Friday, August 9, 2013

Asticou Azalea Garden, Northeast Harbor, ME

Asticou Azalea Garden vista across Asticou Pond

When noted "landscape gardener" Beatrix Farrand decided in 1955 to quickly dispense with Reef Point, her family estate in Bar Harbor, for commercial development, Charles K. Savage stepped in to incorporate many of the plants in his own garden. Savage was a life-long resident of Northeast Harbor, ME, correspondent with Farrand and owner of the Asticou Inn. Charles K. Savage was a lover of native plants and avid student of Japanese garden design. With the financial support of John D. Rockefeller Jr., he purchased the plants and added them to the Asticou Azalea Garden, which he designed and built in 1956. Follow me to see what grows behind that garden wall of Asticou Azalea Garden.

The entrance to Asticou Azalea Garden from Route 198 is not immediately obvious. However, the scene from Peabody Drive will turn your head, hinting there must be a way to get in there. Here's a map of Asticou Azalea Garden for you to find and explore it.

Asticou Azalea Garden is meant for strolling. It's a small garden, so you should have plenty of time to see all of it at a leisurely pace. Paths lead visitors through various garden rooms designed in Japanese style. The rooms, many incorporating water features, inspire a sense of serenity and balance. Vistas are designed to appear much greater than they actually are. Plant species include both native and non-native selections that are appropriate to the style and climate.

East meets West beautifully in the Asticou Azalea Garden. From winter with its hushed blanket, to spring and its exuberant floral display, to late summer's water lilies and fall's explosion of the year's last hot colors (see fall photos of Asticou Azalea Garden at Martha Stewart's blog), every season will delight you with its unique textures and colors. You'll return home with lots of ideas for your own garden. I hope you will enjoy these images of Asticou I captured during my visit in May.

For more about Beatrix Farrand, see:
Dumbarton Oaks

Learn more about the history of Northeast Harbor, ME and consider Northeast Harbor for your next vacation.

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