Archive for Portland Maine

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.

.

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:

.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 1-41-51 PM

.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-08-56 PM.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-11-18 PM

.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 5-00-06 PM

.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-56-07 PM.

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.

.

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

.

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

.

Cushings IslandOfficers’ quarters from WWII are now summer homes.

.

Cushings Island.

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

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 1-39-13 PM.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 3-00-50 PM.

Cushings Island Maine 8-5-2014 4-54-30 PM.

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.

Advertisements

More Annuals for 2013

Posted in annuals, annuals, container gardening, container gardening, containers for shade, shade annuals with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2013 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.

20130716-110316.jpg

Although we are out on a beautiful island, my husband Michael and I do like to explore the mainland when we are in Maine. Not surprisingly we visit a lot of nurseries and gardens. On a recent excursion to Yarmouth, Maine, we discovered the Rosemont Market and Bakery on Main Street. This market sells all kinds of wonderful fresh and local foods, including meat and fish, delicious bread, fruits and vegetables, deli and gourmet items, sandwiches and soup, and beer and wine. They even deliver weekdays to the Casco Bay islands and have additional locations in Portland.

20130716-112039.jpg

It was a cold day (that seems unbelievable now with the heat wave we are having) so we decided to have hot soup, which was delicious. We ate at the tables outside so that I could admire and photograph the spectacular window boxes. They were planted using the techniques I described in my last post (to read it click here, if you read this post when it had small, fuzzy photos, you might want to look again because I fixed them). The boxes are crammed with plants chosen to spill out the front, fill the middle, and provide some height in the back but not too much due to the windows.

20130716-120307.jpg

20130716-120539.jpg

But what I really love about these containers is the creative use of colors and plant material. Nontraditional color combinations like pink and orange abound, but they work. The plants are chosen not just for the color but also for their habit and texture. The designer clearly did not feel limited by the traditional group of annuals but cast a wide net for plants that would combine to create a striking whole. I hope you will incorporate some of these ideas into your own containers—I know I will. If you have already planted them stuff some more plants in.

20130716-121144.jpg

20130716-121334.jpg

20130716-121413.jpg

20130716-121523.jpg

20130716-121624.jpg

20130716-121707.jpg

20130716-121749.jpg

Carolyn

.

Carolyn’s Shade Gardens is a retail nursery located in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, U.S., zone 6b. 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.

Nursery Happenings: The nursery is closed and will reopen in the fall around September 15. Have a great summer.

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.

.

The mooring buoys are stacked on the shore.

.

The summer cottages are closed.

.

.

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

.

The ocean loses its benign summer look.

.

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

.

winterberry holly

.

.

The paper birches glow against the clear blue sky.

.

.

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….

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

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.

 

%d bloggers like this: