… on the first return (and having faith)


First born.

The flowers in Maine – from peonies to roses to poppies to I-have-no-idea-what-so-many-are-called…

Anyway, all of them.

They remind me to have faith.

Having no major gardening in my own, nor my genetic (as far as I know), history, I had a vision of gardens.  It wasn’t that I always wanted gardens. I have a very dark, if not nearly pure-black, thumb. So it sounds strange (wHierd) to people who have known my history of floral and plant-icular homicide, that I the gardens are so extensive and expansive here. But it wasn’t me, I am telling you.

The Inn* called for gardens.

And it was such a clear and insistent message, I couldn’t say no.

And I am telling you, it guided me.

I can remember feeling a rock wall in one spot, the fencing that would look right (and contain two large ShepHerds), where more roses needed to be, where we might terrace and put some stones down for tables and chairs. But then there was, of course, my lack of knowledge of specifics, which was where Jay and Michelle and Ryan came in. My landscaping gurus.

They knew so much about what I did not – structure and drainage, floral and plant varieties and preferences (all of which I labeled “defense”… as in… from me).

I was all “These colors, not these colors”, “I love the ones that look big and poofy and need ants to pollinate them.  Maybe they could be next to something green like ferns”, “Does that need to be watered, because I’ll forget”.

And, most of all, the message The Inn sent to me… flowing, not formal.  Beautiful.  Walkable. Lovely scents. Leave room for a vegetable garden later.

I have never grown vegetables.

I’m telling you, The Inn was on it.


Oh, but the faith thing.

I am so in love with the gardens, I really am.  There’s even a walking labyrinth in the back, with stones placed here and there that I imagine pull energy in from the heavens.

So every year – especially after particularly tough winter seasons – I am certain the flowers and plants that flutter and wave in the breezes of spring and summer and fall are long gone.  Never to return.

And yet… they do.

Sometimes looking a bit tired, depending on what they’ve gone through since we last saw each other…. sometimes looking better than ever.  And this year is the latter.

Right now, everyone looks refreshed.


Well rested.

Making you wonder whether they’ve, you know, had work done in the off season.

HA!  Just kidding. I just watched a Real Housewives of Orange County retrospective. 

But, oh how I love this place and, as the roses now begin emerging from the floral cocoons that have been busy forming for weeks, I am reminded…


Lavender (which I used to call “The French Purple Stuff”) at the top of the wall, with Peonies to the left, and Irises to the right… a forty foot span of day lilies runs across the front of The Inn.


Rugosa roses (“beach roses”) with a few Peonies because I can never have enough of them.


A shot from behind “Rose Row’, the rugosa in front but a mix of old world pink, white, and yellow roses along with hydrangea in the background. The hydrangea put out green/white balls about the size of an adult human head in the summer. They totally rock it.


The Inn. Crushed stone drive in the foreground and those two huge trees are wedding trees – planted long ago in honor of a bride and groom… there are three and a half pairs of them on the property (funny right? With us having thee and a half kids!)


The labyrinth area, with apple trees and a happy rhododendron. You can see the stones placed in along this part of the paths.


Carefully chosen garden accent.

There’s just no place I’d rather be.

Thanks for readin’.


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*Just a reminder that “The Inn” was once really an inn, well-known for its lobster bakes and relaxing spot by the water.  But this was back in the early 1900s. It’s been a home since about 1918/1920 as far as our research tells us.  So today, if I woke up to strangers in their bathrobes hanging out in my kitchen and waiting for breakfast, I might be a little uncomfortable…. or a lot.