Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Botanical Gardens in late summer

On Saturday, I visited the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens with three friends, all of whom have a great appreciation of nature. We spent several hours visiting all of the major gardens, and enjoyed the flowers, trees, rocks, trails, and sculptures.
First, we visited the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses. On our way there, we passed the pumpkin pile. I enjoyed the pumpkin trail that lead from the pile. Brown, orange, yellow, and red were the predominant colors in this particular garden.
Because it was a windy day, the kinetic sculptures were in full motion. My friends were kind enough to indulge me as I tried to snap photos of their reflections in one of the sculptures. These mirrors were rotating rapidly in the wind, and were casting bright light onto tiny metal tubes all around the sculpture. Success! After many attempts, you can see Darcy and I in the right photo and Celine and Carla in the left photo! Silly, but fun;-)
Late summer brings the grasses to maturity. These gorgeous red grasses look like a type of rye grass. They were so pretty with their contrasting blue leaves! I just wish that I'd photographed the sign that identified them.
Flowers abound at the gardens, and I was attracted to the shades of red to orange to yellow... Here you see the Red Hot Poker on the left, an unidentified yellow flower with bumble bee in the middle, and a Zinnia Profusion Fire flower on the right. The lower photo shows a bromeliad. Stunning colors...
The Children's Garden never ceases to amaze me. The varieties of flowers change throughout the seasons, and the curving walkways showcase so many stunning views.
There were also gorgeous visions of blue throughout the gardens. Some of my favorites were the Gentian Purple Stem flowers (Gentiana scabra) seen on the left and middle. I was also enamored by the Mexican Blue Bells (Ruellia simplex) seen on the right and bottom. 
We saw a few monarch butterflies, cabbage butterflies, and American Painted Lady butterflies. I was only able to photograph the Painted Lady. I was also pleased to see quite a few honeybees on the Japanese Bugbane (Actaea japonica) that you see in the lower photos. Yay for flowers that support these important pollinators!
There were several varieties of hydrangeas throughout the gardens. Two of them are seen on the left. I neglected to get the names of them, but they really struck my fancy. And, I just had to photograph a balloon flower. I love the purple tip of the pistil!
Part of the fun of visiting the Botanical Gardens is the great variety of rocks throughout the pathways. The rocks are "home grown" from New England, and in particular, Maine. They really showcase the variability of colors and textures that originate from solid Earth!
The Rhododendron Garden sports the only waterfall in the Botanical Gardens. Moving water is incredibly relaxing. The sound of flowing water with the splash at the bottom is very peaceful. I could have hung out there for hours, and indeed, there are benches situated throughout the area for just that purpose.
Rocks, lichens, and moss abound at the gardens. I found this spiral carved into a rock face that we walked past. It was interesting to see that the pebbles seemed to be glued into place. Neato! The lichens and mosses add color and texture to the rock surfaces, as do the different minerals found within the rocks.
And finally, there are sculptures carved from metal and rock sprinkled throughout all of the Gardens. Two of my favorites are seen here. The fish, carved from metal, is titled, "The Codfather" while the pink granite sculpture below is titled, "Mother Earth." Absolutely loverly;-)