If you find yourself in mid-coast Maine, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) are a must-see. It is the state’s only botanical garden and one of the few botanical gardens in the U.S. with waterfront. There is now a dock making it accessible by land and water.  It is located in Boothbay in mid-coast Maine.

boothbay

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens were established in 1996 when the founders put up their own homes as collateral for the purchase of the original 128 acres.  CMBG opened in 2007 and today is 270 acres of tidal shoreland. Last year over 105,000 people visited the gardens.  It is now one of the top visitor destinations in the state of Maine.  Visitors came from 48 states, 58 countries and 6 continents.  Impressive!

CMBG---kinetic-sculpture
George Sherwood kinetic sculpture

Some of the gardens have granite stone pathways that wind through the woodlands. There is a mile of coastline.  Everything is well labeled so garden naïfs like me know what we’re looking at.  There are whimsical statues and other outdoor art placed about, manicured and themed gardens and fairy houses made by visiting children in the Children’s Garden. There are free daily activities for children that include Storytime and Chicken Feeding.   In July and August there are Fairy Fridays and those activities include Fairy Stories and a Fairy Puppet Theater.

CMBG---Fairy-House

Based on a 2011 study CMBG is estimated to generate $11.5 million dollars annually into the region’s economy and it is continuing to  expand. They are hoping to double the number of visitors, so start planning your outing!

CMBG---map-of-CMBG

If you want to make a real trip out of visiting CMBG, Boothbay and nearby Boothbay Harbor have a great deal to offer.  There are delicious restaurants, great shopping spots and charming places to stay.  The larger area of mid-coast Maine, Portland to Camden, is also wonderful.  You might never get out of Portland, the totally hip, ‘having-a-moment’ small city.  See our earlier article.

CMBG is open for admission from April 15 – October 31. This year for the first time, there will be a special ticketed event entitled Gardens Aglow from November 21 – December 31 (closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Eve), Thursdays – Sundays, 4-8 p.m. Gardens Aglow will provide visitors with dramatic light displays throughout the central gardens. There are teams of people designing light displays which will entertain people of all ages. In addition, they’re making plans for special food options, festive beverages, entertainment, and more. This will most definitely be an event that will become a new tradition for both Mainers and visitors.

Regular season admission is $16.00 per adult and $8.00 for a child.  $39.00 for a family of four.

www.mainegardens.org

Here is a beautiful book about CMBG, $29.00.

                                                                                             Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Book