While in Maine, my mom suggested a family outing to the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens.
I’m sure I’ve made this apparently obvious over the past few years, but I LOVE flowers. I usually have a bunch of fresh peonies or ranunculus brightening up my indoor space, my balcony is adorned with white lavender and potted daisies, and I’ve been known to take road trips for the sole purpose of gazing at fields of tulips.
At the time of my mom’s suggestion, the Keukenhof was the only flower garden I’d ever visited. It’s one of the biggest and most beautiful spring gardens in the world, with a kaleidoscope of color, featuring more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. As the Dutch are known for their beautiful blooms, I was eager to see what Maine’s botanics had to offer in comparison.And so my mom packed us a delicious picnic lunch, and with my sister and gramma in tow, we hopped into the car for an early morning drive up to Boothbay, Maine.
The Botanical Gardens are open year round, from 9am to 5pm. From November 1st to April 14th you can visit the gardens for free, and in the high-season, April 15th to October 31st, there is a $14 cover charge for adults. Seniors and children get a great discount, and kids under 3 years old get in for free.Overall I would say the price is a great value, especially if you make a day out of the trip. It’s also nice to know that your contribution goes towards the maintenance of such a beautiful conservatory.
Although there is a cafe on premise at the gardens, my mom kindly prepared us a delicious picnic lunch, which we were allowed to bring in and eat under a beautiful, shaded terrace. On the menu was an incredible chicken salad, with walnuts and dried cranberries. We also had fresh fruit and a garden salad – a light and healthy spread.
After we’d filled our bellies, it was time to roam the gardens. We returned our coolers to the car, and set out to explore.Along winding stone paths, exquisite, vibrant flowers sprung up every direction. I was delighted by the natural beauty of the gardens. As mentioned, I had previously visited the Keukenhof, which I found to be highly manicured and very museum-like.However, Costal Maine Botanical Gardens embrace a much more native gardening style, boasting of many colorful plants and flowers that are indigenous to the geographic area.We hiked along a few different paths, traveling slowly so we could admire the scenery, each at a different pace. After a few hours of basking in the sun, we decided to call it a day and head over to the nearby Boothbay Harbor for an ice cream.
The next time you’re visiting Maine, I highly recommend a trip to Costal Maine Botanical Gardens. The gardens offer activities and accessibility for the whole family – there’s a playhouse with hundreds of books for the kids, benches throughout the park for relaxing, and golf carts that travel back to the visitor’s center incase you’ve wandered off to far.
You can find Costal Maine Botanical Gardens at: 132 Botanical Gardens Dr, Boothbay, ME 04537, United States and they can be reached by phone at +1-207-633-4333. There’s also a ton of great info on their site, so if you’re planning a visit, you can find everything you need to know here.
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.
― William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream