Garden Photo of the Day

GPOD on the Road: Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

A stunning New England garden

pond at Coastal Maine Botanical Garden

Today Julie Hustvet is taking us along on a visit to one of the premiere botanical gardens in New England.

I took a trip out to Maine last fall (September 2021), so of course I had to visit the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden (which happens also to have an extensive dahlia display).

mass planting of large foliage plantsSyneilesis aconitifolia (Zones 4–8) also goes by the common name of shredded umbrella plant, and it is easy to see why it got that name. Its beautiful leaves are especially dramatic when they first emerge in the spring, but they look wonderful well into fall.

large plant with huge green leavesGiant butterbur (Petasites japonicus var. giganteaus, Zones 5–9) makes truly huge, dramatic leaves. This plant loves wet locations, and though the leaves are amazing, it can spread aggressively, so plant with care.

garden bed on a slope with large ornamental grassesIn late summer, the ornamental grasses come into their peak, making an airy cloud of flowers at the back of this planting.

large wood sculpture of a man in the woodsThis is part of a special exhibit of recycled wood sculptures by Danish artist Thomas Dambo.

pond surrounded by plantsThis beautiful pond is lined with naturalistic plantings that fit into the New England landscape all around.

garden bed with a large dark pink hydrangea as the focal pointThis panicle hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata, Zones 5–9) may be the variety ‘Fire Light’ or a similar cultivar that turns a strong red color as the flowers age.

mass planting of various colored dahlia flowersThese dahlias (Dahlia variabilis, Zones 8–10 or as a tender bulb) can bloom most of the summer, but they always peak in the fall.

entrance to a butterfly gardenInformative signage welcomes you to the butterfly and moth garden, which is filled with plants for these beautiful animals to feed on.

garden bed with pink flowers and silver foliage plantsSilver and white dominate this planting to magical effect.


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View Comments


  1. User avater
    treasuresmom 04/01/2022

    Love that wood sculpture. Thanks for including it.

  2. cheryl_c 04/01/2022

    We visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens within their first several years of being open, and it was already an impressive and inspirational series of gardens. Thanks for bringing back some wonderful memories. I would strongly recommend that all GPOD'ers jump at the chance to visit this amazing place.

  3. User avater
    simplesue 04/01/2022

    That was fun seeing pictures of the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden!
    I'm especially excited to learn from you, about the hardy tropical looking Shredded Umbrella Plant- it's something I've never heard about before...maybe I can squeeze in one more plant into my little garden.

  4. btucker9675 04/01/2022

    What a wonderful garden and I especially love the wooden sculpture. Giggled in an extremely mature fashion at the "giant butter-butt"!

  5. user-5117752 04/03/2022

    My parents owned a summer home in Maine for many years. There's something very special about gardening there. Maybe the Botanical Garden didn't exist then but my Mother had a beautiful garden with the most beautiful blue Hydrangeas. That wood sculpture is truly an amazing delight!!!

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