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.
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.
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.
I also appreciate how they include outdoor sculptures throughout the gardens, most of which are for sale.
There are some wonderful water features here – so peaceful and refreshing on a hot summer day, and natural-looking, too.
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.