On July 20, about a dozen garden club members and their guests hopped aboard the Gulf Challenger research vessel in New Castle, NH and pushed off for an enjoyable 45-minute boat ride to Appledore Island, home of Celia Thaxter’s famous island garden.
The tour, run by Marine Docent volunteers and the Shoals Marine Laboratory staff — including our own Marie Nickerson, steward of Celia’s garden — included not only the garden but other sites of interest on the island, such as the graveyard where Celia Thaxter is buried.
Purely by chance, our club was there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the newly completed piazza (wooden porch) that once connected Celia’s cottage to her garden. Standing on this rebuilt piazza, we enjoyed breathtaking island scenery just as Celia did more than over 100 years ago.
One unexpected element of the day was that we saw seagull chicks everywhere. Appledore Island is a coastal breeding ground for gulls, and Black-backed and Herring gulls were in full protective-parenting mode, swooping down on anyone perceived to threaten a nesting site. (For a 3.5-minute video of what we experienced, watch How Nature Works: Gull Territoriality.)
Thank you to Marti Warren for organizing this unforgettable trip (including the stressful task of making sure that no one missed the boat!) and documenting the day in photos.