East coast gardeners spend the winter months swooning over seed catalogs and planning trips to visit extraordinary gardens. In Maine, we are fortunate to have a happy abundance of Maine coastal gardens that can spark creativity in your garden or offer a unique venue for a special event. So from roses to lilacs, azaleas to grasses, start planning your dream garden while meandering through the best gardens of Mid-Coast Maine along with some spectacular Maine landscapes.
The Gardens of Mt Desert Island
The home of Acadia National Park, Mt. Desert Island, is also home to three diverse and breathtaking gardens:
Charles Savage’s Asticou Azalea Garden
3 Sound Dr, Northeast Harbor ME
Owned and operated by the Land and Garden Preserve, this formerly private garden houses azaleas of almost every possible color. Native Maine azaleas are nodding next to purple azaleas from the mountains of Japan. If you time it right, you can see the blooming cherry blossoms alongside flowering azaleas, starting in May through the end of June.
15 Thuya Dr, Northeast Harbor ME
Designed by Charles Savage, the creator of the Azalea Garden, the more formal English gardens here are mainly well-known for dahlias and lilies. The grounds were originally an apple orchard and housed a lodge open to the public in season. The property is 140 acres, with trails that lead to Acadia.
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden
92 Cooksey Dr, Seal Harbor ME
This third unique garden was designed in the 1930s by Beatrix Farrand. It has a mix of Asian influences, including some Korean tomb statues. It is replanted with over 6,000 annuals and perennials every year, featuring a hot color side and cool color side. Beware, the garden is only open for one day per week for the nine weeks from July to early September–reservations are a must!
The Grounds at Woodlawn
Rte 172, Ellsworth ME
Just a short drive from Captain Nickels Inn is the estate and grounds of Woodlawn. The estate is a museum, and the trails and gardens are open year-round. The formal gardens include a sizable lilac hedge (think of the sensual fragrance when in bloom), formal gardens perfect for a wedding ceremony, and a large cutting garden.
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
105 Botanical Gardens Dr, Boothbay ME
Blazing with lights during the holidays, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is full of eye-popping sights from spring through fall. There is a Native Butterfly and Moth House, Kitchen Garden, Rhododendron and Perennial Garden, Meditation Garden, and Garden of the Five Senses, to name a few. Plan on spending an entire day exploring your favorites.
The Gardens at Merryspring
30 Conway Rd, Camden ME
The Merryspring Nature Center encourages visitors to not only stroll through the multiple garden exhibits but also collect seeds from the plants, deadheading, or even weeding if they are so inclined. Enjoy the rose garden, perennials, daylilies, and pollinator garden. Make sure you check out the event schedule while you are visiting.
The Perkins Arboretum
4000 Mayflower Hill, Waterville ME
Suppose you are interested in a natural woodland setting. In that case, the trails around the Arboretum include Black Cherry, Dogwood, Paper Birch, and woodland plants like trillium, partridge berry, and wintergreen. The Perkins Arboretum is attached to Colby College in Waterville. The Perkins Arboretum is attached to Colby College in Waterville.
The Gardens at Blaine House
192 State St, Augusta ME
Additionally, if you are traveling towards Augusta, make a stop at the Gardens at Blaine House. The Blaine House is the home of Maine’s governors, and an effort has been made over the past few decades to update the grounds. Visit the traditional New England Garden with interest in all four seasons; there is an orchard of Maine apple trees. Of historical interest, the Olmsted brothers, the creators of Central Park in NYC, designed the original grounds. Recent work focuses on maintaining the integrity of the original design.
Plan Your Visit to Maine Gardens
Begin your day when visiting the best Mid-Coast Maine gardens with Captain Nickels Inn’s scrumptious multi-course breakfast. Our grounds and the view of Maine’s classic rocky shoreline will set the mood for a perfect day. So start planning your ideal getaway today!
Published: February 2023