BELFAST — Learn how one couple created an idyllic outdoor space near downtown Belfast as the Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days continue Friday, Aug. 19.

The gardens of Meg Berger and Ronald Cooper at 76 Miller St. will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, as part of the garden club’s seasonal celebration of area gardens Fridays through Aug. 26. Admission is $5.

Berger and Cooper moved into the house at the corner of Miller and Charles streets six years ago. Their garden plan “all started with a patio, or the lack thereof,” Berger said.

Patio at the home of Meg Berger and Ronald Cooper in Belfast. Courtesy of Meg Berger and Ronald Cooper


The side yard sloped down quickly into a big open area. They loved having a sunny area for sports and games, but wanted a patio for eating, relaxing and entertaining outdoors. They also wanted more privacy from busy Miller Street.

Lee Schneller Fine Gardens of Warren, well-known for Japanese-inspired designs, helped them create a haven that draws the living space of the house outdoors to a brick and stone patio representing water flowing around small islands.

Perennials provide color and interest from early May through late November. A stone walkway leads down to the open lawn. A moss garden accents a smaller, more secluded second patio.

The side yard at the Berger-Cooper home on Miller Street in Belfast. Courtesy of Meg Berger and Ronald Cooper


“Trees and flowers in the borders provide definition to the yard and give privacy,” Berger said. “In summer, planting boxes yield herbs and vegetables that bring the bounty of the outdoors inside.”

The three-year project was expanded to include a walkway and perennial border at the front entrance to the house. One of Maine’s oldest Japanese tree lilacs dominates the small front yard.

For more about Open Garden Days, visit Proceeds fund the garden club’s school programs, camp scholarships, library donations, and Belfast’s public gardens.