For its 65th annual House and Garden Tour, the Camden Garden Club has chosen a fine selection of six charming houses and seven gardens in Camden, Rockport, and Hope. Spanning nearly two centuries, the properties amply illustrate the timeless pleasures of living in midcoast Maine. The tour is scheduled for Thursday, July 19, from 9:30 a.m. until 4 p.m., and will take place rain or shine.
The oldest houses on the tour are two that were built in the mid 1800s near Rockport harbor. Both beautifully demonstrate how upgrades and additions can be created while remaining faithful to the original architectural style.
The owners of one of the houses lived in their home for four years, “letting it talk to us,” they say, before making changes. The gardens take advantage of an expanse of ledge that stretches downhill from the back of the house, with plantings among the rocky outcroppings complementing gardens that edge the lawn beyond.
The second Rockport property features a breezeway connecting the house with the barn, where the former hayloft has been transformed into an elegant master suite. The house enjoys water views from the front and a large backyard graced by an arbor and a patio with gate.
Commanding a hilltop on a country road, the home of two nationally recognized artists brims with murals, ship paintings, trompe l’oeil windows, checkered floors, decorated furniture, faux-grain painting, and more. Recently completed, its façade honors centuries-old hip-roofed Federal style while its infrastructure exudes state-of-the-art efficiency.
Also on the tour, a modern saltbox offers a brightly colored, open-plan interior that includes a fiber-arts studio. Outdoors, a deck is sheltered by a just-completed, multi-layered pergola. In the garden, raised-stone perennial beds frame a brook that tumbles over rocks into a small pond where several large and contented frogs reside.
A home dedicated to informal living is tucked among tall pines on the bank of the Megunticook River. With traditional shingles and green trim, its style and setting are evocative of generations of waterfront Maine “camps.” A floating dock provides easy access for kayaking and swimming.
Finally, a garden that has been lovingly developed by its owners over the past 30 years features bursts of color throughout the season. Pathways that lead through the plantings to a brick patio have been paved with an assortment of found objects, giving the property a delightfully quirky personality.
Tour committee chair Signe Mather hopes that in addition to visiting the seven properties, tour-goers will stop for refreshments at a Garden Party to be held at Margo Moore Interiors, on Route 1 in Camden, from 2 until 6 p.m. Several Maine artisans will be on hand to display their work, ranging from jewelry to garden sculpture. A portion of all sales during the Garden Party will benefit the Camden Garden Club. Complimentary tastings of Cellardoor wines will also be offered.
Tour tickets are $25 in advance or $30 the day of the tour. They are now available for sale on line at www.camdengardenclub.com. Tickets may also be purchased in advance, beginning July 1, at the following locations: in Waldoboro at Moose Crossing Garden Center; in Rockport at Plants Unlimited and Hoboken Gardens; in Camden at K2 Music, Surroundings, and Whitehall Inn; and in Belfast at Brambles.
On the day of the tour, tickets ($30) will be sold at two locations: Northern Kingdom Music Store parking lot, Route 1 south of Camden; and Camden Hills State Park, Route 1 north of Camden.
All proceeds from the tour go toward the Club’s many community projects, including the hanging flower baskets and wreaths that decorate Camden’s lampposts; and plantings at the Public Landing, Village Green, and traffic medians, and in flower boxes around Camden. In addition, the Club funds scholarships for post-secondary study in horticulture, botany, landscape design, and environmental issues, and makes it possible for children to attend the Tanglewood 4-H camp. The Club also participates in and contributes to the Town Street Trees Program, develops special projects such as the children’s amphitheater at Laite Beach, and presents programs throughout the year that are open to the public.
For more information, please visit www.camdengardenclub.com or call 596-7263.