Sunday, October 8, 2017

Weekend in Maine-Coastal Maine Botanic Garden

 In August I made my 3rd visit to the marvelous Coastal Maine Botanic Garden in Booth Bay , a charming harbor town on the coast of Maine.There is lobster there-it is fresh caught and plentiful.The garden itself is first rate; beautifully designed and maintained, it holds it's own with any public garden I have visited regardless of size or location. Clearly the maritime east is completely irrelevant to my climate zone and the more I visit gardens across the US , the more I realize that there are schemes I can never execute and plants I can (or should) never plant . I live where there is absolutely no rain in summer and by now in October the dryness of my garden- in spite of weekly irrigation -has taken  it's toll, and there are many commonly used plants in the east that just can't tolerate both the lack of rain and the lack of humidity. There is nothing like rainwater, and as much as I dislike that humid factor the plants seem to love it. Not to mention warm nights which we only have here if we are in the throes of  an extreme heat wave.  So I have learned over the years to enjoy these east coast gardens, immerse myself when I am there and take inspiration from colors and textures and design features that can translate to Northern California with a more climate appropriate plant selection.  Having said that, I try plants all the time that are marginal .Collecting is not a particularly rational activity.
 I was excited to see this obviously well financed venue is undergoing  a major expansion, some of which looks pretty close to completion. I've put a return visit on my calendar for 2019 pending at least some of the new features opening. And I'm always up for a trip to Maine.

 The plantings are exuberant and colorful, and a far cry from the sad state of my garden in August. The trade off is the growing season; so short that everything happens at once. These photos were all taken in the childrens' garden, which is outstanding-one of my favorite areas of this garden. I posted about the CMBG childrens' garden on my last visit here.



 









 I was very taken with this bobbley-dot design-kudos to whoever conceived this, it was so appropriate for a garden that has an emphasis on playfulness.



This green roof looks nice from afar , but close-up....


...Mr. Mantid is revealed




 The next few images were taken around the perimeter of The Great Lawn, which is a central location from which most of the paths initiate-at least for now. The expansion of the garden will no doubt change the orientation, especially considering that a new visitors center and entry is involved. Around this lawn are borders of perennials, grasses and annuals in inspired combinations.
























This path leads down the hillside to woodland and conifer gardens.





  The Garden of the 5 Senses is under-represented in my group of photos, but here are a few . An extensive pond system is included in this area







 Sneaking in a couple more from the childrens garden. We ran back in when the overcast showed up.




And after garden touring, lobster. After lobster, cocktails overlooking the harbor.



16 comments:

  1. This garden is near the top of those I'd like to see in person one day - every time you post photos of it, it moves up another rung. The children's garden is delightful and I love that planted roof complete with the mantis. I thought of you immediately when I heard about the wildfire in Napa this morning. I hope you're well outside its path and not downwind.

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    1. Outside it's path Kris , but it's a horrible smokey environment at the present. No cell service, power outages (not at my house) and flames seen along the ridges .

      As far as Maine Coastal goes, it is well worth the visit and there are so many other New England gardens that you could include on the trip.

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    2. I'm glad to hear you're okay. As a result of the fire in Anaheim Hills, the air here is almost unbreatheable at the moment but, unlike Hoover Boo, I'm a safe 50 miles west of the fire itself. Stay safe!

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    3. C'mon out Kris! Maybe I'll have a garden by then :).

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  2. Beautiful! But I'd take your climate over that of the east any day...

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    1. I'd take yours too ! Who needs the summer humid thing and the short short growing season.

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  3. I'm thinking about a return trip in December for their evening holiday light event. If you aren't thrilled with our climate in the summer, I don't recommend coming back in the winter...lol.

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    1. Well I must say the weather in Maine was fabulous-I guess later in summer is better ! And no need to worry about winter, I'd have to buy an entire new wardrobe !

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  4. Thanks for sharing your shots from your visit! There are some really inspiring combos, but I particularly like the pink umbellifer with what looks like a bronze Calendula. I don't miss lobstah from when I lived on the east coat, but I miss fried clams soooo much.

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    1. Oh Alison, I took many many photos in that area, it was so rich ! I tend to gorge on Atlantic seafood when I'm out yonder, and this visit was no exception.

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  5. I would have exhausted both my camera batteries there. Would have taken 1,000 photos. So amazing the lushness and as you say everything blooming at once in a short growing season. The Strobilanthes snaking through the Euphorbias particularly effective!

    Maine, who would have thought? Is it okay to visit if one doesn't eat seafood?

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    1. You can always gorge on Maine blueberries.I took about 700 but decided not to post all of them !

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  6. Wow! An impressively gorgeous and lush garden for a place with such harsh winters. Who would have thunk it? Every image is fabulous.

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    1. If you ever find yourself in Maine Peter, it's a must see !

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  7. I feel the need to take an occasional "lush" break too from the extended dry season of SoCal, especially late summer/fall. This bot. garden certainly fits the bill. One day!

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