I always thought gardening was the number one past time in America. A quick Google search disabused me of that fact. Baseball and reading come up Number One, depending on which site you look at.  But gardening is still in the top ten.  Driving around Cape Ann makes me believe that gardening is the number one past time in our little corner of the world.

In 1881, Ida Agassiz Higginson bought the “old Forster homestead” and adjacent land to build the colonial-style house that currently stands at 131 Bridge Street, at the edge of what is now Winthrop Field. The house was built for Joseph Clarke, the horticulturist that Mrs. Higginson employed to lay out and manage the extensive gardens on Sunset Hill estate.

What are the bumps that happen with home decorating?  Well, the most common is sticker shock as the estimates come in. I do what I can on this front, but the estimates are not under my control and austerity measures must at times be made.  As your designer, I could grit my teeth and remain attached to my original idea and think of any other plan as a disappointing compromise.  But then I would miss out on some of the interesting challenges that come along with reining your project in.

What a month March was for me.  I lost a week to sickness - not COVID, but a flu.  Like I couldn’t lift my head from the pillow and slept 20 hours a day type of flu.  But when I finally felt better I seemed to view the world just a little bit differently.  What does this have to do with homes, you may be asking? I’m really not sure yet, so you’ll have to just bear with me. 

In September 1725, John Lee Jr., Housewright, purchased a quarter acre of land in “Newport”. By year’s end he had erected a house. The Newport section of town was situated near Harbor and Bridge Streets. Records state the home was located on a property with apple trees. Lee Jr. apprenticed as a carpenter at the age of 12. Throughout his life he served as town constable, clerk, treasurer and selectman.

Quietly, nearly a year ago after a full renovation of its 2,000 sf space, a new real estate brokerage arrived on Central Street in Manchester, across the street from the Town Common and next door to Style Snoop.  It would be the 24th location for Boston-based Gibson Sotheby’s, topping off its Cape Cod-to-Cape Ann footprint.  But was it really new?  Well, no, if you see the team that's heading up the office.