Friday, July 27, 2012 10 a.m. to 10 a.m.
Location: Tuva Bakery, 17 Tuva Trail, Lincolnville Center, Maine
For more information: Belfast Garden Club, Diane Allmayer-Beck; 207-338-3105; belfastgardenclub.org
Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days series next visits the Larson Garden at Tuva Bakery, 17 Tuva Trail, Lincolnville Center on Friday, July 27 from 10am-4pm. Tickets can be purchased at the garden for $4 or $15 for a 5-garden ticket. Proceeds benefit Belfast Garden Club’s civic beautification projects.
Tucked away under tall shady oaks Greg Larson’s mature woodland garden surrounds his home and business, the Tuva Bakery. Over the past 18 years he has developed the landscape into a four-season pleasure with a distinct Asian influence focused on specimen trees and shrubs with strong structural components, rich contrasting colors, and year-round interest. “I tend to feature less common varieties of plantings that will last a long time,” he gestures to favorites including the camouflaged barked Japanese stewartia (currently in bloom), and 6 varieties of cypress with a wide range of foliage.
Larson describes his garden artistically as “…more like sculpture than painting.” The focus is on the clearing of space, on form of branches and the relation of the plantings to each other rather than on flashy blooms. A large canopy dances over much of the garden, pools of shade cool the green-forested understory nestled below. Larson has spent years fine-tuning this understory, clearing underbrush and exposing rock formations. Elements now on display include a 100 yr old farm stonewall, and several distinct stone outcroppings growing their own tiny moss and sedum gardens in natural cavities. Traditional shade lovers such as hosta, ferns, and Pulmonaria thrive.
A strong spiritual element is evident here; concepts such as patience, change, and flexibility are practiced daily. The garden is in a steady state of transition. Over time Larson may notice that one plant isn’t faring as well as it might, or has outgrown its current location, he finds it easy to release the concept he had for that area of the garden, and relocate the plant it to the appropriate location of the moment. ”I’m like a scientist, if I discover a misplant I’ll move it and find out what it really needs,” he says. “The books will tell you about what the plants will be like for 8-10 years, but I’m going on 20 years with many of these. Things are now very different.” That flexibility has kept the gardens fresh and the energy moving he explained.
Larson had exposure to gardens as a youth, his mother and grandmother were both gardeners, however he feels this garden was inspired by the Brooklyn Botanical Garden a spot he visited often when he lived nearby for many years. “It was wonderful, I was the first one in each day. I could wander, practice Tai chi, and look at the plants, ” he remembers. The pond and platform in the lower garden are of direct response to installations there. On the day of the tour visitors will enjoy a wildflower meadow along the path to the pond and will be delighted with the individual features of ornamental grasses, weeping Alaskan cedar, Smoke Bush, and Russian Cypress. Of note in the field beyond the pond, stand a deep purple and a red European beech tree, each planned to grow to a mammoth 60 ft. A totem pole, fruit trees and a late blooming Rhododendron (currently flowering for the first time, at around age 12) add to the meditative ambiance, reflecting in the water below.
Despite the spotlight on evergreens and their year-round elements, the garden is by no means devoid of summer flowers. A break in the trees overhead allows for a sunny bed sweeping from the house to the sauna along a flat stone path. It is filled with hot-colored flowers. Oriental lilies, bee balm, Ligularia, Astilbe and water lilies in the pond should all be in bloom.
The Larson garden has a lot to observe, there is much beauty in small details. Greg Larson invites you to take your time and explore. Bring a picnic and relax by the pond for lunch. Tuva Bakery will offer some special treats for sale including sticky buns, pesto cheese croissants, and rhubarb raspberry bars and will provide complimentary lemonade.
Directions: From downtown Belfast, take Main St. up the hill to Lincolnville Avenue; turn left. Pass Hannaford and cross Route one following Rte 52 all the way to Lincolnville Center,10.2 miles. Turn left and make immediate right onto Rte 235 (Hope Road). Go two miles to Tuva Trail on right.
Belfast Garden Club’s next Open Garden Day is Friday August 3 at the Urick Garden 44 Robbins Road, Belfast. Situated along the banks of the Passagassawakeag River, the Urick’s property features extensive beds, raised vegetable gardens, a bank filled with daylilies, and various “rooms” for enjoying the ambiance.
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.
For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call
Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.belfastgardenclub.org .