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