I am an avid flower photographer but most of the photographers I travel with are only interested on a limited basis, if that. So throughout our time in Maine, I had resisted going to any botanical gardens. I just made images of flowers when and where I saw them. But on our last day…
I asked the group if there was any place they wanted to go and when they did not have a preference I said I wanted to catch a garden that was not too far from the rental house.
Asticou Azalea Garden
Asticou Azalea Garden is a small botanical garden in Northeast Harbor, part of Mount Desert.
Details from Wikipedia:
The Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine, United States, is a popular visitor attraction. It was created by a lifelong resident of the village, Charles Kenneth Savage, in 1956. Savage also created Reef Point Estate in nearby Bar Harbor. It was from Reef Point that several specimens, with the financial assistance of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., were moved, including the weeping hemlock, just north of the main bridge.
It features a selection of rhododendrons and azaleas, including the Rhododendron canadense, Maine’s native azalea. Styled after a Japanese stroll garden, the fine-gravel paths are raked regularly in a manner that suggests flowing water. There is also a sand garden, where this effect is repeated but with the addition of stones, which are meant to represent islands.
Savage was also the owner of the Asticou Inn, which is located on the opposite side of Peabody Drive. Group photographs for weddings at the inn are often taken in the Garden.
In September, the azaleas and rhododendrons are not blooming but they have some gardens of anemones that I have always loved.
They have a succulent section so I spent some time there.
Some of the trees were blooming.
Upon reviewing the map we found that there was a trail through the woods across the street so we decided to check it out.
There is a small stream that goes through the woods flowing down towards the harbor but the lighting was so spotty that it was impossible to get a good image in there. The trail at one point was on a wooden path!
After the walk through the woods we decided to head on over to the Asticou Inn which is across the street from the gardens. While we waited for everyone to gather, I walked around to the back and found several beds that were full of flowers. Once again the light was not great, this time, too much sun, so I was only able to get a few images.
As I walked around the beds I heard the unmistakable sound of a hummingbird. I quickly moved over in that direction and watched as it landed on a branch at the side of the lawn. I slowly moved a few steps at a time to get closer and closer. Since I did not have my long telephoto lens with me I did the best I could with what I had.
I was able to get within about 50 ft before she started looking nervous so I backed off. This is a very cropped image!
I made my way back around to the front of the inn and the group decided to have lunch there. We put our name on the list and went back out to the big porch to wait.
There were some flowers in pots so we ran around shooting those. One of our group (the one who always says he hates flower photography), was stopped by a couple of women who were also waiting. As usual, they wanted to know if we were a camera club and where we were from. My friend let them know we were from a club in Tampa, FL and that we had been over at the Asticou Azalea Garden that morning.
Then they proceeded to tell him about another garden that was close by!
He called me over and they told me about Thuya Gardens. That turned out to be the best advice we could have gotten. But more on that on my next post!
We finally made it in for our scrumptious final lunch in Maine and we had to have some of their famous Popovers. They bring them to you as they come out of the oven…yummmmm!
We finished lunch and the group decided to humor me and go to the garden up the road!
That will be the subject of my next blog post.
For larger versions of these images please click on the image or check out my gallery for additional images.
That is all for now!