Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay Harbor, ME
Tour #3 Monday, June 3, 2013
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Boothbay Harbor, ME
Depart Durham: 7:30 AM and Portsmouth: 8:00 AM
Yes, it’s a long ride to the Maine Botanical Gardens and we are leaving quite early, BUT, we are stopping for coffee and snack, or breakfast, (on your own) about one hour into the trip to break it up. If you haven’t been to this garden, you are in for a real treat. It is considered a jewel of rare quality among North American gardens. It includes designs from Maine landscape architects, as well as firms of international renown. One in particular, the Giles Rhododendron and Perennial Garden was among the first planted in 2001-2002. We have timed our trip for early June to see this one specifically, it is that spectacular. The property is now comprised of 248 acres which makes it the largest botanical garden in New England and it boasts nearly a mile of tidal salt water frontage. The property is split into more than 12 different garden areas that follow the natural landscape of the wooded area with trails, ponds and even a fairy village. There are scattered areas to sit and ponder and even to meditate. As you travel through the Gardens, look for the ecologically sound planting. Discover gardens with a purpose. Examine the colors and textures and sounds that abound. This place is truly to be experienced.
Our first hour in the gardens will be a docent led tour of the Central Garden followed by a hearty sandwich and crisp salad lunch together under a tent on the garden property. Following lunch there will be sufficient time to catch a shuttle to the Rhododendron and Perennial Garden or to any other area not seen on the tour; or time to just sit and soak in the ambience or just meditate by a pond; or take a more active approach and walk along the Shoreland Trail which is dotted with stone benches where you can enjoy peaceful water views or the secluded Maine Woods Trail.
IF – it happens to rain on us too much; in the afternoon, we will take our bus into the town of Boothbay Harbor and visit the very quaint shops. Either way, we will be departing the Boothbay area between 3 and 3:30 PM. Again, we will have a stop on the way home for a comfort break.
Handicap accessibility: The Visitor Center, Education Center and Central Gardens are accessible to all people. However, due to the nature of the property some areas are not accessible to everyone.
**For an ADDITIONAL COST OF $25.00 each, 4 individual self-drive motor scooters are available and have been reserved for our group. YOU MUST CALL GAYLE HYLEN TO RESERVE ONE OF THESE SCOOTERS AHEAD OF TIME.
The cost is $72.00 per person which includes admission to garden, 3 docents, lunch, snack, taxes and gratuity (including the bus driver).
The approximate time of return: Portsmouth 7:00 PM and Durham 7:30 PM