The summery Woolsey Garden at Aroostook Cottage, Bayside, will be open to the public Friday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., as part of Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days.

This artistically composed garden is hitting its stride, planted from scratch in the grassy yard of artist John Woolsey’s summer cottage and studio five or six years ago. Woolsey had been a self-described “enthusiastic perennial gardener” in Philadelphia, and upon purchasing this property in Bayside, he was excited to begin a new garden project where he could try new plants he had been unable to grow in the warmer Philadelphia climate, including delphiniums and nasturtiums. The first step was planting trees and shrubs.

“I got lots of help from Kate Nadeau of Stone Soup Farm. She was able to suggest plants, which would thrive in this [partial-sun and sea-air] environment. We also chose for texture, scale, and colored foliage,” Woolsey explained.

The result is the fantastic contrast of a 20-foot-high Katsura tree with heart-shaped leaves of blue and green, thread-branch cypress with wild squiggly-branched flanges, and low-lying creeping juniper. Interspersed among the branches and leaves are summer perennials featuring vibrant blooms and varied foliage.

The front garden creates a natural barrier between the Woolsey’s cottage and the busy summer road beyond and features brilliant color from tall bushy clumps of yellow Heliopsis, Golden Globe, buoyant white Shasta daisy, and native day lilies. Rustic handmade twig trellises host climbers Clematis, and Dutchman’s Pipe across the front of the screened-in porch, providing cool shade and a natural screen.

The highlight of this garden in early July will be the carpet of color created with stands of Astilbe which throw clouds of pink, white, and red into the air and combine with spires of yellow Ligularia and white and pink fluffy plumes of Filipendula give the effect of fireworks in a sea of green. Along the side of the property in an area of strong sun, visitors will also enjoy seeing raised beds of vegetables, raspberries and high bush blueberries.

A recent addition to the property is a memorial hosta garden dedicated to John’s father-in-law. Contrasting colors and shapes of shade-loving hosta, ferns, and forget-me-nots complete a peaceful atmosphere beneath the tall maples and birch along the back edge of the property. The soft dappled light here is likely to bring coolness to any hot summer day.

Directions to Woolsey Garden, 27 George Street, Bayside: From Belfast, U.S. Route 1 South, turn left to Bayside on Bayside Road at Dos Amigos Restaurant. Nine-tenths of a mile on your right (Bayside Road becomes George Street), the first house on right past West Street. Once you are close, follow the yellow “Open Garden” signs. Handicap accessible.

Tickets can be purchased at each garden, on the day of the tour for a donation of $4 for one garden, or $15 for a five-visit ticket. Proceeds from the 2011 Garden Tour will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

The 6th annual Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days, features 13 gardens in the Belfast area (Belfast, Belmont, Searsport, Searsmont, Bayside and Northport). One garden per week will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays, through August 26, rain or shine.

BGC Open Garden Days takes a break next Friday, July 8, so that garden lovers can enjoy the Waldo County Hospital Aid Garden Walk.

The Open Garden Days Series continues Friday, July 15 at the Ocean Glimpse Farm (Berk/Foley), 232 Beech Hill Road, Northport. A cooperative organic garden project planned and maintained by five gardening families on three acres of sunny fields. More than 2,000 trees and shrubs including an edible array of mulberry, peach, walnut, apple and apricot trees; a chicken coop on wheels for 25 chicks; solar marine pump brings water from dug pond to gardens; and vegetable and perennial gardens with Siberian pea shrub border.

For more information; Martha Laitin at 948-2815, by email at, or visit