Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
The mission of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is to protect, preserve, and enhance the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coastal Maine for people of all ages through horticulture, education, and research.
A Brief History:
After 16 years of planning, planting, and building, the grand opening of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens was celebrated on June 13, 2007. This ambitious project began in 1991 when a group of mid-coast Maine residents founded the grassroots organization. They, and those who worked with them and came after them, shared the belief that northern New England in general, and Maine in particular, were in need of a botanical garden.
In 1996, after a thorough search for an appropriate site, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens purchased 128 acres of pristine land with 3,600 feet of tidal shore frontage in Boothbay. This was possible due to the unhesitating willingness of founders to use their own homes as collateral.
Today Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens comprises 270 acres of tidal shoreland and in 2014 welcomed more than 100,000 guests throughout the year. To ensure the organization’s infrastructure remains sound and capable of supporting future growth in visitation, a Master Planning committee comprised of staff and board members has begun working on a 20-Year Master Plan.
What a beautiful experience. My wife and my parents and I all took a day trip to the Botanical Gardens, and we were very impressed with all it had to offer - even in early May! The botanical gardens are absolutely manicured perfectly, integrating the spirit of the forests of the surrounding area while highlighting the native flora. One of our favorite parts was the ridge trail that leads down to the exceptional Meditation Garden (which you should not miss if you go). The trail along the water is breathtaking as well - soft pine trails underfoot as you walk through the mossy forest. This is much more than your average botanical garden. The transition to a more 'arboretum' and trail feel was simply superb.
This is a really cool place. They have a number of different plants to look at learn about. All the plants are cared for very well and the facility is managed in a sustainable manner. It is recommended that you check the weather before visit to make sure the weather is favorable as most of the exhibits are outdoors. Plan to spend a couple of hours.
Went to see the Gardens A Glow. It was quite a sight for sure! The restaurant was a great meal, a little pricey but its a seasonal thing so it is to be expected I suppose. If you go plan ahead and dress warm! There is hot chocolate and kettle corn along the way. It was a bit slippery in places but not bad. Really great for the kids to see all of the lights and excitement.
Super place for flowers and coastal Maine shrubs and trees. Easy trails that aren't hard to navigate. Plenty of space to spread out and a great picture spot. Take plenty of sunscreen and allow about time to navigate and see what it all had to offer. A great spot to have a wedding.
It was beautiful and had it not been for the extreme cold and crazy crowds, it would have been an awesome time for my 3 year old and us. All kinds of parking. Gift shop items are a bit expensive. Amazing job with the lights. A couple more random observations. For really cold evenings, they should have more than just the two heater "stations" located at the hot chocolate station and spread them out a bit. Keep people informed of when the shuttle to the parking lot is coming. People had been waiting quite a while, so we just walked it, which wasn't really too awfully far anyway, but it was freezing. On that note, protected, heated shuttles would have been awesome too, but it's also not usually 10° in December. Crowds were terrible at times. It really hurt the experience in my opinion. I'd like to try again when it's less busy and a bit warmer. They should consider doing things with the lights year-round if possible!