Gardens to visit within an hour of the Camden, Maine area
It’s early March as I write this, getting in a few hours at the office before we get another foot or so of fresh snow. Spring is technically just two weeks away, however, and I’ve got spring and flowers on my mind!
Whatever time of year you visit Midcoast Maine, there’s natural beauty to be found here. In Camden–“where the mountains meet the sea”–the rolling Camden Hills offer a scenic backdrop to the town in any season, and the shifting colors and moods of the harbor and bay always fascinate.
But if you’re here for a summer stay, there are flowers and winding garden paths to enjoy!
Here’s a short list of some of our favorite publicly-accessible gardens within an hour or so of the Camden area, that you could easily visit from the home base of one of our rental homes:
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay–With over 295 acres, including thousands of feet of tidal shore frontage, this spectacular garden gem celebrated its ten-year anniversary in 2017. The interactive children’s garden alone is worth a family visit! Also features a five senses garden, rose garden, rhododendron garden, water-view meditation garden, woodland garden, fairy house village, hiking trails, changing art installations, and more. Offers an onsite visitor’s center with cafe and gift shop. Open April 15 – October 31. Admission fee.
Merryspring Nature Center, Camden-Rockport–One of Camden’s hidden jewels, this 66-acre park includes a 10-acre arboretum, hiking trails, and lovely cultivated gardens including rose and daylily gardens. Open year-round during daylight hours. Free.
Children’s Chapel, Rockport–This non-denominational outdoor chapel, a very popular wedding spot, is tucked away off a dirt road on Rockport’s Beauchamp Point. It boasts an ocean view and is surrounded by well-tended formal gardens and lawns. Open mid-April – October. Free.
Viles Arboretum, Augusta–This 224-acre park was first developed by the Maine Forest Service in the 1980s. The grounds now feature six miles of well-marked trails, notable collections of hostas, lilacs, and various trees, and a visitor’s center with gift shop. Open year-round during daylight hours. Free.
Blaine House Gardens, Augusta–The Governor’s Mansion in our state capital was designed and first developed by the Olmsted brothers, noted landscape architects, back in the 1920s. The New England Garden, the third phase of recent restoration/renovation work at the Blaine House, was completed just over ten years ago under then-First Lady Karen Baldacci. Open May 1 – October 1, for self-guided tours by appointment only, limited hours.
And if you’re interested in flower gardens, a few of our weekly vacation rental homes in Camden offer especially lovely grounds, including Chestnut House and Great Oak House. Give us a call for more information!