Maine Roots

A blog about all things Maine

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

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What could be more appropriate for springtime than an adventure to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens?  (although, you might want to wait until the snow has melted).  Located in scenic Boothbay, Maine, these gardens reflect the natural landscapes and plants of coastal Maine and demonstrate the rugged, and sometimes wild, beauty of the state.

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The basin in the Vayo Meditation Garden

I visited the Botanical Gardens for the first time a couple of years ago with my mom, my sister, and my (now) husband, and I was charmed and intrigued by the extensive gardens, diverse plant life, the emphasis on education, and the opportunity for exploration.  The Botanical Gardens include their Central Gardens (which are ADA accessible, along with the Visitor Center), the Bibby & Harold Alfond Children’s Garden, a number of other gardens, and a wide variety of hiking and walking trails.

I enjoy gardening, and although I’m not (yet) as skilled or as knowledgeable as my mother, what I liked the most about the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was the variety of plant types, the interest they provided, and the emphasis on those plants that are either native to Maine or grow well there.  Some of my first memories exploring, and truly understanding, the beauty of the Maine wilderness (or, perhaps more accurately, countryside) come from my mother’s work with the Gorham Land Trust – and in particular, protecting the Rhododendron in southern Maine.  Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens features the Giles Rhododendron Garden, and although we were, unfortunately, too early to see these lovely, woody plants in bloom, this perhaps made the greatest impression on me because of its significance for my mom.

The Botanical Gardens also offers their Kitchen Garden Cafe for light fare, a  lovely Rose & Perennial Garden, and, at the time we were there, an entire display on how to plant and grow a wall of plants.  Nick downloaded an audio tour via an app that the Botanical Garden offers, and so we were guided  through the majority of our tour.  We explored quite a bit – going all the way to the waterfall overlook, visiting the Fairy Houses, and touring the Children’s Garden – which delighted us as much as it would a child.

View of the Rose & Perennial Garden

View of the Rose & Perennial Garden

I hope you are able to go and expore this garden that shares the best of coastal, southern Maine.

A view of coastal Maine from a wildlife trail

A view of coastal Maine from a wildlife trail

 

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4 thoughts on “Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

  1. Good memory Eliza. Little did I know that you were paying attention as we slogged through mushy terrain to find the Standish grove of Mountain Laurel that is so prolific in the South, but rare in cold Maine! Do you remember how thrilled I was to see so much of it towering over our heads as we travelled along winding, twisting mountain roads in South Carolina on your college tour? That was one of the best weeks of motherhood for me!

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