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Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

by Janet Carson September 16, 2021 at 9:48 a.m.

Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine,

is a must-see for gardeners visiting Maine. Because of Covid, you do have to make advance reservations for a specific day and time. We waited until we watched the weather forecast and had breakfast, before making our reservation. Due to traffic from construction, we were 20 minutes late but they let us in anyway.

The gardens opened in the summer of 2007

and cover more than 148 acres. For a relatively young garden (only 14 years old), the gardens are well established and loaded with a diverse mix of plants.

The gardens are open daily from May 1 until October 17. There are 16 specific gardens along with several hiking trails. We covered a good portion of the garden in the 3 hours we were there, but didn’t get to see everything. A new exhibit that opened in May is the Guardians of the Seeds,

seven giant trolls created by Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

The trolls

were scattered around the gardens and were amazing recycled-wood sculptures. We found 5 of them.

It was interesting to see some of the same plants in our gardens flourishing in Maine,

and blooming almost a month or two after ours. My clethra (Summersweet) bloomed in late June to mid-July.

They were just now blooming in Maine. There were a lot of different varieties. The panicle hydrangeas were incredible—

such deep pinks and reds. All of these varieties bloom white then age to pink or red in cooler climates. In our heat, they go from white to brown. I was envious. There was a mix of plants that do well in our state, and some that don't,

and some I had never heard of before.

The weather could not have been prettier (Ok, maybe 10 degrees cooler would have been nice, but still way better than Arkansas weather). We saw hundreds of monarch butterflies, not just in the garden, but everywhere we went. They must be in their migration route and were just hanging around to enjoy the weather.

Our first night in town, we ate dinner outdoors and a monarch landed on me and stayed for over 20 minutes.

The gardens were loaded with color,

both inside and out.

The outside of the visitor’s center was an amazing garden, which was just the tip of the iceberg.

They had a huge gift store with lots of gardening items, as well as jewelry and art. Several areas had refreshment stations. Masks were required inside all buildings, but not outside. If you are ever in Maine, try to get by to see this garden. It ranks in my top 10!


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