Garden Gallery: Beatrix Farrand in Maine

September 5, 2012

Beatrix Ferrand Garden Maine

Garland Farm in on Mt Desert Island near Bar Harbor, Maine, where Beatrix Farrand, a renowned landscape designer, lived and designed her last gardens.

Maine is a huge summer destination for New Englanders and early 20th century designer, Beatrix Farrand’s design hand can be seen at many properties.  As the summer dwindles, I thought this would be perfect to share. This garden, at Garland Farm on Mt Desert Island,  was Beatrix’s last garden where she created (for herself) a sweet space that was in perfect scale to the house and through which I can easily image her pottering (in her 80’s).  She only lived her for 3 years years before her death – which means she was at least 80 when she moved in and started this garden.  Optimistically, I am encourage by the thought that if I am just like her, I might have another 40+ years to learn more garden stuff….I hope I can keep this up that long.

Garland Farm in Bar Harbor, Maine Beatrix Ferrand

images from The Washington Examiner and Coplon Associates (who are restoring the garden – you can see more images of the restoration project on their website).  

Asticou Azalea Garden. Asticou, or the Azalea Garden as it is known locally, had been built beginning in 1956 by Charles K. Savage, using mature plantings from Reef Point, Beatrix Farrand’s Bar Harbor estate.

Reef Point, Beatrix Farrand’s Bar Harbor estate.

To celebrate his 100th birthday in 2015, David Rockefeller gifted the Preserve over 1,000 acres of land around Little Long Pond, including over 10 miles of carriage roads and 10 miles of hiking trails. This parcel, too, carried Farrand’s legacy: When John D. Rockefeller Jr. was constructing the carriage road system from 1913 until 1940 on what is now both the Preserve and Acadia National Park, Farrand had provided pro-bono consulting on road layout and planting designs. When David Rockefeller passed away in 2017, the Farrand-designed Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden joined his gift to the Preserve. Beyond the beauty of the Rockefeller estate in Seal Harbor, Maine, she left an indelible mark within what is now Acadia National Park and the Preserve.

Reef Point in Bar Harbor, facing Frenchman Bay. Her childhood at Reef Point fostered a love of plants and landscapes, and for amusement she dug and transplanted native vegetation from the surrounding forests and combined these with cultivated ornamentals. Farrand’s ethos of protecting the natural environment while cultivating intensive gardening spots of horticultural pleasure carries on today at the Preserve with over 1,200 acres of conserved, natural lands connecting our three ornamental gardens.

While studying at the Arnold, she worked with plants at the Arboretum, as well as at the Sargent family’s estate, Holm Lea, in Brookline, Massachusetts. 

 “The Azalea Border” in the April 15, 1949 edition of Arnoldia described the addition of azaleas and other acid-loving plants along Meadow Road by the Arnold Arboretum.

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