-style furniture, such as this canopy bed as well as a birch and maple chest of drawers along the back wall. The hand-hooked rug may have been made by a family member.

Ralph May’s third-floor study is a nineteenth-century “man cave,” complete with photos from his high school and college days at Harvard as well as collections of books, games and sporting trophies.

New Hampshire Home | 95

architectural icon

The downstairs sitting room speaks to James Rundlet’s wealth and status, with a fashionable mix of furniture and decorative accessories. The nineteenth-century gilded girandole mirrors would have contained candles to illuminate the room, in keeping with the Federal-style fashion of the day.

Ralph’s wife, Gladys. Framed engrav-

Sepia-hued photos show May in

that extends a full city block. Reflecting

ings of animals as well as a photo in a

Hasty Pudding theatricals, rowing

its original design as both a working gar-

front bedroom of James Rundlet May

crew and grouped with classmates.

den and orchard that would have sup-

with his beloved dog, Flora, reflect the

One, a 1934 reunion of the class of

plied a nineteenth-century household,

physician’s passion for animals. An as-

1904, was taken at the White House

the area is accessed via a series of gravel

sistant surgeon in the Navy during the

when Franklin D. Roosevelt, another

paths alongside and behind the home.

Civil War, May brought Flora to New

Harvard alum, was president. A center

England after discovering her as a stray

table and rows of bookcases showcase

purpose,” Smith says. “From a vegetable

in the South during the war (Ports-

some of May’s favorite collections and

garden with root vegetables to cultivat-

mouth neighbors nicknamed Flora “the

sports trophies. May—a banker who

ing roses.”

Confederate dog”). May later helped es-

lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts,

tablish New Hampshire’s Society for the

and summered in the Rundlet-May

in Everything for the Garden, a new book

Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, also

House—authored several books

by Historic New England, available this

serving as its director and president.

about Portsmouth history and was

September, highlighting gardens at some

Flora is among the family pets buried in

a state vice president of the Society

of the organization’s properties in New

a small pet cemetery in the back yard;

for the Preservation of New England

Hampshire, Massachusetts and Maine.

among the nine headstones is one for a

Antiquities when he gave the Rundlet-


canary named Sonny Boy, the only pet

May House in its entirety to the historic

interred who wasn’t a dog.

preservation organization.

Ralph May’s third-floor study is an early “man cave,” Smith says, and is

The gardens

filled with memories of May’s years

Behind the home, visitors can enjoy the

(class of 1904) at Harvard College.

Rundlet-May House gardens, an oasis

96 | New Hampshire Home

“Everything in the garden had a

The gardens are among those featured


The Rundlet-May House • 364 Middle Street in Portsmouth • (603) 436-3205 •

The Rundlet-May House is open the first and third Saturday of the month from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1 through October 15. Tours are on the hour. may/june 2019

Historic estate. Unmatched views. Explore the Arts and Crafts architecture and interior of the 1914 Lucknow mansion and its technological innovations of the early 20th century. • Mansion tours • Dining • Horseback riding • Programs and events • 28 miles of trails and waterfalls Photo by Almorinda Photography

Open daily May 25 – Oct 27 Route 171, 455 Old Mountain Rd. Moultonborough, NH | 603-476-5900

New Hampshire Home | 97


arch itects

Home furnishings

Bonin Architects & Associates

Winchendon Furniture

Bonin Architects & Associates, located in New London and Meredith, New Hampshire, serves clients in New England with a focus on lake, mountain and coastal homes. We bring architecture and landscape together in a collaborative approach to every project; our values of honesty integrity, commitment and respect are the difference between building a home and building a dream. New London and Meredith • (603) 526-6200 •

We are passionate about quality. Since 1939, our family-owned company has helped homeowners create comfortable, memorable spaces. Visit our locations in Keene, New Hampshire, or Winchendon, Massachusetts, to find fine handcrafted furniture (most of it American-made) from top manufacturers, including our own designs. Our design consultants are delighted to help you select the right pieces for your home.

K i t c h e n s a n d b at h r o o m s

k i t c h e n s a n d b at h r o o m s


Portsmouth Bath Company

Whether your project is large or small, complicated or simple, Belletetes takes your ideas and makes them happen. We have all the tools, products and skills necessary to make your project a complete success. Specializing in lumber, decking, windows, doors, paint, stains and flooring—as well as fixtures and cabinets for kitchens and bathrooms. We have everything for your remodeling needs. And don’t forget to take advantage of our free estimates! 51 Peterborough Street in Jaffrey • (603) 532-7716 •

Independent, local business offers knowledgeable product assistance, thoughtful suggestions, refreshing ideas, and quality products for your bath and kitchen. All are welcome to visit our beautiful sales showroom. We are a division of Standard of New England. 100 West Road in Portsmouth • (603) 436-1401

K i t c h e n a n d b at h a c c e s s o r i e s

k i t c h e n s a n d b at h r o o m s

Runtal Radiators

3W design, inc.

For curtain-wall windows, Runtal offers pedestal mounted radiators in both hot water (hydronic) and electric versions, with a finished look from both the outside as well as the inside. 187 Neck Road in Ward Hill in Haverhill, MA (800) 526-2621 •

Since 1988, 3W design, inc. has taken clients’ dreams and made them real without the stress and anxiety homeowners often face alone. We listen to ideas, ask questions, offer choices, design your new spaces—then we build them! From a new kitchen or a redesign, upgraded master bath or complete integrated design of your new home or a remodel—our experience is the remarkable difference in delivering beautiful spaces that are uniquely yours. 7 Henniker Street in Concord • (603) 226-3399 •

98 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019




db Landscaping LLC

James Brewer Garden Design

We are a full-service landscape architectural design/build company based in Sunapee, New Hampshire, and serving New England. Our team of landscape architects, engineers, horticulturists, stonemasons and other specialists is committed to realize your visions for your outdoor living spaces. We deliver unique, functional and environmentally sensitive design solutions. Sunapee • (603) 763-6423 •

Combining elements of classical English design with stunning plants and materials native to New England, James creates breathtakingly beautiful and original gardens of all sizes and budgets. Each of these bespoke environments are crafted with a forethought designed to last for generations. After all, your garden is the biggest room of your home. Suite 426, Lower Mill, Rollinsford, NH, 03869 • (603) 970-0201 •

Sto n e & Ti l e



Derek Marshall Lighting

Zenstoneworks is the Seacoast’s premier showroom for tile, natural stone and solid-surface countertop products. We are the only shop that services our products from sales to installation, employing our own in-house team of fabricators and installers. With a second generation industry owner and a team with more than one hundred years of combined experience, we excel at taking your vision from concept to reality. 459 Islington Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 (603) 319-8700 •

The Lilia Pendant, a graceful lighting design with a floral motif, is a lyrical interpretation of a lily flower. Simple in appearance, Lilia is a complex construction of sensuously curved American art glass creating a unique statement of elegance. Derek Marshall Lighting has been the manufacturer of choice for designers and architects around the world for more than 35 years. Full catalog with prices at Linda Marshall, VP Marketing/Sales • (603) 284-6403 •

N e w H a m p s h i r e D e s t i n at i o n

Castle in the Clouds

Once called Lucknow by its original owners, this stunning estate was built in 1914 on a mountaintop overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. Today, visitors of all ages enjoy tours of the historic Arts and Crafts mansion; dining on the lake-view terrace; hiking the estate’s trail system; and exploring woodlands, waterfalls, and lake and mountain vistas. 455 Old Mountain Road, Route 171 in Moultonborough, NH 03254 (603) 476-5900 •

outdoor living

Soake Pools

Photograph by Claudia Jepsen

Create a spa-like experience in your own back yard. We manufacture four-season luxury plunge pools designed to be warm in winter, cool in summer and small enough to fit almost any backyard space. Soake Pools are made in New Hampshire, and delivered tiled and ready for your finishing touches. Visit our website and contact us for more information. Concord, NH • (603) 749-0665 • New Hampshire Home | 99

mark your calendar!

may May 2

Vibrant Vistas

May 11

The Music Hall’s Annual Kitchen Tour

This twenty-eighth annual tour showcases a slate of state-of-the-art kitchens in both new and historic downtown Portsmouth homes. This Mother’s Day weekend event is a home renovation show come to life, the perfect opportunity to explore dream kitchens of all shapes and sizes. The tour provides access to some enviable and surprising locations—for more information about one of the kitchens on the tour, see page 86. In addition, the craftsmen, artisans, designers, and architects involved in creating these unique spaces will be on-site to answer your questions. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Tickets are $25 for Music Hall members, $27 for nonmembers and $30 if purchased the day of the event. (603) 436-2400 •

Photography courtesy of Daryl D. Johnson

The work of New Hampshire-based artists Daryl D. Johnson, who was born in Manhattan, and Roberta Woolfson, who grew up in Zimbabwe, represents both grand and personal vistas from travels around the world. Meet the artists at the reception; the event is free and light refreshments will be served. 5:30–7:30 p.m. Jupiter Hall at 89 Hanover Street in Manchester (603) 377-0250 • Calm Today is an oil on canvas by Daryl D. Johnson.

May 11

May 18

Join garden writer Henry Homeyer for a workshop about creating beautiful gardens that also attract and sustain our native pollinators and birds. In this presentation “How We Support Pollinators and Birds with the Plants We Grow,” learn about easy plants and plants you might want to avoid. Advanced registration requested. 10–11 a.m. Admission is $20, $10 for Fells members. The Fells • 456 Route 103A in Newbury (603) 763-4789 •

A variety of annual and perennial plants, houseplants, vegetables, shrubs and trees will be available along with the ever-growing raffle table and sale of enticing baked goods. All proceeds support the club’s educational and beautification projects. While at the sale, visit the Nashua Historical Society’s Florence H. Speare Memorial Museum. Rain or shine. 8 a.m.–noon. Nashua Historical Society • 5 Abbott Street in Nashua •

Everything You Need to Know about Birds and Bees

May 25–26 May 11

Trade Secrets Rare Plant and Garden Antiques Sale, and Garden Tour

Plant Sale

Just in time for Mother’s Day, this third annual plant sale features a lovely selection of locally grown annuals, perennials, hanging baskets and herbs. Proceeds from this event will benefit the Auburn Historical Association and Friends of the Griffin Free Birdseye Public View, by Library. 9 a.m.–noon. Auburn Historical Association • 102 Hooksett Road in Auburn • May 17

May 18 Up to sixty vendors bring their rare and unusual plants and garden antiques. 8 a.m.–3 p.m. Ticket options available online. LionRock Farm • 30 Hosier Road in Sharon, Connecticut • (860) 364-1080 May 19 Spend the day taking a self-guided tour of four of the most beautiful and picturesque private gardens, located in Falls Village, Connecticut, and Ashley Falls, Massachusetts. 10 a.m.—4 p.m. Tickets are $75. (860) 364-1080 • 100 | New Hampshire Home

Nashua Garden Club Annual Plant Sale

Gordon and Mary Haywood’s Garden in Vermont and Its Many Links Across the River to Walpole

This slide-illustrated talk discusses the many links between Walpole, and Mary and Gordon Hayward and their garden across the river in Vermont. Their story starts with their marriage there in October 1976. The lecture is about fellow gardeners from Walpole who helped the Haywards launch their Vermont garden with plants, advice and VW Beetle-loads of plants. The lecture is also about the more than twenty gardens Gordon worked on and in over the past three decades, some in New Hampshire. Gordon was one of only four people globally recently recognized by the Garden Club of America as an honorary member. 7 p.m. Walpole Town Hall • 34 Elm Street in Walpole

Rug Hooking

In this workshop, students learn the basics of rug hooking and make a sixteen-inch-by-sixteen-inch piece that will be suitable as a wall hanging, chair pad or pillow. The skills learned can be expanded later to make larger pieces involving more complex designs and color shading. The workshop fee includes a kit with a pattern, materials and a rug hook. Students will be asked to bring a twelve-inch quilting hoop (quilting hoops can be pre-ordered from the teacher for $28). 9 a.m.–4 p.m. daily. Tuition is $200 and includes lunch. Sanborn Mills Farm • 7097 Sanborn Road in Loudon (603) 435-7314 • May 31

Preservation Conference

This conference features workshops tailored for historic district commissions, heritage commissions, historical societies, developers and community preservation advocates. The conference includes tours of Littleton landmarks and insight into the town’s successful Main Street. The annual Preservation Achievement Awards that recognize individuals, businesses and organizations will also be presented at the conference. 8:30 a.m.–7:30 p.m. New Hampshire Preservation Alliance (603) 224-2281 • may/june 2019

June 13

Tablescapes 2019

Photography by john w. hession

The Seacoast creative community joins forces for Tablescapes 2019, a one-night event that showcases stunning table settings created by area designers, artists and florists. The event includes a silent auction and light refreshments. Proceeds benefit Arts in Reach, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit that empowers teenage girls through inclusive, creative community. 5–7 p.m. Free admission, donations gladly accepted. Ethan Allen at 775 Lafayette Road, Route 1 in Portsmouth • (603) 433-4278 June 17–22

Program in New England Studies

Tour the historic Zimmerman House—designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in Manchester and now part of The Currier Museum of Art—with the Palace Theatre’s annual Kitchen Tour on June 2.

May 31–June 2

June 6

Evergreen, the one-acre woodland garden created by landscape designer Robert Gillmore, features gardens of 220 Catawba rhododendrons, which blossom in late May and early June, as well as 175 rosebay rhododendrons. 10 a.m.–5 p. m. Please no children younger than twelve years of age. 42 Summer Street in Goffstown • (603) 497-8020

This solo exhibition presents new work by world renowned artist James Aponovich (for more information on his home and studio, see page 50). The show features Aponovich’s lush and bountiful still lifes and exuberant landscapes, along with a new series of allegorical portraits exploring darker themes of mortality. Aponovich’s work is featured in the collection of The Currier Museum of Art, and the gallery will be donating 5% of all sales to the museum to support art programs in and around Manchester. Exhibit on view June 6–28. June 6 reception with the artist, 5:30–7:30 p.m. Kelley Stelling Contemporary 221 Hanover Street in Manchester • (603) 254-6211

june June 2

Annual Manchester-Bedford Kitchen Tour

The Palace Theatre’s fifteenth annual kitchen tour is an opportunity to explore some of the finest kitchen designs in Bedford, Manchester and Amherst. Voted “Best Kitchen Tour in NH” by New Hampshire Magazine, this year the event partners with The Currier Museum of Art to bring you full access to the historic Zimmerman House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. All proceeds benefit programs at he Palace Theatre in Manchester, which includes professional shows as well as many youth programs. Tour tickets are $55.

James Aponovich: Out of the Studio; Recent Drawings and Paintings

The Vintage Bazaar

More than 175 outdoor “boutiques” feature antiques, vintage finds, architectural salvage, rusty junk, repurposed goodness, indie crafts and one-of-a-kind artisans. This weekend festival also offers unique fare and food trucks, live music, free family-friendly activities, special guest appearances, book signings and demonstrations. Amesbury, Massachusetts •


The thirtieth anniversary tour strolls through more than a dozen unique gardens in the charming Christian Shore and Creek part of the city. The gardens on this year’s tour were chosen with sustainability in mind, with flower gardens interspersed with vegetable plots and herb nooks. Tickets are $20; $25 day-of. Friday, 5—8 p.m.; Saturday, 9 a.m.–3 p.m. June 21–22

June 5

Thomas Mickey—scholar, retired professor, active master gardener, and author of America’s Romance with the English Garden and Best Garden Plants for New England—presents the evening program about growing dahlias. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is $5; Nashua Garden Club members admitted free of charge. 7 p.m. The First Baptist Church • 121 Manchester Street in Nashua •

Portsmouth Pocket Garden Tour

Photography courtesy of meg manion

Evergreen Woodland Garden Open House

This intensive weeklong exploration of New England decorative arts and architecture delves into New England culture from the seventeenth century to the Colonial Revival through artifacts and architecture. Travel throughout New England to hear lectures and presentations by some of the country’s leading experts in regional history, architecture, preservation and decorative arts. There are workshops, visits to Historic New England properties, other museums and private homes and collections. A complete itinerary, registration information and scholarships details are online. June 21–22

James Aponovich works on a Still Life with Peonies, an oil on canvas, in his Peterborough studio. See more about his home on page 50. Photography by morgan karanasios

New Hampshire Home | 101

mark your calendar!


New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People with Companion Exhibition by the League of NH Craftsmen

Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence

This exhibit showcases a new form of bead art, the ndwango (“cloth”), developed by a community of women living and working together in rural KwaZuluNatal, South Africa. Using skills passed down through generations and working “directly from the soul” (in the words of artist Ntombephi Ntobela), the Ubuhle women have created a multidimensional, contemporary art form by applying exquisite Czech glass beads onto plain black cloth, reminiscent of the Xhosa headscarves and skirts that many of the Ubuhle women wore growing up. On view through June 10. The Currier Museum of Art • 150 Ash Street in Manchester • (603) 669-6144 •

Open Gardens

More than 80 outstanding ornamental gardens in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are opening to the public this year, and all of them are described on a new nonprofit website dedicated to gardening and landscape design in northern New England. The gardens include 39 properties in Maine, 30 in New Hampshire and 11 in Vermont. Check the website below for dates and times when the gardens are open to the public.

102 | New Hampshire Home

Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird was painted by Frida Kahlo in 1940.

Frida Kahlo and Arte Popular

This exhibit tightly focuses on Frida Kahlo’s lasting engagements with arte popular, exploring how her passion for objects such as decorated ceramics, embroidered textiles, children’s toys and devotional retablo paintings shaped her own artistic practice. Bringing fresh attention to Kahlo as an ambitious, everevolving painter, this exhibition also opens broader discussions about the influences of anonymous folk artists on famed modern painters. On view through June 16. Museum of Fine Arts • 465 Huntington Avenue in Boston, Massachusetts • (617) 267-9300 •

This array of fascinating objects of artistic beauty and cultural significance ranges from the eighteenth century to the present. These diverse works were created outside the formal academic tradition by artists, craftsmen, and other individuals from the Granite State. See work by Joseph H. Davis, Ruth and Samuel Shute, Joseph Stone, Zedekiah Belknap, and Maria Emes Joslin. Other craftsmen included are members of the Dunlap school of cabinetmakers, and carvers Edward Bellamy, George Boyd and Edward Adams. On view through September 29. Discover Portsmouth • 10 Middle Street in Portsmouth • (603) 436-8433

Submitting Events

New Hampshire Home is always on the lookout for events that may interest our readers. If you have one to submit for consideration, send details to Please note that calendar production occurs two months before each issue is published. Calendar events can be self-posted on our website at any time by using the Submit an Event link at

may/june 2019

Savor local flavor.



SEPTEMBER 14, 2019

New Hampshire Home | 103

at home in new hampshire

Becoming a Gardener


used to be an herbicidal maniac. Woe betides any plant

something! And it was gorgeous and gleaming and edible! It

that found itself under the deadly-by-default care of

was not magic, of course; it was plant biology: fully explicable

my gangrene thumbs. Then, with the purchase of

and deeply satisfying. I was hooked.

our home in 2013, my husband and I inherited a bountiful

I applied the wins (“I can grow things!”) and lessons (“All

50-foot-by-150-foot garden plot. It was so productive, in

weeds must die!”) of that season to the following spring, but

fact, that our purchase and sale agreement granted exclusive

with a twist: the garden plot remained too big for me alone

rights to its harvest to the former owners through that Hallo-

to manage, so I invited a few friends to join me. By planting

ween. This yard-sized salad bowl of produce—testament to

time, I had a partner: a friend whose home plot was too well

another’s perennial care and wisdom—

shaded for all her needs. We had full

was intimidating and, ultimately,

sun morning till night. It was a perfect

inspiring. Undaunted by a past littered


with the desiccated remains of hapless

Sonya was an experienced and

houseplants, I decided I would give

fearless gardener. I measured distances

gardening a try the following spring.

between seeds with a ruler; she worked

When the time came, I felt com-

from instinct and intuition. I furrowed

pelled to have the whole plot tilled,

my eyebrows, over-thinking whether,

hoping that both the sight and the

what, and how much to plant; Sonya

fact of the freshly turned earth would

furrowed the soil, getting the growing

promote a sense of possibility. I settled


on a still-sizeable swath nearest to the

Some days, we bent over our

house and filled it with six seedlings

separate seedlings in tandem while

each of eggplant, tomato, pepper, let-

our two young sons gleefully zipped

tuce, basil, cilantro and parsley. To

about, skittering through dust and

the rear, I sowed sunflowers, zinnias

mud—at least one occasion in their

and cosmos. I made the rookie mis-

little boy buff. Sonya’s infant son

take of neglecting to set down weed-


suppressing fabric—an oversight that

doors in a shaded bouncy seat nearest




resulted in a great deal of time bent over, laboring, sweating

to where she was working. We learned midway through the

and swearing to myself. The good news was that seeds were

summer that a daughter would follow in March. And so our

sprouting and seedlings were stretching skyward. Still, by mid-

garden grew.

July, the weeding was wearing me out, and my patience was

Sonya and her family have since moved away; our

waning. A well-timed week out of town allowed me to turn

community garden of two is now a solo endeavor. The

over garden-tending duties to my husband, who gamely made

outsized plot has filled in with grass, and my ambitions are

sure that everyone (weeds included) was watered morning

now no greater than two raised beds, room enough for my

and night.

beloved eggplant and a few companions. My thumbs have

Upon returning, I headed out to the garden and

greened up, no longer auguring doom to the plants in their

discovered, shaded beneath some broad leaves, a gloriously

midst. They may indeed have a little bit of magic in them

smooth and shiny eggplant-shaped eggplant. It seemed like a

after all, conjuring from the ground a garden in full fruit

sort of magic—at first there was nothing, and now there was

and bloom.


By Sally Hirsh-Dickinson | Illustration by Carolyn Vibbert 104 | New Hampshire Home

may/june 2019



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New Hampshire HOME May-June 2019  

New Hampshire HOME May-June 2019