October 26, 2010

A Visit to Asticou Azalea Garden in Maine

Right nearby Skylands, my home in Seal Harbor, Maine, is the Asticou Azalea Garden.  Located in Northeast Harbor, the Asticou Azalea Garden, part of the Asticou Inn, was designed and built in 1956 by Charles K. Savage, the owner of the inn.  In 1955, Beatrix Farrand, the renowned landscape gardener and landscape architect, announced her plans to dismantle her fabulous gardens at her Reef Point estate in Bar Harbor.  With the financial help of John D. Rockefeller Jr., Savage was able to acquire many of those specimens and fulfill his dream of building Asticou Azalea Garden, modeled after a classic Japanese design.

Early spring at the gardens begins with a flourish of cherry blossoms followed by a colorful explosion of azaleas in every imaginable shade.  During summer the gardens are verdant and peaceful.  Then, in autumn, things get exciting again with all of the colors of a typical New England fall.  The garden is owned and maintained by Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve and a committee of volunteers.  Recently, I strolled through with Shaun, my gardener in Bedford, and we got many good ideas for what to plant around the pond at my farm.  Please enjoy this stunning autumn display of the Asticou Azalea Garden.