Serving as Guest Editor for Down East, the Magazine of Maine
As many you know, one of my favorite places to visit is Maine, where I have a very special home named Skylands on Mount Desert Island.
Last year, I was invited to serve as Guest Editor of the April/May 2017 issue of Down East, a wonderful magazine illuminating the culture, food and spirit of Maine. I was truly delighted with the opportunity to share my stories, thoughts and inspirations with its readers - I have so many fond memories of my time there - hiking the trails of Acadia National Park, visiting the area gardens, restaurants and shops, and restoring my beloved and historic home.
If you haven't already seen the issue, I encourage you to pick up a copy today if you can - it is on regional Maine newsstands through May 23rd. I want to thank the entire Down East team for all their hard work - in particular, Down East Special Projects Editor, Sarah Stebbins, and Earle Shettleworth Jr., one-time president of the Maine Historical Society, author of "Mount Desert Island: Somesville, Southwest Harbor, and Northeast Harbor” and "Bar Harbor,” and Maine State Historian. And, thanks to longtime member of my team, Senior Brand Relations Manager, Kimberly Dumer, for all her contributions. Enjoy this photo gallery and the spring edition of Down East. Let me know what you think in the comments section below.
Do you have a copy of the April/May issue of Down East? Here I am on the cover. This photo was taken at Skylands, my home in Maine. Get a special subscription offer by clicking on this link. goo.gl/xqNsQj (Photo by Pieter Estersohn; cover courtesy of Down East)
The issue is filled with stories inspired by my love for Maine, which began many years ago during a college vacation to the area – I talk about it in the “letter from the editor”. (Photo courtesy of Down East)
I also talk about Skylands, my home on Mount Desert Island. It is very special to me – the views of Seal Harbor from my large terrace are spectacular.
This is the front entrance of Skylands. Architect, Duncan Chandler, worked closely with landscape designer, Jens Jensen, to build this majestic pink granite structure for Edsel Ford in the 1920s – I am awed by its beauty every time I visit.
Here is my large terrace overlooking Seal Harbor. During summer, this terrace is a hub of activity for many parties and gatherings. (Photo by Lucas Acuna)
I love this view of the front entrance circle, with all the lush green plantings – purple smoke bushes, hay-scented ferns, and yellow spruce trees, Picea orientalis ‘Skylands’. Everything looks so pretty surrounded by the pink granite driveway. (Photo by Lucas Acuna)
This is the terrace entrance protected by a pair of glazed terra-cotta sphinxes designed by Emile Muller.
The Skylands Council Circle is where we enjoy fires at night and share stories. I had this circle built after finding plans for one in the original Skylands Jens Jensen blueprints. When not in use, the fire stone is covered with a copper cone.
If you follow my blog regularly, I am sure you recognize this lady. Positioned on a lower level just beneath the Western Terrace is La Riviere by Aristide Maillol. Here, she is resting comfortably in her bed of ferns.
This is my garden at Skylands. The soil is comprised of lots of red granite, and loam. It is very fertile. (Photo by Lucas Acuna)
The exterior of Skylands abounds with naturalized ferns of many types.
This is the rear entrance leading into the kitchen. Hanging baskets with Boston ferns always add a nice touch of green to the space.
I’m sitting in a very special vintage 1958 Edsel. It is my two-door six-passenger station wagon called a Roundup and only 963 were produced.
These are the steps leading to the Western Terrace, a lovely space for entertaining guests and enjoying summer meals.
Every year, we move a large amount of tropical plants from my Bedford greenhouses to Skylands. I also dedicate one spring weekend to planting all the large urns, pots and planters. It’s quite an undertaking, but I enjoy the annual task, especially with the group of friends that accompany me from year to year. (Photo by Pieter Estersohn)
The stone trough is something I bought at Trade Secrets a few years ago. It has worked perfectly here at Skylands, and looks beautiful planted up. (Photo by Pieter Estersohn)
Here, you can see my “cracked ice” pavers. Over the years, I have worked hard to restore the terraces and gardens that Jens Jensen envisioned. (Photo by Lucas Acuna)
The leaded glass windows of Skylands are a mix of diamond and rectangular shaped panes. Kiwi vines hang overhead.
The Living Hall at Skylands is always used during summer months. This grand faux-bois cement table, made by artist Carlos Cortes, is where I like to display large flower arrangements for my parties.
This garden is on the property of Ox Ledge, an old house I purchased right near Skylands, which I plan to restore.
This is a view on the way to Jordan’s Pond with the “Bubbles” in the distance.
Here’s Thunder Hole, which is best viewed two-hours before high tide.
This is Bunker’s Ledge – a small island in the mouth of Seal Harbor, where many harbor seals love to congregate and rest between feedings.
And the amazing Asticou Azalea Garden – I visit every year – so gorgeous.
Of course, for me, Maine is magical any time of year. Because of my busy calendar, I don’t often get to visit Skylands during the winter months, but Cheryl Dulong, who works there, sends me many beautiful photographs to keep me updated. This photo was taken soon after a recent winter storm from Skyland’s Terrace One looking out over Seal Harbor.
Here is the snowy terrace with a glimpse of the ocean beyond.
Snow even builds on top of the pergola above my Western Terrace – these kiwi vines, which are original to the house, have been through many snowfalls.
Here is a view from the Living Hall doors looking out onto a portion of the terrace – I love looking out at the surrounding spruce trees.
I cannot wait to return to Maine in a few weeks to see these views of the majestic Seal Harbor.
I encourage you to get an issue of Down East, and learn about all the wonderful places to visit in Maine – I am sure you too will fall in love. And for more information, go to Downeast.com. (Photo courtesy of Down East)