Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, a Fairy Village, and Heirloom Tomatoes

Missy inspired me with her post last week from the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

When we were in Maine in early July, we took a day trip to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor.

The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is very different from what Missy showed and from what I'm used to in the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. For starters, it's only been open for ten years. (Compare that to the for BBG which just celebrated the 100th anniversary of its Children's Garden.)

The CMBG is also a total grassroots organization. A group of local people got together in 1991 and decided Maine should have a botanical garden. They spent 16 years planning, fundraising, and building before opening in 2007. When we were there, they were under construction again as a huge expansion is in the works because it's been so successful.

The most noticeable difference, in my opinion, was in the types of plants. This is a garden devoted to the flora and fauna native to the area. You'll see from my photos that it's much more rustic.

There is a formal garden at the entrance, and a meditation garden near the water. You can take boat rides, or get a tour. We did it on foot.

Meditation Garden

They also had a section that completely enchanted me. It's called the Fairy House Village and children come and build their own fairy houses out of the natural materials. I took a ton of photos.

So, I've been on deadline and not cooking anything interesting. But the heirloom tomatoes have begun to appear at the farmer's market. There have been a lot of meals involving cheese, tomatoes and zucchini.

Simple but so good.


  1. Mary Cate, the garden is beautiful! Those last photos of the fairy garden had a few that made it look a little bit like Stonehenge. :)

    I love heirloom tomatoes! During the winter, they always seem to taste better than everything else at the store.

    1. Thanks, Missy. It was much "wilder" thank I'm used to, but I loved how it brought in the natural environment of being surrounded by water on the peninsula.

  2. That garden is beautiful! The pines remind me of the Black Hills, or northern Michigan. *sigh*

    And the fairy garden! What a great idea to involve the children. :) My cousin has six granddaughters and one grandson, and while the girls love anything crafty with fabric, the grandson is a bit more outdoorsy. So the two of them have worked together to create a fairy garden in the back yard. It's so much fun to see it grow as the plants become established - it really looks like a natural garden at the base of one of their trees.

    1. Jan, I always say that I can smell the difference in the air as soon as we hit Maine. That's because of all the pine trees.

  3. I love the fairy gardens!!! I did that with my daughter back in the day only we called them gnomie gardens 'cause we were big into gnomes. It's a Waldorf thing.

    My daughter brought me heirloom tomatoes seeds from California when she was on a trip but alas, I don't have a sunny enough place to grow seedlings. Tried last year and it didn't go well. But i have them tucked away in hopes I'll figure something out and be able to plant them in my garden.

    1. Gnomie gardens sound a little scarier than fairy gardens, but that would definitely fit here.

      My daughter is teaching in a nature based preschool and this is just the kind of thing they do. It's not Waldorf, but they share some similar beliefs.

  4. Very cool, Mary Cate. Of course, the whole time I was looking at those photos I kept thinking about the difference in growing seasons between Maine and Texas. While ours tends to be lengthy, theirs is quite short, I'm sure. Beautiful nonetheless.

    Jan commented that the photos with the pines reminded her of Michigan. At least one of the, reminded me of one of our tanks here on the ranch. Tanks though, not lakes. Small but pretty.

  5. I am in love with the fairy village! Oh my stars, how absolutely precious. I didn't even LOOK at the food, because the tiny fairy dwellings and "Green Mansions" type forest drew me in completely.


    I must get to Maine.


    Some way.