Sunday, October 5, 2014

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

I had not made it to the Botanical Gardens this summer, so we decided to drive up on a gorgeous fall day. Thinking that most things would be past, I wasn't ready for the beauty that was still at it's best.

Supplementing all the gardens were arrangements of pumpkins, artfully adding color.

I realized that in summer I look at the plant varieties, learning new hybrids, but in the fall it is all about structure. Color and form become more apparent. The drifts of foliage in fall colors were stunning.

I love the living roofs on both the children's garden and the labyrinth hut. In fall they take on the look of hair that has been in the sun all summer!

Living roofs are being used more and more in architecture especially in urban contexts. Keeping urban places cooler by absorbing heat instead of reflecting it back into the atmosphere, they provide good insulation and absorb rainwater.

A well done display of pumpkins..this vignette by the children's garden has really matured since I last saw it. Grasses have come in around the pond and there is something for the eye in every corner.  It reminded me of Marie Antionette's Petite Trianon...a fantasy land for children and adults!

The pumpkins lead your eye along the paths.

My favorite walk though is down to the meditation garden. We always stop at the waterfall to get ideas for water features at home. There is something satisfying about these planters and the cutout granite basin.

Probably the most familiar sight is this glass sculpture on the hill providing a beautiful contrast to the woods around it. The cut glass twinkles in the understory. Perhaps most striking this time of year, this piece becomes more part of the landscape as moss grows on the bottom and roots itself into the forest floor.

The setting sun was stunning as we reached the bottom. The only people in the meditation garden, we sat for a long time enjoying the smells and sounds around us. We might have been the only relaxed entities in the forest though. All the animals were very busy- no time for meditating! We were almost run over by squirrels running around defending territories with their squawks. Birds madly flew from tree to tree eating seeds and insects. Everyone was so focused on what they were doing we could get very close. Here a little red squirrel munches on perhaps a bud for next year. All this activity made us hungry for our own into Boothbay Harbor we went. What a perfect afternoon.

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