Ocean views give garden cache

Posted July 31, 2011, at 9:03 p.m.

NORTHPORT — A stunning ocean view plays backdrop to a lovely selection of summer flowers, shrubs and trees as the Belfast Garden Club features the bluff-top garden of Lisa Webster 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at 746 Shore Road, Bayside.

This summer garden project was begun 10 years ago when the Websters chose Bayside as their vacation residence. “The previous owner had a large central bed of hostas, which was all that was here when we started,” Lisa remembers. The family has a short window in which to garden, and plants have been chosen to bloom during high summer. The once hostacentric central bed now blooms with an array of color — lilies, purple climbing clematis and coreopsis around a towering artistic birdhouse, and that over the past few years has become a favorite Bayside painting subject for local artists.

New beds have been added across the front of the property, adorning the panoramic view of the mouth of the Passagassawakeag River, Searsport and Penobscot Bay. This location, atop a large cliff, is subject to weather extremes so creative landscaping and hearty perennials were chosen to be able to withstand salt mist and wind. “I started the bluff garden to keep the kids from running over the edge,” Lisa recalls. “Now they are old enough not to need that, but it is beautiful to look at.” Lilies, ‘French Lace’ weigela, purple spirea, liatris and echinacea create a colorful border, which also tames the wild native plantings holding up the bluff below.

At the street, under several very tall and ancient oak trees, lies one of the newest additions to the garden. About four years ago a berm was created slightly above street level and filled with cedar, Japanese maple, heather and evergreens — a creative and friendly way to add more privacy to the Websters’ yard.

A wonderful small pond and bubbling waterfall were built by Lisa’s 14-year-old son, complete with fish, frogs and lily pads. Other garden features include creeping plants along the house, a vintage birdbath, window boxes and wicker baskets on mailbox posts. Step down to the deck just above the ocean to see which native erosion control plants you can identify.

Directions to Webster Garden, 746 Shore Road, Bayside: From Belfast: U.S. Route 1 south, turn left on Bayside Road; bear right to Bluff Road (no sign); pass several streets and turn left on Cobe Road; turn right at end of Cobe Road on Shore Road, 0.2 miles on left. Once close follow the yellow “Open Garden” signs. The garden is handicapped-accessible.

Tickets for Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days may be purchased at each garden the day of the tour for a donation of $4. Proceeds from the Garden Tour will benefit the club’s civic beautification projects.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days contact Diane Allmayer-Beck at 948-2815 or 338-3105, or belfastgardenclub@gmail.com, or visit http://www.belfastgardenclub.org/.

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