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Before & After: A New Cape Cod Garden for the Old Homestead in Provincetown

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Before & After: A New Cape Cod Garden for the Old Homestead in Provincetown

July 17, 2019

The 1960s-era Provincetown of Philip Cozzi’s youth was home to a Who’s Who of Cape Cod’s intellectual glitterati: Robert Motherwell, Norman Mailer, and other artists attracted by the close-knit society that thrived in America’s oldest creative colony.

Drawn back by the same sense of community, Philip and his wife, Kristin Hein, recently bought the Old Homestead, a historic captain’s home and guest house in the town’s East End. After restoring the landmark house, the couple, who make up the design duo Hein+Cozzi, overhauled the garden.

“The overall feel of the garden was generated from my memories of classic P-town gardens of the sixties and seventies,” Philip says. “These gardens were dominated by greenery, and had wonderful walkways and secret spaces. There was always something unexpected around the corner.” Join us for a tour:

N.B.: For more of the remodeled interiors, see Low-Key Luxury: The New Old Homestead in Provincetown on Remodelista.

Photography by Justine Hand for Gardenista.

To complement the updated historic style, the front doors—painted in Fine Paints of Europe&#8\2\17;s No. S 8000-N—are flanked by glazed ceramic planters of stonecrop (Sedum &#8\2\16;Autumn Joy&#8\2\17;). The home&#8\2\17;s exterior is sided with Kennebunk White Cedar Shingles from Maibec Inc. in Canada. A second door leads to guest accommodations, available for rent.
Above: To complement the updated historic style, the front doors—painted in Fine Paints of Europe’s No. S 8000-N—are flanked by glazed ceramic planters of stonecrop (Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’). The home’s exterior is sided with Kennebunk White Cedar Shingles from Maibec Inc. in Canada. A second door leads to guest accommodations, available for rent.

Before

Decidedly &#8\2\20;funky&#8\2\2\1; and overgrown, the guest house as it looked when Philip and Kristin purchased it.
Above: Decidedly “funky” and overgrown, the guest house as it looked when Philip and Kristin purchased it.
Throughout the property, the design duo tamed the more unkempt areas of the garden while celebrating the wild nature of Cape Cod.
Above: Throughout the property, the design duo tamed the more unkempt areas of the garden while celebrating the wild nature of Cape Cod.

After

From Commercial Street, one enters the garden through an archway in a tall privet hedge. A bluestone path connects the front and back gardens, leading from the street to the porch, then along the side of the home, and finally to the back deck and garden sheds. In the &#8\2\17;60s and &#8\2\17;70s, Philip recalls, the local hardscape options were &#8\2\20;either brick or bluestone—no exceptions.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: From Commercial Street, one enters the garden through an archway in a tall privet hedge. A bluestone path connects the front and back gardens, leading from the street to the porch, then along the side of the home, and finally to the back deck and garden sheds. In the ’60s and ’70s, Philip recalls, the local hardscape options were “either brick or bluestone—no exceptions.”

Front Garden and Porch

The idea for creating an asymmetrical entry came to Philip in a dream. &#8\2\20;It seemed so much more interesting than a typical centered entrance,&#8\2\2\1; he says. The couple created an outdoor room, ideal for entertaining, defined by a long privet hedge, lawn, and the newly renovated porch. &#8\2\20;It truly is an extension of the house.&#8\2\2\1;
Above: The idea for creating an asymmetrical entry came to Philip in a dream. “It seemed so much more interesting than a typical centered entrance,” he says. The couple created an outdoor room, ideal for entertaining, defined by a long privet hedge, lawn, and the newly renovated porch. “It truly is an extension of the house.”
A large, sculptural agave from Marders in Bridgehampton on Long Island is the focal point of the front garden.
Above: A large, sculptural agave from Marders in Bridgehampton on Long Island is the focal point of the front garden.
Paying homage to the home&#8\2\17;s earlier life as a captain&#8\2\17;s home, Philip and Kristin tore off an awkward front portico to create a long porch, complete with historic pillars and salvaged lanterns from Remains Lighting in New York City.
Above: Paying homage to the home’s earlier life as a captain’s home, Philip and Kristin tore off an awkward front portico to create a long porch, complete with historic pillars and salvaged lanterns from Remains Lighting in New York City.
Sculptural details on the porch: a mini succulent garden plus a trio of beach stones.
Above: Sculptural details on the porch: a mini succulent garden plus a trio of beach stones.
Recently reunited: after some clients bought Philip&#8\2\17;s Uncle Ciro&#8\2\17;s house down the street, they gave him his grandmother&#8\2\17;s jade plant, which she had brought to the house from New York. The Old Homestead sign is from the original guest house.
Above: Recently reunited: after some clients bought Philip’s Uncle Ciro’s house down the street, they gave him his grandmother’s jade plant, which she had brought to the house from New York. The Old Homestead sign is from the original guest house.
Philip and Kristin frequently dine al fresco with friends and lodgers; a suite of antique Thonet chairs surrounds a long American farm table from Nellies of Amagansett.
Above: Philip and Kristin frequently dine al fresco with friends and lodgers; a suite of antique Thonet chairs surrounds a long American farm table from Nellies of Amagansett.
Tabletop decor includes a collection of succulents and beach finds.
Above: Tabletop decor includes a collection of succulents and beach finds.
Along the side path leading from the front yard, a stripped cedar gate—designed by Philip and built by Frank Hamm—keeps Sam safely in the back garden.
Above: Along the side path leading from the front yard, a stripped cedar gate—designed by Philip and built by Frank Hamm—keeps Sam safely in the back garden.

Backyard Deck

Like the front yard, the backyard  is an extension of living space, with French doors that connect the kitchen to the outdoors. “We love having all the doors open so that the interior merges with the exterior,” Kristin says.
Above: Like the front yard, the backyard  is an extension of living space, with French doors that connect the kitchen to the outdoors. “We love having all the doors open so that the interior merges with the exterior,” Kristin says.
On a vintage French bistro table, a collection of succulents creates a centerpiece that withstands the summer sun.
Above: On a vintage French bistro table, a collection of succulents creates a centerpiece that withstands the summer sun.
Whereas the front yard is restrained, the backyard is wild and organic, with untamed plantings and cascading vines. A canopy of wisteria (the vines belong to two different varieties, which flower a different times) shades a wooden deck.
Above: Whereas the front yard is restrained, the backyard is wild and organic, with untamed plantings and cascading vines. A canopy of wisteria (the vines belong to two different varieties, which flower a different times) shades a wooden deck.
The couple&#8\2\17;s &#8\2\20;baby,&#8\2\2\1; Sam stands next to one of the couple&#8\2\17;s mini succulent gardens.
Above: The couple’s “baby,” Sam stands next to one of the couple’s mini succulent gardens.
Philip&#8\2\17;s uncle, Ciro Cozzi, was proprietor of P-town&#8\2\17;s famed restaurant Ciro and Sals, where Philip worked in his youth. Continuing the family&#8\2\17;s culinary tradition, Philip cultivates figs, tomatoes, and herbs in a backyard edible garden.
Above: Philip’s uncle, Ciro Cozzi, was proprietor of P-town’s famed restaurant Ciro and Sals, where Philip worked in his youth. Continuing the family’s culinary tradition, Philip cultivates figs, tomatoes, and herbs in a backyard edible garden.

Garden Sheds

The view from the upstairs guest house window looks down onto a shed, which is clad in wisteria and clematis. &#8\2\20;We intentionally let all the climbing plants and surrounds to be overgrown and lush,&#8\2\2\1; they say.
Above: The view from the upstairs guest house window looks down onto a shed, which is clad in wisteria and clematis. “We intentionally let all the climbing plants and surrounds to be overgrown and lush,” they say.
De rigueur for Cape Cod living, a clothesline is strung across the back shed and accommodates towels and bathing suits.
Above: De rigueur for Cape Cod living, a clothesline is strung across the back shed and accommodates towels and bathing suits.
Echoing the plants and palette of the entry: a backyard shed is painted the same shade as the front doors and flanked by more sedum and agave.
Above: Echoing the plants and palette of the entry: a backyard shed is painted the same shade as the front doors and flanked by more sedum and agave.
In the far corner of the back garden, a Laird Hamilton paddle/surfboard is flanked by Philip&#8\2\17;s crop of Cannabis sativa (growing marijuana is legal in Massachusetts).
Above: In the far corner of the back garden, a Laird Hamilton paddle/surfboard is flanked by Philip’s crop of Cannabis sativa (growing marijuana is legal in Massachusetts).

N.B.: See more of our favorite outermost Cape Cod gardens:

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