Archive for gardens in Maine

The Owls Head Maine Post Office

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, landscape design, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on October 22, 2018 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 The quaint and colorful Owl’s Head Post Office sits on the village green in Owls Head, Maine.  You would never know that a magical garden awaits you down the gravel path to the right.

Every year I attend a garden tour in Maine, and this year it was the Georges River Land Trust’s 27th annual “Gardens in the Watershed Tour“.  Each year this tour highlights gardens in a different area of the Georges River watershed, and this year it featured six gardens in Rockland, Owls Head, and South Thomaston.  My post Gardens in the Watershed Tour 2018: Part One shows photos of the first five gardens on the tour.  To read it, click here. The gardens were beautiful as was the scenery viewed while traveling between properties in this undeveloped area of Maine.

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 cell 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.

 

Plantings along the right side of the gravel entrance path.  The unique green fencing echoes and complements the colors in the plants in front.  This is not a coincidence—the whole garden integrates plants, objects, colors, and textures into a gorgeous tapestry.

Unlikely as it seems, the final and best garden on the Watershed tour surrounded the Owls Head Post Office in Owls Head, another beautiful and undeveloped area of Maine.  You would never know that it is five minutes from Rockland and 15 minutes from Camden.  Just as photos of a painting are not the same as seeing the painting itself, my pictures of this garden do not do justice to the subtlety of the artistry.  However, they do capture its beauty and attention to detail.  Enjoy:

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Plantings along the left side of the entrance path.  The spiral staircase leads to the owner’s vacation home, which is above the post office.  The building dates from the 1800s and has been used as a post office since 1931.

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I was admiring the unusual pink color of the allium when I discovered that all the alliums in this garden were spray-painted.

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At the back of the garden was a pond accessed by this dock-like deck on which sat another scenic and historic building.  Even the canoe seems to have been chosen for its aesthetics.

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The crow on top watched us tour the garden.

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This is Doug Johnson, the owner and creator of this magical garden.  Not surprisingly, he is an artist and an art teacher.  He rents his vacation home on VRBO, and the inside is just as charming as the outside.  You can see photos by clicking here.

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Carolyn

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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Gardens in the Watershed Tour 2018 Part One

Posted in garden to visit, Garden Tour, Maine with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2018 by Carolyn @ Carolyns Shade Gardens

 A typical house on the streets of downtown Rockland, Maine

Every year I attend a garden tour in Maine, and this year it was the Georges River Land Trust’s 27th annual “Gardens in the Watershed Tour“.  Each year the tour highlights gardens in a different area of the Georges River watershed, and this year it featured six gardens in Rockland, Owls Head, and South Thomaston.  The gardens were beautiful as was the scenery viewed while traveling between properties in this undeveloped area of Maine.  Five of the gardens are profiled here.  The final garden was so magical that it will get its own 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 cell 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 first garden was relatively small, running along the side and filling the space behind a house in downtown Rockland, Maine.  It was lovingly cared for by the owner and perfectly showcased the beauty of perennial gardens in Maine:

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I loved these pale yellow, double daisies and lusted after the blue delphiniums that thrive in Maine but not in hot and humid Pennsylvania.

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the vegetable garden

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Next we visited a working farm, which produces most of the vegetables for Cafe Miranda, a popular restaurant in Rockland, profiled at the end of my last post.  To read that post, click here.  It consisted of 14,800 square feet of permanently established raised beds.  The beds are maintained organically, predominantly with hand tools.  All the vegetables are started from seed.  I have never seen such an orderly and well-thought-out vegetable garden:

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The third garden, located in Owl’s Head on the scenic shoreline of Penobscot Bay, had a Pennsylvania connection: it was owned by a former Executive Director of Bartram’s Garden in Philadelphia, profiled on my blog here.  It featured mostly native plants in pleasing combinations among boulders and swales:

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.‘Rozanne’ hardy geranium

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My favorite part was this lovely view of Ash Island in Penobscot Bay.

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The next garden was also on the shoreline in Owl’s Head, encompassing Dodge Point with an easterly view of Penobscot Bay and overlooking Owls Head Harbor to the west.  The property had a beautiful woodland filled with native plants as well as cultivated areas around the buildings and in pockets of soil among the ledges:

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The woodland was filled with this broad-leafed, native aster.

.A beach on the Penobscot Bay side of the point.  Morning fog was just clearing when we arrived.

.The view of Owls Head Harbor, home to over 60 working lobster boats and two active lobster pounds.

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It was great to see this native beach rose, probably Rosa carolina, rather than the ubiquitous and invasive, non-native rugosa roses.

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A flowering sedum echoes the color of the lichen-covered ledges.

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I saw this beautiful hosta there, but unfortunately the owner didn’t know the name.

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More plantings in front of the house among the ledges overlooking the bay.

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The final garden profiled here was a grand estate built on a thirty-acre former sheep farm on the shoreline in South Thomaston.  The perennial gardens behind the house were lush, but the harsh midday sun ruined my photos.  However, it was the ocean views and the house itself that drew the most attention:

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The grand driveway sweeps up a hill to the house in the distance.

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The view from the house across the lawn to Penobscot Bay.

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After viewing these lovely gardens and touring this untouched and beautiful area of Maine, it was back to the reality of tourism…..

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Carolyn

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.

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.

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.

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