Inn at Perry Cabin
The approach to the Inn at Perry Cabin is stately, a brick drive, two cars wide with an allee of linden trees. Joanne Effinger, who mastered the landscape, came to the Inn around the time that it was owned by Laura Ashley. Thirty-five geraniums wilted and thirty-five more were planted. What you see today are cut flowers in fresh arrangements around the Inn. Outside there are pots mixed with annuals, mandevilla, angelonia, coleus, lantana (and of course zinnias!) tropicals, cannas, banana plants, and herbs because Joanne is always conscious of what scent is in the air. Tucked in one walkway there are a row of sweet-smelling sweetspire (clethra) in small brushes of pink.
Joanne has been known to plant the florist hydrangeas beside the front walkway, a dusty pink, which are featured in many of her floral arrangements. She likes Lime Light, Lace Cap and for roses, Lady Elsie May because the men from the Eastern Shore use to call their wives Lady. The Inn’s gardens include apple and plum trees (they had just finished making plum preserves,) raspberries, blackberries , and swiss chard. But of all the wonderful plants and shrubs (including Vitex) I saw, it was the zinnias which bowled me over. Yes, count three beds of zinnias planted in succession.
Before ending the beginning of this wonderful garden tour I must mention that Dr. Shirley Sherwood whose family owns The Inn at Perry Cabin, fully supported Joanne’s vision to create outside garden rooms at the Inn, to observe the Eastern Shore habitat, and consciously commit to green gardening – what more could one ask? Oh, yes, the Inn’s flowers are beautiful.