The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay, Maine. have a children’s garden that is one of the best I have seen.
Botanical Gardens vary greatly from one place to another, but each seems to have its own special theme.
My husband and I tour the country, in the summer months, visiting garden centers around the US so that I can share my experiences with my readers.On a recent trip to the Northeast part of the country, we were fortunate to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay Harbor, Maine.
The Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are set on 200 acres. It was planned in 1991 and first opened its doors in 2007. The gardens are still growing. (New plantings were evident when we visited, as well as well established gardens.)
You can stroll at your own pace, go on a hike on one of the shady trails, enjoy a boat tour and even stroll to a lovely meditation garden area on a lake. There is something for everyone in these lovely gardens.
There are several areas of the Botanic Gardens joined by walking trails that are beautifully flanked with mass plantings of all sorts of perennials, annuals, shrubs and trees. Even succulent plantings are found at the Boothbay Harbor Gardens.
Areas of the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
There are several areas of the garden, each with its own theme and style of plantings. We discovered these sections:
- Native Butterfly House
- Cleaver Lawn
- Woodland Garden
- Haney Hillside Garden
- Slater Forest Pond
- Lerner Garden of the Five Senses
- Burpee Kitchen Garden
- Vayo Meditation Garden
- Arbor Garden
- Children’s Garden
Touring the themed areas of the Boothbay Botanical Gardens
As we began our tour, mass plantings gave way to a long and rustic curved bridge that led to a Native Butterfly house.
Outside the house, plantings of allium, coneflowers, liatris and many other perennials attracted all types of butterflies and bees.
Inside the butterfly house, the plantings gave butterflies a place to rest and feast and visitors a chance to take some lovely photos of this happening.
For another Botanical Garden that features a butterfly house, be sure to check out Springfield Botanical Garden in Missouri.
Further on, Cleaver Lawn at the Boothbay Harbor Gardens was flanked with coneflowers and other perennials that were in full force when we visited.
Adirondack chairs and a large metal sculpture graced one area of the lawn and gave visitors the perfect place to sit and relax.
A huge wooden arbor graced the entrance to the Arbor Garden and acted as a walkway to nearby areas of the gardens. It was just one of many different arbors and arches in the gardens.
Formed sculptures, rock walls, rustic bridges and lots of seating areas added texture and mood to the different garden areas.
Secluded walking trails, through wooded areas of the garden, joined the Woodland garden, Hans Hillside Garden and ended at the bottom of winding trails at the Vayo Meditation Garden, which overlooked a large lake.
The Lerner Garden of Five Senses
A huge wall of textures introduces the visitor to the Lerner Garden of Five Senses, located in the center of the Boothbay Harbor Gardens.
Wandering around this area of the garden allows visitors to experience the thrill of gardening from all of their senses: sight, smell, taste, hearing and touch.
You can explore each of your senses in the small areas of this part of the garden. Try tasting savory herbs or vegetables and use to eyes to drink in the magnificent colors of the flowers.
Touch the stonework and plants and feel the cold water in the pond area. And of course, the smell of the cottage garden flowers is just magnificent any time of the day.
Your ears will pick up the sounds of the fountain and the rustle of insects and butterflies nearby.
All in all, a splendid experience for your senses.
The Vayo Meditation Garden (Botanical Gardens – Boothbay Maine)
Meditation gardens are some of my favorite themed areas in Botanic Gardens that I visit. I love the peace and serenity of these areas as well as the hardscaping and sculptures and statues.
In Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, the Vayo Meditation area contained many granite seats and rock cropping which were surrounded by shade plants and lots of ferns.
The garden has a waterfront setting and is a harmonious blend of granite found throughout Maine in stunning patterns and shapes along with interesting plantings.
A large Zen statue graced one side of the Meditation Garden, in an area just around the corner from the main area of the Meditation garden.The focal point of the garden was a massive stone basin which has been polished to a sheen and carved around the edges.
This basin mimicked the nearby lake and was a source of peace and tranquility.
Sculptures at Boothbay Harbor Botanical Gardens
Interesting sculptures are found here and there around the garden to add a sense of the dramatic amidst the softness of the plants.
This interesting orange metal sculpture is made to look like tree roots and adds a nice dimension to the three wooden easy chairs sitting nearby.
It almost makes one wonder about the tree that would be towering above it if were live.
The Children’s Garden at the Boothbay Gardens
To me, the highlight of the Boothbay Botanic Gardens was the Children’s Garden. It was large, beautifully landscaped and filled with whimsical bits of decoration, play areas, and tactile areas with childlike touches.
I knew I was in for a treat when I spotted a fence that was formed from pickets with tops that resembled a cat’s head.
Wild flowers were planted everywhere around the fence and the paths were a delight to walk along.
Small buildings had roof areas covered with plants, succulents and grasses and formed a “living roof” look.
Even the arbors were whimsically childlike with large galvanized watering cans which held an arbor that was made of spades, hoes and shovels.
Doors to the buildings were opened by way of small trowels that acted as door knobs.
Each building beckoned the children to enter and play with things like tea services and mini kitchen areas.
Visiting kids will love every aspect of the garden, from the fun bear statues, overlooking a lush pond, to the arbor made entirely of gourd plants and all the fun things in between the two!
For another botanic garden with lots of whimsical touches, be sure to see my post on Tizer Botanic Garden. It is a delight to visit!
If you enjoy visiting Garden Centers where your child will also love the outing, instead of just tagging along, be sure to put The Coastal Maine Botanical Garden on your list of “must visit” this summer!
Where to Find the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden
The Gardens are located at 132 Botanical Gardens Drive Boothbay, Maine 04537.
You can visit the gardens daily from April 15 to October 31, with extended hours in both July and August.
Pin this post on the Boothbay Gardens for later
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