WINTER HARBOR — The gardens in the Winter Harbor Public Library’s second annual tour Saturday, July 6, range from the Japanese-inspired to an abundance of wildflowers.
The Books ‘N’ Blooms Garden Tour will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., rain or shine, and will feature five unique gardens to explore on the Schoodic Peninsula.
In the heart of downtown Winter Harbor, Garden 1 is a spacious area facing Main Street that merges discreet paths and winding borders into a welcoming entrance to this village shop and home. Antique roses share the space with flowering fruit trees and raised vegetable gardens. Flower gardens are rich in color as a profusion of hues break in waves over the course of the growing season.
Annuals such as cosmos and snapdragons complement perennials including yarrow, catmint, peonies and lupine, and the lady’s mantle that contrasts the lime-green bouquet of flowers against the darker green foliage. These gardens offer more than a panorama of color, however, for comfortable chairs invite the visitor to rest and experience the beauty of the garden in all its detail.
In Garden 2, the lengthy driveway lined with conifers, ferns and moss conveys a sense of peace and harmony with the natural world, essential to the experience of the garden itself.
Originally designed by Patrick Chassé, this tranquil haven emphasizes the Japanese aesthetic of the house with a harmonious design of foliage and texture in shades of green and white. The woodland entrance leads into a circular “dry pool,” a yin-yang sign framed by iris, catmint, ferns, miniature roses and the delicate white sprays of Solomon’s seal.
A courtyard lined with azaleas and rhododendrons shelters a weathered bench of local stone and a rare 13th-century Korean stupa, the burial urn of a Buddhist warrior monk. Bordered by fragrant rugosa roses, the lush front lawn opens serenely onto the waters of Sand Cove, with the spacious deck and entrance of this unusual house populated with planters filled with copper-colored shrubs and flowers.
In Garden 3, four flower gardens and a generous vegetable patch flourish in this breathtaking site on the edge of Deep Cove. The beauty of these gardens testify how much a gardener can accomplish in six short years guided by imagination and attention, and enriched by gifts of shared plants and knowledge.
In truth, one of the great joys for this gardener has been seeing the smiles on the faces of “donor gardeners” as they recognize their progeny. Next to the house rises a colorful grouping of daylilies, rocket, iris, astilbe and lady’s mantle, and the front garden is adorned with a clematis, another gift, surrounded by lemon lilies, ginger plant and portulaca.
The panoramic view of the sea is framed by coreopsis, iris, sedum, veronica, Shasta daisies, peonies, bee balm, catmint, and more daylilies. A clockwise tour brings the visitor to the vegetable garden full of the staples of summer.
In Garden 4, the triumph is its creative marriage of the natural terrain and the art of landscape design to dramatize the downward movement from shore to sea.
Designed by Maine landscape architect Bruce Riddell, who will be on site, a series of terraces of increasing complexity, variety and floral ornament unfold. They are crowned by a stone garden, built by Gordon Robb, with a waterfall that echoes the gentle descending motion.
A stone border and bank of daylilies line the back and side of the house, and to the right lies the classic stone garden with a central keyhole design.
On the deck, extending from a clean-lined house designed by the owner, repose flower boxes of annuals whose hues and abundance are legendary. Beyond the garden, a view of the shoreline and island-strewn cove emerges, and a winding stone path emerges in waves of terraces cascading down toward the shore.
Springing up from the descending terraces are expertly tended hydrangeas, sedum, Siberian iris, berries, creeping juniper, and banks of ferns, an inventive tribute to the beauties of this native shore.
In Garden 5, a luxuriant border of vigorous and colorful perennials frames the approach to this sweet little Cape, showing the power of a beloved garden to distinguish a house from its neighbors.
Climbing up the front of the house are clematis and rose bushes, and on the left side rise the colorful spikes of vibrant delphiniums. The generous border boasts an eclectic medley of favorites — iris, Asiatic lilies, vivacious poppies, violets, veronica, rocket, cheerful Shasta daisies and snapdragons.
To the side of the house, treats for the palate — a handsome stand of rhubarb, and in the spacious back yard, fruit trees and a lattice of concord grapes.
Books ‘N’ Blooms Garden Tour
When: July 6, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Where: Winter Harbor, Schoodic Peninsula
How much: $20 per person
Contact: To purchase tickets, call the Winter Harbor Public Library at 963-7556 or garden tour managers at 963-4113.