Maine Nature September 14, 2019
Ease Into Fall By Strolling Through These 9 Public Gardens In Maine
Fall is here and that means crisper weather and refreshing walks outside. We love the summertime warmth and sun, but there’s nothing wrong with these cooler days and changing leaves. We love a good hike, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy the nature of Maine without working up a sweat. Try visiting these public gardens to clear your head, enjoy the sunshine and appreciate everything Vacationland has to offer.
1. Turrets Seaside Garden, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor
Named for the turrets that stand over it, this garden has one of the best seaside views of any on this list. Sit on the granite bench and take in the Frenchman Bay towards Schoodic Peninsula. Studen Eamonn Hutton restored this garden in 2005 for his senior project and it's been thriving ever since.
Address: 105 Eden Street, Bar Harbor, ME 04609.
2. Hamilton House Grounds, South Berwick
You'll find this beautiful plot overlooking the Salmon Falls River on the grounds of a historic house. The perennial garden comes pathways for walking, a lovely pergola and they're open June through October.
Address: 40 Vaughans Lane, South Berwick, ME 03908.
3. Merryspring Nature Center, Camden
This nature center includes 66 acres of beautiful trails trees and views. There are a lot of ways to enjoy the park, including hiking, birding and walking. Visitor are even allowed to ask for cuttings to take home with them. They're open year round, which makes this a great option on those warmer winter days when you're not sure what to do.
Address: 30 Conway Road, Camden, ME 04843.
4. Viles Arboretum, Augusta
Started by the Maine Forest Service in 1981, this beautiful garden is actually an official "Demonstration Tree Garden." It offers 224 acres of land with 6 miles of trails. You can visit from dusk until dawn all year.
Address: 153 Hospital Street, Augusta, ME 04330.
5. McLaughlin Garden, South Paris
Now thriving for over 20 years, this garden was once owned by Bernard McLaughlin who loved collected Irises. The garden is maintained by by the non-profit McLaughlin Foundation to keep the land from being developed. You can visit from May through October, but they're closed on Monday.
Address: 97 Main Street, South Paris, ME 04281.
6. Celia Thaxter’s Garden, Isle of Shoals
At 15’ x 50’, this garden on the island off the coast of Kittery is smaller than some of the others. But it's beautiful with interesting history. The garden was the source of cut flowers for the hotel built by Celia Thaxter's father and it was the inspiration for her book, An Island Garden. Visit the garden by boat. Learn more on their
Kittery Point, ME 03905.
7. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay
This famous Maine garden can't be missed. It's located on 128 acres, 3,600 of which is right along the coast. As you can imagine the views can't be beat! There are a variety of different types of gardens here, so be sure to make time to visit them all. They're open through the end of October, but open again from November through early January for the beloved "Gardens Aglow" event.
Address: 132 Botanical Gardens Drive, Boothbay, ME 04537.
8. University of Maine Gardens, Tidewater Farm, Falmouth
This year round garden is actually many different gardens all part of one network here at Tidewater Farm. It's maintained by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension Master Gardeners and even includes a veggie garden that provides over 1,500 pounds of produce for local pantries.
Address: 028, r04, Falmouth, ME 04105.
9. Wadsworth-Longfellow House Gardens, Portland
Longfellow's house is a great place to visit if you love literary history, but the hidden gardens in the back are am added bonus. They're well maintained and offer a wonderful refuge from the city. It's open to the public daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. May through October.
Address: 489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101.
For more information on the childrens’ garden hidden away here in Maine, check out