We are lucky enough to live close to Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, and have always enjoyed our walks through their wonderful gardens. But a few years ago we discovered another garden on our vacation that just makes me feel like a kid. Once again this year, we spent a day there and enjoyed all it had to offer – well almost all.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is located in Boothbay, Maine on the Back River. It started from very humble beginnings. In 1992 some gardeners from the mid coast of Maine founded the gardens. It wasn't until 1996 that they acquired 128 acres of land along the Back River.
The gardens were planned to include many paths and trails as well as garden destinations. Careful adherence to the original planning has resulted in this wonderful garden.
In 2005 they were gifted with an additional 120 acres of land. Their waterfront is now nearly a mile in length. The grand opening took place in 2007 after 15 years of planning, planting and building.
In 2009 the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses – a wonder to walk through and smell and touch. At one point in the garden walk, there are many small river rocks to make the path more tactile.
In my mind, the crown jewel in this garden is the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden. It opened in 2010 and is a delight for young and old. The entrance way to the garden features three rocks that look like sea creatures. They even spray a fine mist of water every few minutes. What child wouldn't enjoy getting sprayed by a whale!
The children's garden features a small pond with a dedicated bog area. There are poly wogs, frogs and fish in the pond. And then there is the leaning garden shed and the house and the barn. All of these are places that offer activities for children. Rocking chairs and books are readily available. A vegetable garden is growing and shelters are made from the beans growing over branch structure forms. My favorite part of the entire garden is the picket fence. How cool is that!
Each Summer new art appears in the gardens. This bench is a wonderful piece of outdoor furniture. My husband was captivated by the wooden loons scattered about.
The garden also has the “greenest” building in Maine. It is the Bosarge Family Education Center and opened in 2011. Wonder what will be next?