Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Asticou Garden

The original Asticou Azalea Garden was built in 1956 and 1957 largely as the result of the passion and vision of Charles K. Savage, a long-time resident of Northeast Harbor. Much of the early financial support to create the garden came from John D. Rockefeller, Jr..

Savage had a great appreciation for Japanese styled gardens and the underlying philosophy. He studied them and came up with a design that combined aspects of the Japanese stroll garden with unique characteristics of the Maine coastal setting with the rocks, water and vegetation. Many revisions have taken place over the years. Today, the garden is owned and maintained by the Mount Desert Land and Garden Preserve and a committee of volunteers. We saw a young woman working in the garden, trimming the edges with hand clippers. She was finishing her degree in botany, I think, and planned to work at the garden full time.
The beauty of the Azalea Garden changes and evolves throughout the year. A flowering cherry tree heralds the start of the season in mid-May. This is followed by a myriad of colorful azaleas and rhododendrons which bloom from late May through June. July blooms include Japanese iris, smoke bush, rosebay rhododendron, and the fragrant sweet azalea. August is a peaceful time accented by blooming water lilies and in September and October the garden is ablaze with fall colors.

Our friends, Matt and Tavia, visit the gardens each year when they go to Maine, and encouraged us not to miss this. I'll have to encourage her to go in the early summer some year, to see all the azaleas and rhododendrons in bloom, to say nothing of the fragrant apple trees! All the Maine bees are in heaven here.
Trillium erectum
Star flower in moss
Trillium grande flora
Yet tucked away under the overpowering blossoms of the azaleas and rhododendrons, are quiet little samples of native wildflowers, adding a special reward to those who observe closely.
Many people come just to sit and meditate or be quiet themselves, and I would certainly agree.
Maine Popover
For the last stop of the last day in Maine, we went back to Jordan Pond House. The restaurant there is renowned for their HUGE popovers. We had some at another place which were only half this size. The servers brought us each one at a time, so they would be hot, and you put butter and jelly on them after tearing them open, to expose the hollow steaming center. I thought they would require some special kind of muffin tin, but the server said they used the regular 12 hole muffin tin, but didn't use all the holes. This was a great end to a wonderful vacation, and we got all our luggage inside at Bangor airport before it started to rain. 

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