Archive for Casco Bay Maine

Little Diamond Island Maine Home and Garden Tour

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on September 24, 2017 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

A row of historic summer cottages on Little Diamond Island, Maine.

My husband Michael and I are members of a wonderful nonprofit called Oceanside Conservation Trust of Casco Bay (OCT).  OCT’s mission is to facilitate the preservation of open space on the islands of Casco Bay off Portland, Maine.  It has been incredibly successful with many acres of land preserved on most of the bigger islands in the bay. 

A major benefit of membership, which only costs $20 a year, is the annual tour of one of these islands followed by a lovely reception.  This year the OCT outing was to Little Diamond Island.

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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The Casco Bay Lines ferry docking at the Little Diamond Island wharf.

Little Diamond is a short ride from the Casco Bay Lines terminal in Portland, Maine.  It is the first stop on the ferry route, which continues on to Great Diamond, Long, Chebeague, and Cliff Islands.  Unlike the other islands, Little Diamond is a summer community only and has no year round residents. 

Most of the houses on the island were built from the 1880s to the early 1900s and are typical Maine cottage style architecture.  The houses and the “casino”, a social gathering spot at the top of the ferry wharf, have been well-preserved.  Little Diamond is a small island, and we walked around the whole island and toured four of the lovely historic homes in an afternoon.  I want to share with you some of the photos of this lovely place, which seems lost in time:

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View of a Little Diamond beach from the ferry wharf

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Little Diamond casino at the top of the wharf

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Looking from the porch of the casino across Portland Harbor towards the city skyline shows how close Little Diamond is to Portland.   Fort Gorges, built in the harbor during the Civil War, is in the foreground.

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A typically well-preserved summer cottage on Little Diamond.

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Rich architectural details and unique decorative features like this row of colorful garden rakes make these houses even more interesting.

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The Eastern Prom of Portland is in the background.

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fabulous color combination

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.It was fun to see the interior of the homes.

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The last house we toured had striking antique stained glass windows.

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If you live or vacation in the Portland area, I hope you will consider joining Oceanside Conservation Trust and attending next year’s special island tour.  For information on joining OCT, click here.

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I hope to feature mid-September scenes from Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, in my next post.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name, location, and phone number to carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.  Please indicate if you will be shopping at the nursery or are mail order only.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a local retail nursery in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b/7a. The only plants that we mail order are snowdrops and miniature hostas and only within the US.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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A Tour of Cushings Island, Maine

Posted in landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , on August 24, 2014 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

.Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-53-38 PMA trip to Cushings Island in Casco Bay, Maine, revealed scenic vistas, elegant architecture, and historic sites.

I am a member of Oceanside Conservation Trust, a land trust based in Portland, Maine, dedicated to preserving land on the islands in Casco Bay.  Every August, Oceanside hosts its annual meeting on one of the islands on which it holds conservation easements.  This year members visited Cushings Island, a privately owned island that is part of the City of Portland.  This was a rare opportunity to tour this normally “gated” (as I overheard one resident call it) island with its unique history and architecture.

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Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-56-49 PMThis ‘triangular’ look is very common in John Calvin Stevens Shingle Style architecture.

Cushings Island was purchased in the 1750s by Ezekiel Cushing.  In the 1880s, his descendant Francis Cushing hired the famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to develop the island as a planned summer colony in conjunction with John Calvin Stevens.  Stevens, an architect based in Portland, Maine, became famous for his innovative Shingle Style architecture.  He designed over 1,000 buildings in the state during his long career.  Many of the 45 homes on Cushings Island were created by Stevens in the late 19th century, and they are well preserved today:

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Cushings Island is also a unique historical site as it was fortified during the Spanish-American War in 1898 and then occupied again during World War II when part of the Atlantic Fleet was based in Casco Bay.  We were able to see the fortifications during our tour:

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 2-40-19 PMGun emplacements from the Spanish-American War in 1898 are overgrown with vegetation.

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Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 2-51-30 PMThe fortifications on Cushings Island were augmented during World War II.

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Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 2-46-34 PMWorld War II observation tower.

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Cushings IslandOfficers’ quarters from WWII are now summer homes.

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Cushings Island.

Cushings Island is also very beautiful in a quintessential Maine way:

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Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 3-10-12 PM.

It was a privilege to visit this part of our cultural heritage, and I am glad I can share it with you.

Carolyn

P.S.  I am excited to report that the stat counter for Carolyn’s Shade Gardens blog has now recorded over 1,000,000 views.  Thank you to all my readers all over the world!

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

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.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook Page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

The Maine Coast in Late Fall

Posted in Fall, Fall Color with tags , , , , , , , , on November 23, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

The dramatic fall color of red maples has been replaced with the more subtle color of American beech.  All the photos in this post were taken in and around Cliff Island, Maine, US, located off the coast of Portland in Casco Bay.

I have gotten a lot of comments in person and on line about how much everyone has enjoyed my posts from Maine.  To read my post The Maine Coast and see photos in summer, click here.  I was there again at the end of October so I thought I would show you the coast at a very different time of year.

The bay is empty of boats.

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The mooring buoys are stacked on the shore.

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The summer cottages are closed.

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This is the house where the movie The Whales of August with Betty Davis, Lillian Gish, and Vincent Price was filmed.

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The ocean loses its benign summer look.

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The cliffs for which Cliff Island was named.

The landscape of Cliff Island changes too.  Gone are the wildflowers blooming everywhere and even the colorful leaves on the deciduous trees.  The palette narrows to the blue sky, gray fog, green conifers, brown grasses, white bark, red berries.  Everything is more subtle yet every bit as beautiful.

Cattails and winterberry holly

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winterberry holly

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The paper birches glow against the clear blue sky.

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In the fall, I am able to focus on the big picture.  And I have found that the larger landscape contains a design element that comes to the forefront in the stark vistas of fall.  No dotter of individual plants here and there, nature is the queen of massing.  She uses broad bands of color to achieve spectacular results.  I try to imitate this in my garden in Pennsylvania by planting in large swathes and allowing vigorous plants to self-sow.  Of course, the results aren’t as spectacular as this….

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I am truly blessed to have access to this gorgeous native landscape.  I am glad I can share it with you on my blog.  This post was supposed to be up in time to wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving so it will have to be belated.

Carolyn

 

Nursery Happenings:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is done for the fall.  Thanks for a great year.  See you in spring 2013.

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook:  Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post.  You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information.  If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

 

The Maine Coast

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 23, 2012 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

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 carolyn@carolynsshadegardens.com.  Click here to get to the home page of our website for catalogues and information about our nursery and to subscribe to our blog.

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Gorgeous yachts and sailboats cruise around Casco Bay, Maine, all the time.

My blog posts generally contain a lot of substantive content supported by photos. I thought I would take a break from that approach with this post to show my many readers from all over the world and from other parts of the US photos of the Maine coast. Maine is a state located in the continental US in the far upper northeastern corner in a region called New England. It is one of the least populated and least developed US states. All the photos I am going to show you were taken in Casco Bay, which is located in the southern part of Maine right off Portland, the most populous city. Almost anywhere in Casco Bay or along the coast could produce photos like these, but most of these photos were taken on one small island.

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As we sail off on our exploration of the Maine Coast, keep in mind that the plants you see are almost all native. Unlike most parts of the US, the native landscape is relatively undisturbed in Maine. That is why, at my family’s home in Maine, I garden almost exclusively in containers. The native landscape is more beautiful than anything that I could create.

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We end with the obligatory sunset, beautiful and different every day. I hope you have enjoyed your tour and will consider visiting Maine someday.

Carolyn

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed until the fall. Thanks for a great spring season!

If you are within visiting distance and would like to receive catalogues and information about customer events, please send your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net. Subscribing to my blog does not sign you up to receive this information.

Facebook: Carolyn’s Shade Gardens has a Facebook page where I post single photos, garden tips, and other information that doesn’t fit into a blog post. You can look at my Facebook page here or click the Like button on my right sidebar here.

Notes: Every word that appears in orange on my blog is a link that you can click for more information. If you want to return to my blog’s homepage to access the sidebar information (catalogues, previous articles, etc.) or to subscribe to my blog, just click here.

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