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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mt. Desert Island, part 3, Asticou

Very close to Thuya Garden in Northeast Harbor, is Asticou Azalea Garden, done in the Japanese-style. Here, and in Thuya, we constantly heard Black-throated Green Warblers singing, a beautiful musical backdrop to the gardens.

Japanes gardens have the essential elements of water, garden plants, stones, waterfalls, trees and bridges and they are all part of this garden. We looked across the calm pond to the stone bridge. We felt such a sense of serenity gazing at the reflections in the surface. Paths lead through the gardens.

Lillian's favorite part of the path is these columnar stepping stones of different heights that are so fun to cross.

The sand garden is surrounded by azaleas that came from Beatrix Farrand's garden. The white surface is raked every day. The artfully placed rocks suggest islands in a sea, reminiscent of Mt. Desert Island and the nearby smaller islands rising out of Frenchman Bay.

The garden is less flower power and more about green textures and shapes. Each tree is carefully pruned in the Japanese manner into elegant forms. We have been visiting Mt. Desert Island for years. No wonder we love it. Very few other places combine two of our favorite things so closely, great gardens and great birds.

All photos © Lillian Stokes, 2006

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