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GPOD on the Road: Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

Today Julie Hustvet is taking us along on a visit to one of the premiere botanical gardens in New England.

I took a trip out to Maine last fall (September 2021), so of course I had to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden (which happens also to have an extensive dahlia display).

mass planting of large foliage plantsSyneilesis aconitifolia (Zones 4–8) also goes by the common name of shredded umbrella plant, and it is easy to see why it got that name. Its beautiful leaves are especially dramatic when they first emerge in the spring, but they look wonderful well into fall.

large plant with huge green leavesGiant butter-butt (Petasites japonicus var. giganteaus, Zones 5–9) makes truly huge, dramatic leaves. This plant loves wet locations, and though the leaves are amazing, it can spread aggressively, so plant with care.

garden bed on a slope with large ornamental grassesIn late summer, the ornamental grasses come into their peak, making an airy cloud of flowers at the back of this planting.

large wood sculpture of a man in the woodsThis is part of a special exhibit of recycled wood sculptures by Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

pond surrounded by plantsThis beautiful pond is lined with naturalistic plantings that fit into the New England landscape all around.

garden bed with a large dark pink hydrangea as the focal pointThis panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 5–9) may be the variety ‘Fire Light’ or a similar cultivar that turns a strong red color as the flowers age.

mass planting of various colored dahlia flowersThese dahlias (Dahlia variabilis, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb) can bloom most of the summer, but they always peak in the fall.

entrance to a butterfly gardenInformative signage welcomes you to the butterfly and moth garden, which is filled with plants for these beautiful animals to feed on.

garden bed with pink flowers and silver foliage plantsSilver and white dominate this planting to magical effect.


Have a garden you’d like to share?

Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

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