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Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden in Boothbay, Maine. The garden is 248 acres (1 km2) with a mile of waterfront on Barters Island Road. After 16 years of planning, building and planting, in 2007 the Gardens opened to the public. In addition to the gardens themselves, it features a visitor's center, which includes a seasonal cafe and gift shop.

Gardens include the Giles Rhododendron Garden, which includes a multi-level waterfall; the 2-acre (8,100 m2) Bibby and Harold Alfond Children's Garden, inspired by Maine children's literature; the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses; Rose & Perennial Garden; Burpee Kitchen Garden; Slater Forest Pond; Cleaver Event Lawn & Garden; Haney Hillside Garden; and Vayo Meditation Garden. The waterfront Fairy House Village, re-imagined in 2013, encourages children to use their imagination to build homes for the wee folk of the forest without disturbing the environment.

The gardens feature sculptures by fine artists, most of whom are from Maine. While many of the pieces are part of temporary exhibits, a good number are part of the Gardens' permanent collection.

The most-recent addition to the Central Gardens area is the Bosarge Family Education Center designed by Scott Simons Architects and Maclay Architects, which opened in 2011. The two-wing structure surrounded by zoned landscaping with native plants, 'rain gardens' and other sustainable elements earned the highest LEED Platinum (Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design) rating and attained net-zero-energy status, indicating that it generates more energy than it uses. The Education Center has flexible spaces for classes, workshops, concerts, and events, as well as office space for the education and administrative staff.

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens History

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1992. After an extensive search, in 1996 the founders and early members purchased 128 acres (0.52 km2) in Boothbay - a property that had previously been slated for development. With its diverse natural ecosystems, two-thirds of a mile (1 km) of tidal waterfront on the Back River, dramatic topography, and more than 300 native plant species (including hundreds of pink lady's slipper orchids) already on the site, the property seemed ideal. In 2005, the Pine Tree Conservation Society donated an adjacent 120 acres (0.5 km2) to the Gardens, thereby extending the area to 248 acres (1.0 km2) and the waterfront to nearly 1 mile (1.6 km).

Tom Flood, who became the Gardens' first executive director in 2001, served for two years. Maureen Heffernan joined the small-but-growing staff as executive director in early 2004. She was succeeded in 2011 by horticulturist and author William Cullina, who first joined the staff as director of horticulture in 2008.

Landscape architect Terrence J. DeWan, FASLA of Yarmouth, Maine, provided early design services. Bruce John Riddell, ASLA of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, the American Horticultural Society Landscape Architect of the year in 2010, was the principal landscape architect for the design and construction of several of the gardens within at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. Most noteworthy are the Vayo Meditation Garden, Rose & Perennial Garden; Haney Hillside Garden, and Waterfall Garden in the Giles Rhododendron Garden. Herb Schaal, FASLA, an award winning landscape architect who received the American Horticultural Society Landscape Architect of the year award in 2008 among many other honors, created a master plan for the Central Gardens and final designs for the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, Bibby and Alfond Children's Garden, and native gardens around the Bosarge Family Education Center.

In the next several years, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will complete additional features.

See also

External links

  • Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens website (Retrieved 2009-10-02.)
  • [1] William Cullina
  • [2] Terrence DeWan
  • [3] Bruce John Riddell

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