Thursday, June 28, 2007

Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

This past Monday, H and I took a road trip to Boothbay, Maine to visit the new botanical garden. This garden has over 200 acres of both native and non native plants in over a dozen separate garden areas. It took us about 2 hours to walk most of the paths and I could have spent more time gawking, but then, H is not nearly into the garden scene as much as me.

Below, are some of the highlights:

The rockwork throughout the garden was spectacular! I wish I could have taken some of the granite benches home with me.I loved the serenity of the Meditation Garden.

H was in charge of the backpack with the water. Unfortunately, the garden, being quite new, many of the plantings are still immature and the annuals will not be in full bloom for another few weeks. I look forward to visiting again in a couple of years to see how it matures. I think though, that we will visit in mid to late July so we can view it in full glory.

This pond was full of croaking frogs! The native ferns throughout the gardens were beautiful and although marked, I still had difficulty telling one variety from another.

One of the things I especially like about visiting different gardens is that I can see plants I really like. This Veronica was absolutely stunning! A must have for next year's garden. The blue stood out from a distance and I can imagine it a glowing centerpiece of the garden.

Last, but not least, a visit to midcoast Maine must always mean a stop at world famous "Moody's Diner" in Waldoboro for a quick bite to eat.

And, so ended a wonderful day. The three hour road trip to Boothbay was such fun. We meandered through quaint coastal villages and spent the hours enjoying the beauty of our chosen State. Life is soooooo good!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Of Birds and Bats

(My apologies to John Steinbeck for the Title of this post!)

We had company over the Memorial Day weekend. They were delightful and we so enjoyed showing off our little corner of Heaven. They, in turn, gifted us with an oh so appropriate hostess gift from their corner of the world. This week, UPS delivered the most unique bird house we have ever seen! It's made of California wine country grape vines/roots and lots of ingenuity.

For the past couple of years, we have had a little brown bat roosting in our deck umbrella every day. He doesn't seem to mind when we open the umbrella and returns every dawn to sleep. I've been doing a bit of research on the internet and have discovered that bats are our friends, each one eating between 500 and 1000 mosquitoes every evening! My kind of friend, so, we ordered a bat house that will eventually, hopefully, encourage a 100 bat colony to roost in our neighborhood. We shall keep you informed as to our success in attracting these voracious insect vacuums.On another note, the blooms are beginning to burst in the garden. This morning, the first of the brilliant Oriental Poppies bloomed! They are absolutely spectacular, however, alas, only grace us with their beauty for such a short time.

The New Dawn Rose blushed forth with her first bud, and beside the dusky purple of the May Night Salvia, they are positively stunning!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Spring Launch of the Mango Moose

Yesterday was the first day where the weather, tides and timing were perfect for the first launch of the season for the kayak. She's big, she's beautiful and she's orange, so she was aptly christened "The Mango Moose"

We had a wonderful paddle on a relatively smooth sea, with a side trip to our favorite island picnic spot. What a great day!
Fried chicken always tastes better at a picnic!

Our collapsible "dining set" comes in quite handy for those off shore lunches.

Today is another "perfect" day, so off we go again. The garden needs tending, but that will have to wait for a day where the tides prevent us from casting off.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Boats at Sorrento

Yesterday was one of those days where I just could not get enough photos. Everywhere I looked was an opportunity to get a great shot - the sky was clear, the sea was like glass and the boats in Sorrento Harbor were as colorful as flowers. I came home with 21 pictures on the camera, one prettier than the other. Now, I have to choose which ones to add to the blog. The reflections of the boats in the water really caught my eye.

I think this shot of the lone sailboat with Cadillac Mountain and Mount Desert Island in the background was my favorite.

I could have sat on this bench all day just watching boats go in and out of the harbor

This little chipmunk was sunning himself on top of the fire hydrant.

And last, but not least, the beach roses were just beginning to bloom, we had a beautiful 3 mile walk and found lots of beach glass along the shore. A perfect day!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bananas in Maine?

Yes, I know I'm sometimes a bit goofy, but I'm talking about real bananas. Two years ago, my son in Florida sent me a small, six inch banana pup. I've been nurturing it through two winters in the house and it spends its summers on the sunny deck. Last year, she grew three pups and the original plant is now taller than me! Who says ya can't grow nanners in Maine?

I took a walk through the garden this morning to see what was new and found the "Firecracker" clematis blooming.

The plants in H's planting boxes have begun to bloom. They each have a spike, black and lime green sweet potatoes, pink verbena and a beautiful double petaled, swirled petunia. Can you tell I like pink?

I'm always looking for interesting pieces of driftwood while walking along the rocky shore. A few days ago, I found a very straight piece about 7 feet long with a "hook" on it. H just rolled his eyes and asked what in the world I was going to do with that thing as it didn't have the usual snarls and whirls I find unique in driftwood. Well...... why buy those expensive wrought iron shepherd's hooks when Mother Nature and the sea provides perfectly good ones free!

I have a small planting bed in the middle of the yard which I refer to as my "Zen Garden". The rock sculpture changes frequently when the rocks fall, or I just take a notion to change things around a bit. Finding the rock's center of gravity often takes a few minutes of calm concentration and deep breathing.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Unproductive Week

Between trying to get over a nasty cold and worrying about not being able to get out to plant the pine seedlings which came in the mail a while back, I've not been able to get much else done in the garden.

The perennial garden needs weeding, the veggie garden needs tending and planting, the pots on the deck need attention, etc, etc, etc. It's enough to make a good garden gnome frantic. So, what does a good garden gnome do instead? Since being house bound is not my idea of fun, H and I decided that despite the foggy weather outside, we were both desperately in need of food for the soul, so off we went for a foggy walk along the shore in Sorrento.

The stroll through the enveloping fog was just what the doctor might have ordered. The eerie stillness in the white mist heightens the senses. The tide was out and the aromas of ocean and seaweed filled the air. The gulls were quiet for a change and our ears strained to hear even a peep out of the normally raucous crows or the joyful, lilting songs of the warblers and sparrows.

I love the fog.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Giddy's Back!

Giddy has been on hiatus for a couple of weeks due to gardening priorities and getting ready for a house full of company over the Memorial Day weekend so there is much to catch up on in this post. Please excuse the potential length and verbosity of today's missive.

First of all, Ms. Giddy has a partner! Gunter Gnome arrived as a surprise package in the mail one day from my German cousin. He and Giddy have become fast friends while sitting near the front gate, and invite everyone to visit in their garden. When asked why he was named "Gunter", it was because our eldest son, Jason, for some strange reason, always called his Dad, Gunter.

H's sister, brother in law, nephew and wife visited with us over the Memorial Day weekend. We did warn them that May was not a good month to visit Maine due to the hordes of black flies which descend upon us during that time, but since they were visiting their kids in New Hampshire, it was the only time they would be able to visit.

Giddy, in her infinite wisdom DEETed herself liberally and often and managed to avoid any hits from the nasty little insects, however, our poor company did not fare so well and took many a lovely souvenir back home with them.

We had a whirlwind tour of the Downeast coastline on one day with a great lunch in Eastport overlooking the Passamaquoddy Bay. The crabrolls were great, piled high with lots of yummy crab.

The next day, we headed out once again, this time over to Acadia National Park for another whirlwind tour. After a stop in Sorrento, we stopped by Jordan Pond to stroll along Jordan Stream and ended up taking some great photos of the Cobblestone Bridge.

Chad and Lora brought along their Greyhound, Keeper. What a beautiful animal he is and quite the good house guest.

Keeper did make himself right at home, including digging a new flower bed for Ms. Giddy. We had been planning on putting some really good compost into that bed and he save me a lot of back breaking shoveling!

Well, dear Readers, I must away. There remains much to do in the garden and I have 100 pine seedlings to plant quickly before the rain sets in. Oh my achin' back!