Archive for gardens in 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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Touring Gardens in Cape Elizabeth Maine

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on August 12, 2017 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

Perennials grow better in Maine than anywhere I have visited, and they look great with classic Maine summer “cottages”.

Every summer my husband Michael and I attend a garden tour while we are visiting Maine.  I have written many posts on Maine gardens on Mount Desert, around Camden, in the Brunswick area, and around Casco Bay, among others.  If you would like to see the beautiful photos in those articles, just type “Maine gardens” into the search bar under “Search My Website” on the right sidebar of this website (if the sidebar isn’t visible, click the snowdrop banner at the top of this post).

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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Maine summer “cottages” can be quite large!

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This year we attended the Cape Elizabeth Garden Tour presented by the Fort Williams Park Foundation.  Cape Elizabeth is a beautiful, ocean-side suburb of Portland with many interesting gardens and homes.  Here are just a few scenes from the tour:

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The house in the first two photos featured lovely perennial gardens and this incredible view of Portland Harbor.  The lighthouse at the entrance to the harbor, fondly known as Bug Light, is just visible in the upper left corner of the photo.

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a close up of the pool plantings

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great color combinations

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A compact annual cleome or spider flower was sprinkled through out this garden.  Garden tours are a great way to get ideas for your garden and find out about newly introduced plants.

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If only we could grow white birches like this in southeastern Pennsylvania.

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Ninebark and nepeta look lovely together.

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scenic garden shed with climbing roses

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Almost every house on the tour had spectacular ocean views.

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Lavender thrives on a sunny, seashore but can’t live in the sunniest spot at Carolyn’s Shade Gardens.

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fabulous color combination

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The next post will feature a house and garden tour on Little Diamond Island in Casco Bay off Portland, Maine, and after that it’s back to Mount Desert.

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.

Garden Tour on Mount Desert Island Maine Part 2

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on July 28, 2017 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

More gorgeous views of the Maine coast awaited us around every turn as we visited the final two houses on the Mount Desert garden tour.

Last year my husband Michael and I spent a few days visiting Acadia National Park for its 100th anniversary and touring gardens on Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA.  To see the beautiful photos in my previous Mount Desert posts, click on the title: Scenes from Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National ParkAsticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden Part 1, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden: Part 2

A major purpose of our visit was to attend The Garden Club of Mount Desert’s 2016 garden tour, which we did.  To view the photos in Part 1 of my garden tour post, click Garden Tour on Mount Desert Island MaineHere is Part 2:

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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A classic Maine summer “cottage”

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Notice the elegant granite container on the wall.

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succulents in a crack in a boulder

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view across the lawn from the back patio

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The view extends all the way down to the water’s edge.

.There were extensive perennial gardens around the patio, but the sun was so bright it washed out all my photos.

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Our favorite part of this garden was the picture perfect vegetable garden loaded with produce in raised beds edged with granite.

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As we climbed the steep drive to the last house on the tour, we admired the mountain view.

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Even the garage was scenic.

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Notice the bay and the islands on the horizon.

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The gardens on the ocean side of the house were terraced with several levels of stone walls.

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There was even a castle-like stone look out!

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Upcoming posts will feature a garden tour in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and a house and garden tour on Little Diamond Island in Casco Bay off Portland, Maine.

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.

Garden Tour on Mount Desert Island Maine

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on July 17, 2017 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

One of the gorgeous houses on the Mount Desert garden tour.

Last year my husband Michael and I spent a few days visiting Acadia National Park and touring gardens on Mount Desert Island, Maine, USA.  To see the beautiful photos in my previous Mt. Desert posts, click on the title: Scenes from Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National ParkAsticou Azalea Garden, Thuya Garden, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden Part 1, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden: Part 2.  

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A fun sculpture of gardening gloves

A major purpose of our visit was to attend The Garden Club of Mount Desert’s 2016 garden tour, which we did.  Although a year late, this post is timely as the 2017 Mount Desert garden tour, this year hosted by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, is this Saturday, July 22, from 10 am to 4 pm.  For more information, click here.  I encourage you to go if you are in the area, otherwise enjoy the beautiful photos of Maine in my post!

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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Loved this wall.

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Everywhere we went we saw beautiful views of the Maine coast.

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This secret gate through a tall arborvitae hedge led to the prettiest house on the tour.

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A view through the perennials to a wonderful added feature of our tour of this garden….

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….A regulation sized croquet course with an official game in progress.

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I coveted this large container full of herbs for my own deck and have copied it this year on a smaller scale.  Having the herbs easily accessible right outside my kitchen encourages me to use them more often and keeps the slugs off .

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Maine gardens seem to feature a lot of picturesque potting sheds.

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This classic Maine summer house had gorgeous flower beds.

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My next post will contain photos of the rest of the tour.

Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name 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.

Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden: Part 2

Posted in garden to visit, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2016 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 

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A glimpse through the moon gate into the English-style borders at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden.

Last post I promised you a tour of the sunny part of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor on Mt. Desert Island, Maine, USA.  My husband and I spent four days this summer visiting Acadia National Park and public and private gardens on Mt. Desert Island. 

To see the beautiful photos in my Acadia post, Scenes from Mt. Desert Island and Acadia National Park, click here.  For photos of Asticou Azalea Garden and the Thuya Garden, both in Northeast Harbor, click here.  My last post toured the Chinese-inspired woodland of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden: click here to see the photos.

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 bottle gate in the previous post, which was Abby Aldrich Rockefeller’s  preferred entrance to the flower garden, is just visible in the back of this photo.  Visitors pass through it from the woodland side into an oval garden surrounding a reflecting pool with the enormous perennial beds spreading out to the north.

As mentioned previously, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden is a private garden in Seal Harbor on Mt. Desert Island, Maine.  It is owned by David Rockefeller and was originally created between 1926 and 1930 by the well known garden designer Beatrix Farrand and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, David’s mother and the wife of John D. Rockefeller, Jr.   Reservations are required to visit, and tickets, which go on sale May 31, are very limited.

Our visit to the sunny flower borders is captured in the photos below, enjoy.

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After wandering through the woods, the sunny gardens are a startling contrast.  Although massive, they are hidden from the shady side by walls and have the feel of a secret garden. 

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eyrieAccording to landscape historian Patrick Chasse, the flower gardens were originally planned as cutting gardens for the Eyrie (photo above), the Rockefeller’s 100-room mansion, which was later torn down.   Plantings were calculated by the number of rooms, their colors, and the number of vases to be filled.  The whole area was flowers with minor access paths for servants.  

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Looking north towards the moon gate.  The lawn was added in 1936 when the maintenance of the flowers-only garden became too much even for the Rockefellers. 

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Map of the gardens from the brochure provided.  The lawn area is bordered by a rectangular gravel path.  Outside that path is a wide flower border split by a low rectangular granite wall and again enclosed on the outside by gravel paths, which front even wider borders extending out to the walls enclosing the whole garden.

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View of the northern end of the gardens.  Even with the addition of the lawn, the remaining gardens are huge.  They are also gorgeous and impeccably maintained.

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View of the southern end of the gardens.

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You can see the low granite wall splitting the flower bed between the gravel paths.  It is covered with clematis and other blooming vines.
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The very wide gardens on the east side in front of the pink Chinese wall.
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Some annuals are used but the plants are mostly perennials.
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img_1652We exited the garden into the serene Maine woods that envelope it, dazzled by the amazing flower borders we saw.

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Carolyn

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Nursery Happenings: You can sign up to receive catalogues and emails about nursery events by sending your full name and phone number to carolynsshadegardens@verizon.net.  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.

Friends, Food, Flowers, and Fun

Posted in garden to visit with tags , , , , on December 28, 2011 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.

‘Heavenly Blue’ morning glory (in the garden at Pineland Farms), a plant Jean has often featured on her blog.

In considering several subjects for a holiday week post, I decided that there couldn’t be anything more appropriate than describing a summer day spent with a new friend visiting gardens, eating, and shopping for plants—sounds like heaven, doesn’t it?  You may recall that in April, Jean Potuchek from the blog Jean’s Garden (and Jan from Thanks for Today) visited my nursery and gardens and toured Chanticleer with me.  When I was in Maine in early July, Jean invited me to visit her, and this post describes our day.


Jean standing in the future site of her Serenity Garden, often discussed on her blog and now a reality.

Before I get to photos of our day, I want to recount a little side story that illustrates how our minds can go down weird paths (at least mine can).  In a total role reversal, my children always give me  a concerned look when I refer to any garden blogger as a friend, saying: “You can’t be friends with someone you haven’t met in person.”  And I ask you, what would you say to your driving age daughter if she said to you: “Mom, I’ve met this really nice person on the internet,  and she has invited me to visit her at her home in remote rural Maine.” 

As I was driving to Jean’s house, I thought of this as the road twisted and turned deeper and deeper into the countryside, went from asphalt to gravel to dirt, and finally ended in about the most remote dead end I could think of with no neighbors in sight.  No one knew I had gone there, and no one would know whether I returned home because all my family had left Maine for Pennsylvania that week.

Jean in her beautiful and remote garden in East Poland, Maine.

Of course, I had met Jean before, but that was in a public place, and she could have been softening me up, right?  My worst fears were confirmed when, shortly after I arrived, she offered me poisoned strawberries from her lawn (well, they could have been) and invited me inside her home.  You will be relieved to know that all my fears proved groundless.  The garden blogging world is such a unique community, and I consider many garden bloggers friends, I just don’t say it aloud in front of my children.

The Pineland Farms business campus, which includes the market and cafe, is well designed and maintained.  I wish I had been able to get better photos, but the day was very bright and sunny.

The only good shot I got of Jean’s lovely garden appears above, but it was so fun to see all the plants I had been reading about on her blog.  After the tour, we drove to Pineland Farms in New Gloucester, Maine.  The 5,000 acre Pineland Farms property encompasses a working farm, artisan dairy, hydroponic greenhouses, business campus, equestrian facility, farm market, cafe, recreational facilities, including hiking, biking, and skiing, and even guest houses.  For more on Pineland Farms, read Jean’s post.  After eating a delicious lunch made from the farm’s own products at the cafe and purchasing vegetables and farm made cheese at the market, we headed to the ornamental garden for a look around.

Views of the exterior enclosure of the Garden at Pineland Farms.  It feels like you are walking into a secret garden.

I was very charmed by what we found.  The garden encompasses one acre with 1/4 mile of paved paths.  It is mostly filled with perennials interspersed with trees and shrubs, but there is also an extensive vegetable garden.  Although the layout is formal and the maintenance is meticulous, it has a very accessible feel—like anything you saw there could be attempted successfully at home.  And I saw many plant combinations and design ideas there that I would love to try in my own gardens.

The formal brick paths, which are very easy to navigate, wind themselves around the exterior of the garden (top two photos) and across the center (bottom photo).  Although the site is flat, the curved paths and carefully places trees and shrubs create garden rooms and a sense of discovery.

The side paths are gravel and include some shade gardens.

A key element that holds this garden together is the repetition of large groupings of a limited palette of perennials appropriate to the season.  In early July, it was meadowsweet, Japanese iris, astilbe, and daylilies, among others.  These groupings unite all the small gardens and the large selection of perennials displayed.  If you scroll back through the photos above, I hope you can see what I mean.  Here are photos of some of these key plants:

Double meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria ‘Flore Pleno’

Japanese iris, Iris ensata ‘Shakkyo’

Japanese iris and ferns

The large plantings of dwarf Chinese astilbe, Astilbe chinensis ‘Pumila’, looked gorgeous with the brick paths.

Daylilies, I think Hemerocallis ‘Stella de Oro’.

In addition to the ornamental gardens, there is a very pretty herb garden and an extensive vegetable garden:

Various lavenders in the herb garden.

Produce from the vegetable garden is sold in the market.

As we left the formal garden, we had a panoramic view of the Pineland Farms dairy operation.  The bucolic beauty is typical of this part of rural Maine.

Plainview Farm plant nursery in North Yarmouth, Maine

After looking at all those gorgeous plants, it was time to buy some.  Jean took me to one of her favorite nurseries, Plainview Farm in North Yarmouth, Maine.  Not only do they have a great selection of enticing perennials, but they also have extensive display gardens.  Well worth the visit if you are in the area.  I’ll end the post with photos of two plants that intrigued me:

Yes, I am a sucker for Japanese iris: Iris ensata ‘Temple Bells’

I have never seen a sea holly this blue: Eryngium ‘Big Blue’.


If you would like to look at my photos all year round, please consider buying my 2012 calendar, available worldwide.  For details, click here.  It is 25% off through January 6, 2012, with the code ONEMORETHING at checkout.

Happy New Year to my nursery customers, my blog readers,  Jean, and garden bloggers everywhere,  Carolyn


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.


Nursery Happenings: To view the 2012 Snowdrop Catalogue, click here. I am currently accepting orders—snowdrops are available mail order. 

Look for an exciting new hellebore offering in February 2012.  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.

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