Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

A walking trail near the water

Recently, I took a Master Gardener day trip to Boothbay, ME, home of the spectacular Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. The gardens are relatively new, having opened in 2007. They employ the latest and best gardening practices, and they have the money to do it right – about $21 million in donations so far.

They left the rocks and planted around them. Yay!

What I mean by best gardening practices is they have preserved what is naturally beautiful on the  248-acre property and have planted to enhance, not obscure it. Native plants are used extensively, but are by no means the only plants featured. The criterion seems to be hardiness, which is necessary here in mid-coast Maine, where winters are very cold.

One of the jaw-dropping views

This is now the largest botanical garden in New England. It is situated along a salt water river, and the designers thoughtfully added benches and other sitting areas, so you could pause,  take in the maritime view and even watch a seabird or two.

A natural rock bench

I also appreciate how they include outdoor sculptures throughout the gardens, most of which are for sale.

"Forest Trout" for sale

There are some wonderful water features here – so peaceful and refreshing on a hot summer day, and  natural-looking, too.

This stream looks like it's always been here.

Admission to the gardens is $12 for adults and there are special prices for children and seniors. Admission is free from December to March.

If you find yourself anywhere near these gardens, just go.

This basin is a sculpture AND a water feature. Note bench behind.


About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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6 Responses to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

  1. gardenpest says:

    My favorite spot. 4 hours wasn’t enough time to explore all the gardens. That last photo of the large stone with water is the meditation garden, isn’t it?

    And its organic garden supplies veggies and herbs for their delish organic cafe.

    It took a group of dedicated folks about 12 yrs to see this project realized.

    A destination garden, yes!


  2. I was on that tour as well and was amazed at the new children’s garden that was not open last May when I first visited. this is definitely a garden worth visiting at different seasons.

    As mentioned in the original post the benches are situated just where they should be in shade or with a view. And they are all granite. The paths are stone dust and easy to traverse. There are no hidden roots or rocks to stumble on. Bird life was active and a pair of cedar waxwings were spotted ferrying food and nest debris.

    If you need ideas for what to plant in the summer perennial garden, then be sure to visit this terrific garden and get a load of new ideas for plants and plant combinations. Many trees and perennials re also labeled for easy reference. bring the children or grandchildren to explore the awesome children’s garden!! so many plants are way taller than the kids, they’ll get a kick out of that!


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