Happy summer, friends!

Can we chat gardens? For many of us, this time of year is about sitting back and enjoying summer’s abundant blooms such as crape myrtles, daylilies, hydrangeas, etc. Yes, there’s weeding plus watering, but most of the season’s chores are done.

Until recently, I thought that the South, with its long growing season and warm temps, had an enviable advantage over the North when it came to flower power. I’m not entirely sure after spending much of July in Maine.

While in the process of designing perennial beds for our new property in
Castine, I toured the gardens of friends to see what thrived in our coastal region. I noticed that the flowers throughout town bloomed beautifully with the most brilliant colors. Overall the plants looked healthy and happy; they didn’t appear stressed. There were very few signs of insect damage. None of the peonies had any powdery mildew, which consistently plaques the ones in Maryland.

Speaking of peonies, they were flowering in July. Yes, JULY! Talk about a late season. I guess there are pros and cons everywhere. So, the northern climate means less disease, fewer bugs, healthier plants with more vibrant blooms but, alas, a shorter season.

Let’s take a look:

Peonies in July? Another reason to 💕 Maine. These beauties, cut fresh from the beds of our good friends, Carmen and Bill, graced our kitchen for over a week.

And check out these pots on our new granite stoop – nonstop action! Doesn’t Mocha look teeny compared to them? BTW, we just had the front door painted an apple green with a super high gloss sheen. I love how fresh and summery it looks.

Thanks to friends Amy and Linda, Tom and I were able to tour the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden on Mount Desert Island. This private garden is open one day a week to the public from mid July – early September with reservations in advance. Book early as slots fill up quickly.

Created by famed landscape architect Beatrix Ferrand and Mrs. Rockefeller between 1926-1930, this is a fantasy of Oriental and English ideals. Picture pristine woodlands dotted with zen-like Asian statuary surrounding an English-style flower garden with a grand lawn in the center. What you have is an oasis of cool and calm engulfing an explosion of color – pure genius and drama!

Let’s take a walk . . .

. . . through Maine woodlands carpeted by velvety moss.

Not one pine needle was out of place. A crack in the verdant forest floor reveals the tiniest babbling brook.

Through the moon gate framed by stately ostrich ferns, pops of color draw the eyes into the walled garden.

Welcome to a world of lavish English-style borders complete with perfectly groomed gravel walks, all surrounding a sunken great lawn. This is paradise in Maine!

Aren’t these delphiniums divine? I had serious envy. Clearly flowers are made for Maine.

One last stop in the oval garden for a bit of shade. The carved limestone Pagoda is Chinese from the Tang Dynasty. Hello, froggies in the reflecting pool.

Truly a garden worth visiting again and again. See more photos on my INSTAGRAM.