Pure Summer in the Pickford Garden, July 6th with Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days

Posted July 02, 2012, at 11:28 a.m.

Friday, July 6, 2012 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Location: Pickford Garden , 132 Goosepecker Ridge Road, Freedom, ME

For more information: Diane Allmayer-Beck; 207-338-3105;

Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days series travels July 6 from 10am to 4pm to the Pickford Garden, 132 Goosepecker Ridge Road, Freedom.

Annie and Bill’s oft-used wedding and ceremony site includes old-fashioned perennial cut flower gardens, container-garden, vegetable garden, and lovely garden house. Hand built stone walls surrounds the extensive property with stunning panoramic views (including Freedom windmills). Bring a picnic to enjoy on the lawn! Tickets are $4, and purchased at the garden.

Tall evergreens and birch sway in the breeze as visitors enter the Pickford driveway, catching a sneak preview of the outcroppings of vibrant perennials and annuals which meander through this beautiful hilltop garden. Quintessential New England split-rail fencing and hand-built stone walls encircle the property, creating structure and defining garden areas. The spacious lawn which the garden now fills was once full of trees and scrub brush similar to the dense forest that still stands beyond the barn and edges of the property. “We began clearing in the mid 1980’s,” Annie Pickford recalls, “as we made space for the house.” Today waves of garden beds sprout from the planted lawn, and encircle the impressive Cape Bill has built here. “Most gardens started at the site of an old stump, or an exposed rock” Annie explains. Plants have come from friends and relatives who were moving or dividing their perennials. Each garden seems to be a little vignette of its own. Collections of potted plants, rustic bird-houses, seating areas and a unique shingled garden house invite visitors to slow down and savor the details.

The couple enjoys a relaxed method of gardening which fits their lifestyle and personalities. This method allows for intermingling of plants, and the addition or removal of garden beds as desired. A testament to doing what works for you rather than the “right way”, the garden looks completely natural and planned, as beds connect effortlessly in a cascade of hot summer blooms. Part of the success of the garden is the Pickford’s ability to let beds change as either the plants or the Pickford’s needs change. One spot that had been one of the original gardens has been in the way of a newly favored shady resting area beneath a buzzing honey locust tree. New grass is now growing in its place. “It’s gone,” Annie says without remorse as she points to the area where she and her grandson can now sit and watch nesting birds nearby. Annie has a new bed in mind for an open space beyond the garden house. She allows that most of their home time is spent outdoors in the garden and with that in mind, “it might be planted in time for the garden tour!”

Summer flowers likely to be seen in the Pickford garden include: phlox, daylilies, hollyhock, foxglove, indigo, coneflower and a glorious climbing hydrangea.

Directions to Pickford Garden, 132 Goosepecker Ridge Road, Freedom. Take Rte 7/137 Waldo Avenue (across from Camden National Bank). Follow Rte 137 west to Rte 220 intersection at Knox Corner. Go left at Hilltop Store. At bottom of hill (2 miles) go straight ahead on Halldale Road for 2 miles. Turn SHARP right on Penny Road at bottom of hill; continue to end. Property is in front of you. Turn left on Goosepecker Ridge Road and turn in at #132.

Belfast Garden Club skips Friday July 13 so that we can all attend the Hospital Aid of Waldo County General Hospital Garden Tour. Join Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days on July 20, when Peg Frees opens her garden in Searsmont.

For 7 consecutive years, Belfast Garden Club has presented Open Garden Days, a garden tour series, this year will featuring 13 gardens in the Belfast area. From backyard experimental plantings and ornate Master Gardens, to plant nurseries and vegetable plots visitors can expect to see brilliant blooms, unique and rare plants, sculpture, exquisite views and even an outdoor pizza oven. One garden will be open to the public each Friday, 10am-4pm, through August 24th plus the first Fridays of September and October. Tickets can be purchased at each garden on the day of the tour for a donation of $4 for one garden, or

$15 for a five-visit ticket. Proceeds from the 2012 Open Garden Days benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105, email, or visit