All dig-in-the-dirt types need occasional time away from their own gardens, even when the late-summer border on the good side of the yard demands adoration as the asters, hydrangea paniculata, and windflower anemone come into their own. All dig-in-the-dirt types need occasional time away from their own gardens especially when the weedy, ignored side of the yard looks ever-more forlorn and takes on a reproachful attitude whenever the gardener passes by. Part rejuvenation, part garden-chores avoidance technique, visiting other gardens is a must for anyone who so much as plunks in a few daffodil bulbs every fall and calls it quits for the rest of the year.
There’s no question that right up until the snow flies, my own garden could benefit from an hour a day of my attention. I really do mean to lavish that kind of care on all the hardworking plants but the thing is, an invitation to visit Kennebunkport landed in my inbox. That happens sometimes and when it does I gas up the Subaru, collect my garden posse, and we all head up to Maine.
We knew we were in for a treat, the opportunity to be welcomed into the very beautiful, very private gardens of a special neighborhood in Kennebunkport, where the summer residents really know how to end the growing season in style. “Pretty soon it will be cold and brown and gray,” reminded one of our garden guides, an octogenarian who specializes in keeping gorgeous color combinations going right into October. “It’s so important to keep everything beautiful as long as possible,” she said as she showed us around her ocean-view property.
We bopped along from garden to garden, sashaying right past “private road” signs. We wandered yards, showing the kind of entitlement that would have gotten us led out in handcuffs if it were high-summer and if we weren’t on the guest list of a long-time Kennebunkport gardener and resident. Besides, as garden-gate crashers, we’re well behaved enough. We don’t stomp around in the perennial beds, or make loud comments about how the asters are clashing with the Montauk daisies. That’s how we get invited back, dontcha know.
Here are some pics as we made our way along the Atlantic coastline.