Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 3

Nursery News:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, PA, specializing in showy, colorful, and unusual plants for shade.  The only plants that we ship are snowdrops and miniature hostas.  For catalogues and announcements of events, please send your full name, location, and phone number (for back up use only) to  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-15 AM

This post is the third in a series of posts on the Camden House and Garden Tour put on annually in mid-July by the Camden Garden Club.  To read the first and second posts, click here and here.  As mentioned previously, this year’s tour was the 67th annual event, quite an impressive history.  Next year is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the garden club.  To honor the occasion, the tour will feature “the most-loved homes and gardens from our annual tour dating all the way back to 1948….[including] grand summer ‘cottages’ and gardens, so iconic to the Maine coast.”   It will take place on July 16, 2015, and I hope to be there!


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-53-15 AMLooking back across the meadow to the historic home.

The third garden that we visited on the tour was also in the countryside around Rockport.  This was probably my favorite garden because of the setting and also the gorgeous English style garden.  The home itself was not open for the tour, but it is an historic saltbox homestead, dating from the 1780s.  Set on the top of a hill, the house has a sweeping view of the large pond and meadows below.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-44-27 AMView from the house


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-59-16 AM.

As is typical in New England and especially the Camden-Rockport area, boulders, rock walls, and lichen covered slabs are everywhere on this property.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-51-05 AM


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-46-43 AMThe owners had even used some of the local rock to create an outdoor dining area.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-41-50 AMEntrance to the perennial garden in an old barn foundation.

My favorite part of the property was what the tour brochure described as an “English” garden nestled within the walls of an old barn foundation.  In the rectangular footprint of the barn was a flowery oasis crammed with plants in a beautiful combination of habits, textures, and colors.  I felt like I was entering a magical sunken paradise easily explored by following the sinuous, bark chipped paths.  Though on a small scale compared to the great English borders, this is one of the prettiest perennial gardens I have ever visited.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-34-21 AMMy overview photo of the barn foundation garden doesn’t do it justice, but I wanted to give you some idea of scale.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-36-46 AMThe wall of the barn foundation runs along the back of these beds.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-37-18 AMA better view of the foundation wall.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-37-58 AMThe bark chipped paths.


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-02 AMAn arbor runs along one side


Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-39-21 AM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-42-36 AM.

Camden Garden Tour 2014 Wolf 7-17-2014 10-42-17 AM.

I have one final garden to show you on this tour, a garden that has everything that money can buy!


Nursery Happenings: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is closed for the summer and will reopen in early September.  You can sign up to receive notification emails by sending your full name and phone number to

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

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10 Responses to “Camden (Maine) Garden Tour 2014: Part 3”

  1. What a view! And the rock dining area and perennial gardens are beautiful! My daughter’s in Maine right now, so I find myself curious about it. She says it reminds her of Wisconsin. 🙂

  2. I too like the “English” garden. It is filled with color and texture. It looks like a remarkable property.

  3. I’m not surprised that was your favorite, the barn garden is really something. I don’t think I would have imagined the proper scale without the people in there, it’s huge! Quite a labor of love, and they’ve really done a nice job.
    I’d like to steal the arbor idea but it doesn’t look that easy to copy!

  4. Next years 100th anniversary event sounds wonderful…I loved many of the long views and that barn foundation garden is just lovely!

  5. What a beautiful garden. I was on the Cumberland County Backyard Locavore garden tour this weekend. One of the gardens had an old barn foundation and I found myself thinking what a great sunken garden it would make. It’s nice to see that vision realized in this garden.

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