Enjoying the Garden Conservancy Open Days

July 31, 2015

By Lynda Simonton

I have been including several of the Garden Conservancy Open Days in the New England Home Calendar, so I thought it was about time I went to visit one. Braveboat Harbor Farm in Maine looked particularly enticing so my husband I woke up early on a steamy Saturday morning to head north. Unfortunately, it looked like most of the Boston metro area had done the same, so we battled the traffic heading toward the Maine beaches. After forty five minutes of stop-and-go traffic,  I proposed we turn around, but my husband insisted we stay the course. I’m so glad we did because Braveboat Harbor Farm was one of the most amazing properties I have ever toured.

According to the Cultural Landscape Foundation, the garden populates over three acres, and the oceanfront property encompasses over 100 acres. Calvin Hosmer, Jr. purchased the land in 1949 and it has been in the family ever since. The gardens were originally designed by Marion Hosmer, but you can see the personal touches of many family members throughout the grounds. This property is an utterly personal reflection of a family and it was a gift to be able to experience it. Although the gardens were “perfect” in so many ways, it was the imperfections that charmed me. Rustically constructed arbors, bird baths made from stones naturally worn by the sea tucked here and there, driftwood cleverly crafted into sculptures— all contributed to the appeal of the landscape. The loving hand of the Hosmer family was seen everywhere.

Here are some photos I snapped on my visit. They don’t do the property justice, so you just have to plan a visit for yourself next time it is open to the public.

The view of the back of the house.

Braveboat Harbor Farm

Photography by Lynda Simonton

Apples and pears are espaliered on the house and along walls of the garden

Braveboat Harbor Farm

A view of the water beyond

Braveboat Harbor Farm

One of the many spectacular ocean vistas

Braveboat Harbor Farm

The charming pond filled with ornamental glass balls

Braveboat Harbor Farm

Another view of the house

Braveboat Harbor Farm

The kitchen garden full of produce ready to be picked

Braveboat Harbor Farm

This field trip has definitely inspired me to venture out to more of the Garden Conservancy Open Days.  You can see what they have on their calendar for the rest of the year here.