The Garden Conservancy will host three private garden openings on Saturday, August 5 in York, Maine, from 10 – 4. Admission to each garden is $7 for Conservancy members and advance ticket buyers. More information and directions to the gardens may be found at https://www.gardenconservancy.org/open-days/open-days-schedule/york-county-me-open-day-3
Boardman Vegetable Gardens: The owner writes: My gardens are situated around the half-acre lot where my wife and I have lived for more than thirty-seven years. While a variety of flowers grow here, this would not be classified as an ornamental garden by any means. The property is more of a mini-homestead, where the primary goal is to grow food and other support species. Rather than exceptionally neat and orderly, you’ll find the plantings somewhat chaotic but relatively productive. Adhering to organic and permaculture principles, I use no chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Interspersed throughout the gardens are flowers and herbs which are chosen based on their ability to support pollinators, to attract beneficial insect predators, and to serve as companion plants. Numerous varieties of annual vegetables grow in raised beds. They typically include tomatoes, peppers, swiss chard, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, leeks, onions, beans, peas, squash, and garlic. The vegetables are are generally grown in mixed plantings rather than in large uniform blocks in order to discourage insect pests and diseases and to make more efficient use of limited space. We also grow perennial vegetables such as asparagus and rhubarb as well a small fruits, primarily blueberries and raspberries. In addition, we have a small flock of chickens which provides fertilizer for the gardens and which, in effect, turns weed seeds, garden trimmings, and bugs into eggs. A more recent addition is a colony of honey bees which aids in pollination and, in a good year, provides honey and wax. A solar PV array on the garage roof contributes to our efforts to be as green and self-sufficient as possible.
Braveboat Harbor Farm (pictured): This garden has been evolving over the last fifty years. It surrounds and complements a Georgian-style stone house. There are formal and informal borders, a vegetable garden, orchards, and collections of various flowering trees and shrubs. Apples and pears are espaliered on the house and along the walls of the formal front garden. Water features include a newly expanded pond in the woodland garden, a farm pond with rustic bridge, and the Atlantic Ocean. This treasure is protected by a sculpted arborvitae hedge on the northwest, a mature stand of hickory on the northeast, and an extensive screen of old lilacs on the south. New projects include expanding the collection of magnolias and rhododendrons, introducing hydrangeas, an espaliered pear fence, a woodland walk, a summerhouse with views to the pond and the sea, and replanting the front walled garden. We will be watching for the surprises Mother Nature sends us after such an unusual winter!
Pondfield: The primary garden at 33 Barrell Lane is designed to serve as the foreground and to frame the expansive view across tidal Barrell Pond, the Wiggly Bridge, and the York River. Densely planted, the color scheme is pink, purple, and blue. By contrast, a gravel courtyard is enclosed and intimate. The color scheme of the planting beds surrounding the courtyard is yellow, red, and orange.