A house in Maine doesn’t have to be on the water to be lovely. Whether the views are over water, meadows, treetops, or abundant gardens, all the homes on this year’s Camden House and Garden Tour are beautiful and will make you want to stay. But imagine walking through a front door and there, through the living room, immediately seeing water, as if you were afloat. And when you get closer, more windows and more water, lapping the sand at low tide, just beyond the granite steps.
Four houses plus two other gardens are welcoming visitors to this year’s Tour, on July 17th from 9:30 to 4. Three are on salt water. Briney Breezes is one of them, whimsically named after a mobile home park in Florida. The owners built this three-storied house in 1995 on the footprint of an old, unsalvageable house that was sinking toward the sea, so they were “grandfathered,” allowed to rebuild that close to water. The architect, Jack Silverio of Lincolnville, took full advantage and created angles that follow the views: Camden Harbor past Curtis Island, the opening bay, more islands. The master bedroom beneath a turreted ceiling is wrapped with windows. The sea is everywhere in this house.
A part of the fun of visiting are the glass-front cabinets with collections of Royal Doulton figurines and David Winter cottages, and the owner’s art studio. Her paintings hang throughout the house. The perennial garden is lavish. Over the years the owners expanded the terrace, stonework, and steps, and in 2000 added a guest house. That will be open on Tour Day, as well.
In addition to the three other houses, the two gardens-only stops on the Tour will include a visit to the Barbara Furey garden which this year won the New England Region’s award for the best perennial garden created and maintained by a National Garden Club member, plus the beautiful Avena herb gardens, with morning and afternoon walks with the owner to talk about herbal medicines.
More information about the Camden House and Garden Tour can be had at www.camdengardenclub.com or by calling Signe Mather at 596-7263. Tickets can be purchased ahead of the day for $25 – online or in Camden at Surroundings and Whitehall Inn, in Rockport at Plants Unlimited, and Hoboken Gardens; in Belfast at Brambles; in Waldoboro at Moose Crossing. Tickets the day of the tour will be $30, at the Maine Sport parking lot on Route 1, Camden, and the Camden Hills State Park, Route 1, north of Camden. On the day of tour, no credit cards will be accepted. Unfortunately, much of the tour is not handicapped accessible.
All Tour proceeds make possible the hanging geranium baskets and holiday wreaths on Camden’s light posts, flower boxes and beds, the children’s amphitheater, scholarships, street trees, maintaining the Village green, and many other gifts to this community.