Friday, July 13, 2007

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens had its official grand opening last month, but the gardens have been in the works for more than 10 years. Apparently the property had originally been destined for a housing development. The land had even been sectioned off with some of them purchased. But the citizens of Boothbay Harbor got together and decided that it was too good for housing and came up with the Botanical Gardens plan. They pooled their money and bought the land, some even taking out second mortgages on their homes to do so. Then they set about planning the gardens.

They took their time, hired good people, and have made something amazingly beautiful out of their investment. They determined they would not have anything on the grounds that wasn't indigenous to the area and have made as much use of what was already there as possible. We were too late to see, for example, the enormous naturally occurring Lady Slipper beds in the woods, as they had bloomed already, but we saw dozens of varieties of ferns and other plants as we meandered through the woods from the Visitor's Center to the Sheepscot River and back again.

One interesting thing they did was encourage local artists to create sculptures with or about natural substances and shapes. There were about a dozen of them along our walk. There was also a Fairy Village for kids to play in (which wasn't all that impressive to me, although the concept was interesting).

Once out of the woods and river area, we emerged into a beautiful formal garden with roses, lavender, clematis, and other brightly colored blooms that delighted the senses. We had a great time wandering around looking and sniffing before moving on to the kitchen gardens before taking our leave. I know we will be back in other seasons to see what's growing in these gardens.


Inland Empire Girl said...

More great picutures! Isn't it fun to visit gardens? It looks so nice and cool there. Here is was 105 today! ARGGG!

Sandy said...

I haven't been up to the Botanical Gardens yet. Looks lovely in your photos!