People are always telling me to go to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, but I haven't come up with a good reason to go. It's hard for me to understand why I'd want to go to a controlled natural environment garden when the entire area abounds with public access to uncontrolled natural environments. But when yet another person told me I should go, I decided, in the spirit of the next to last day in my Never Done year, that I should probably go. (There is more to say about this being the next to last day of the year -- I am still trying to figure out how to continue the practice. I am considering continuing doing something new every day and posting what that thing is, but only writing in the blog on occasion. Also, I am considering turning the blog into an interactive portal where other people can post their Never Done activities and thoughts about them.)
So after Josh and I went to Porter Preserve, one of my favorite parcels of Boothbay Regional Land Trust land, where we fell asleep on a rock in the sun, we went over to the Botanical Gardens. We got there about an hour before they closed, and it's a big place with many gardens and woods paths, so the woman who sold us tickets suggested that we go into the children's garden because it is "so magical and fun." I can't say that I expected to love the children's garden, and I was much more interested in the parts that I thought would be more like a curated forest, with native plants in a native environment, only labeled. But nonetheless, we followed her advice and started in the children's garden. It wasn't long before I felt that we were wasting our time, and that the children's garden was "stupid." (Yes, that was my word. Not one I'm particularly proud of, but one that does make Josh laugh.) The part I am proud of is that as soon as I noticed that there was an entire world we could be exploring, we practiced Decisiveness: Once you have made a decision act without hesitation, and we struck out for less manicured pastures (or paths.) But not before seeing some lovely stone work, which turned out to be throughout the entire gardens (even in the stupid children's area.)
We ended up walking all over the garden in the hour we were there -- through the Burpee Kitchen Garden, the Rose and Perennial Garden, the Haney Hillside Garden, over the Huckleberry Cove Trail (my favorite part, following alongside a beautiful rock ledge on one side, and the Sheepscott River on the other side) and to the Vayo Meditation Garden. We climbed back up the hill from the river and found the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses, where I found Hobbit xxx, which I think my mom would have loved, and eventually a stone Reflexology meditation path, which a sign invited me to walk on, barefoot. And so with long johns under my jeans, three sweaters and a wool hat, I took off my shoes, and walked along the spiraling path, and just as I was taking my last steps, a woman called down to tell us that the gates to the gardens were about to close. From stupid to sublime, an hour well-spent.
(I took lots of photos, but they are not uploading correctly. I will try again once I am at a more familiar internet connection.)