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Open Garden Days

Japanese-inspired design on display at Young-Robie garden June 14

Jun 03, 2019
Rhododendrons and hostas are among plants featured in this Japanese-inspired garden in Northport, on display to visitors June 14.

Northport — Eclectic gardens and breathtaking views of Penobscot Bay are on the agenda for Belfast Garden Club’s first Open Garden Day Friday, June 14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m, rain or shine.

Homeowners Karen Young and Paul Robie will welcome visitors to their naturalistic landscape at 220 Upper Bluff Road. A $5 donation helps the club fund public garden initiatives and a Unity College scholarship.

When Young and Robie bought their 18-acre oceanfront property more than 30 years ago, land that wasn’t wooded or precipitous was covered with waist-high brush. Inspired by Japanese landscape design, they carved gardens out of the rocky soil, bordering them with the unearthed rocks and strategically placing larger stones to create sculptural interest.

Young and Robie also love color, which is evident in the annuals that fill containers and accent the perennial beds. Mature rhododendrons, Siberian irises, Rosas rugosa, and lady slippers typically are in bloom in June. Raised beds contain vegetable plants and a beehive on the property is evidence of the owners' wish to create gardens that attract pollinators and thrive with minimal use of manufactured chemicals.

An in-progress, trellis-topped water feature is on a steep, rough trail down to a tea house designed after the building at Thuya Gardens on Mt. Desert Island. It offers another view of the bay, and was sited to view summer moonrises.

The Young and Robie garden is across from Mt. Percival Preserve. For directions, visit or use Google Maps or a GPS device.

See gardens at their best every Friday through Aug. 23 (except June 28 and July 5). Individual $5 tickets or a $30 season pass, which provides nine admissions to gardens, are available onsite or in advance at Aubuchon Hardware, Left Bank Books, or The Good Table in Belfast.

Belfast Garden Club has promoted public gardens and stimulated the knowledge and love of gardening for 90 years. To suggest a garden or farm in Waldo County to include in next year’s Open Garden Days, email Susan Conard (

Open Garden Days schedule

June 14: Young & Robie Garden, 220 Upper Bluff Road, Northport. Naturalistic landscape and informal gardens with perennials, annuals, and vegetables offer views of Penobscot Bay. Some rugged terrain.

June 21: Anthony & Greeley Garden, 291 Hatch Road, Jackson. Artist’s landscape with mountain views incorporates pocket gardens, a rock garden, unusual tree species, and pond with bridges. Plants for sale and iced tea. Pasture walk at 1 p.m.

July 12: Oates & Faunce Garden & Studio, 181 Searsport Ave., East Belfast. An informal English cottage garden on the site of Mainely Pottery. Stroll through the shop and studio, as well as the garden.

July 19: Fotterall Garden, 71 Bayview St., Belfast. A tightly planted and textured hidden backyard garden with structural stone walls and stairs. Lots new to see since last open in 2016.

July 26: Lovecchio Garden & Home, 54 Bay Road, Lincolnville. Landscape includes ornamentals, flowering shrubs and perennials in informal gardens that integrate natural beauty of the woods and view of Penobscot Bay.

Aug. 2: Lojek & Stalla Garden, 3 Green St., Belfast. English-style garden features perennials, flowering shrubs and evergreens, as well as a hidden vegetable garden, pergola with fire pit, and pond with a fountain.

Aug. 9: Millard & Wesson Garden & Home, 29 Wight St., Belfast. A tidy working garden supplies its owners with fruits, berries and assorted veggies. Flowers and perennials add to its beauty.

Aug. 16: Earley, Reid & Suworoff Gardens, 115 & 129 Cedar St., Belfast. Garden at 115 Cedar St. supports a number of uses in a very small space. Small, mixed-use garden at 129 Cedar St. features perennials, herbs, and a fenced backyard with vegetable beds, quirky garden shed, and more.

Aug. 23: Troy Howard Middle School Garden, 98 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Students participate in everything from design to seed saving in greenhouse and garden of mixed vegetables and flowers, which provides 1,000-plus pounds of produce for school cafeteria.




View of Penobscot Bay from Karen Young and Paul Robie’s garden in Northport.
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