Spring Fling

Kindra Clineff
During the annual Easter egg hunt, grandchildren and cousins scour the gardens for hidden eggs.
Each Easter at the family's seaside home, the Petersens celebrate amid 3,500 daffodils.

When Hollis and Ann purchased the Haversham, Rhode Island, enclave, it represented a homecoming of sorts. As youngsters, Ann and her seven siblings vacationed at a lake house in nearby Wakefield. "Rockbound," she says, "evokes all those summers of my youth."

On the Petersens' waterside property, gardens filled with dune grasses and perennials flourish throughout the spring and summer. Landscape architect Hank White highlighted the site's many boulders by creating paths that allow the family to experience the rocks from multiple points of view. With the addition of 3,500 daffodil bulbs, the garden's color arrives early and with great intensity. Why daffodils? "I love yellow," Ann explains, adding that the flowers are deer-resistant.

This Easter weekend, the first celebration for the extended Petersen clan since the end of a long winter, grandson Eric Lonnegren searches with his cousins among the flower beds. The 3-year-old beams when he finds a treasured pink Easter egg, and holds his reward high overhead. "It's magical watching the kids," Ann says. "They are joyous."

After the hunt, the tired children head inside for lunch. Ann and Hollis take advantage of the quiet moment to enjoy the vista and anticipate future get-togethers. With the spring garden blooming in the foreground and Block Island visible in the distance, Hollis says, "Summer is coming, and family and friends will all be here. Life is coming to our hills."

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