Thursday, August 19, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden and Wild Gardens of Acadia

Advance notice: a spectacular day field trip has been planned by The New England Wild Flower Society in Seal Harbor and Bar Harbor, Maine on Thursday, August 19, from 9 – 2:30, led by Bonnie Drexler.  Participation is limited to twenty, so register quickly at  The cost  is $60 for NEWFS members and $72 for nonmembers, and this event is sure to sell out.

Two of Mt. Desert Island’s most evocative gardens open their gates  this day.

Noted garden designer Beatrix Farrand designed a stunning garden for David and Abby Alrich Rockefeller in the late 1920’s. Today, this garden (pictured below) continues to weave an enchanting spell over its visitors, combining Asian art and architecture with vibrant displays of annuals and perennials. Enter another world as you pass through the circular Moon Gate to come upon a sunken lawn, surrounded by lavish English border gardens at their peak of summer color. Stroll the woodland “Spirit Path,” flanked by Korean tombstone figures, all the while enclosed by a rose-colored serpentine wall, capped with yellow tiles from China’s Forbidden City. Native shrubs, groundcovers, mosses and ferns shine alongside the ancient stone sculptures, some from the 14th century. Meet with the horticulture staff for a behind the scenes understanding of the Garden.

Following lunch (on your own at the nearby Jordan Pond House),  you will tour the Wild Gardens of Acadia, where we explore a microcosm of Mount Desert Island’s natural habitats. Only plants indigenous to Mt. Desert Island find a home here on this small, but intensely planted site. Over 300 native plant species are arranged by habitat setting. The plant communities include mixed woods, roadside, meadow, mountain, heath, seaside, brookside, bird thicket, coniferous woods, bog, marsh, and pond with corresponding native plants and birdlife. Maintained by the Bar Harbor Garden Club, this jewel of a native plant garden won the Homer Lucas Landscape Award from New England Wild Flower Society in 1998.