Saturday, August 24th, 2013
It was a spectacular, late August morning. It was a marvelous day for a bus ride to Boothbay Harbor. It was a perfect day to travel with friends to the
Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the feeling of it all would surely not be forgotten soon, especially by yours truly.
I was a skeptic at first, wondering how I would handle all of the amazing array of plant life. I was doubtful if I would be able to enjoy myself without
the visual electricity of the gardens. It didn’t take me long to realize that there was so much more than seeing the beauty, for it was all around me.
Everywhere I turned, every direction I swept my cane, every step I took, I could feel the dazzling colors and breathe in the aromatic fragrances of what
is known as the most amazing botanical achievement in the country.
Our party was guided through the mazes, past the walls of life, along the senses abound by a wonderful gentleman named Wells. He knew the gardens like
the back of his hand, and his calming knowledge and soothing insight quickly spread amongst us all as he told story after story of how the gardens came
to be, and the ideas and thoughts behind its designs and character.
The Gardens sit on a parcel of land roughly 250 acres, with almost a mile of coastal frontage. After nearly fifteen years of hard work, the gardens finally
opened several years ago, and were quickly hailed as one of the best of its kind in the world. After a few turns to the left, a couple steps to the right,
and the cool mist from a couple of squirting whales it was plain to see exactly why. Several times during the guided tour, I felt as though I was in a
made up land of magical plants and mystical powers of Mother’s Nature.
From the paint brush strokes of the hydrangea’s, to the rainbow bouquet of assorted roses, to the huge animated carrot and cabbage, it grabbed hold of
my senses and took control. Several times, after hearing what we were approaching next, I sighed and held my breath while I listened and took in the descriptions
of the surroundings. I wanted to grab a bucket, a hand trowel and a shovel and start digging up some goodies to take home with me. I’d probably still be
there if it was allowable, and if I had enough buckets.
I would surely recommend the Gardens to anybody who has even the smallest inkling of love of plants. This place, this wonderment, this encyclopedia of
what this planet has to offer is sure to gather the passionate attention of all who veer off of Route 1, just north of Wiscasset. The mind will not be
the same on the ride home, as mine was swirling with maples and hostas and thyme and aromas galore.
Thanks go out to ACB of Maine and especially Mary Ellen for a well planned adventure. I do hope that this becomes an annual event, and I can’t wait to
take my grandson Jack-Jack. He is a lover of flowers, and I am sure that he will adore the children’s gardens, as I did myself.
Do visit the Maine Coastal Botanical Gardens if you get a chance, and if you don’t get a chance, find a way to make one up. It’s well worth your investment,
as its rewards are far more than meets the eye.
Thanks again to the folks on the bus, for your friendship, your camaraderie, and your help with my orientation and mobility during this extraordinary adventure.
Best to you all.