Photo by Annadeene K. Fowler
Tiered seating with a view at Urick Garden in East Belfast. The garden will be open for tours as part of the Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days on Friday, Aug. 3.
BELFAST — Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days will visit the Urick Garden, 44 Robbins Road, East Belfast, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 3. Tickets may be purchased at the garden for $4 or $15 for a five garden ticket. Proceeds benefit Belfast Garden Club’s civic beautification projects.
Situated with a view of the Passagassawakeag River, the cheerful Urick home and garden has been designed and implemented collaboratively by husband and wife team Dennis and Chris Urick. As you enter the picket garden gate a lush-green waterfall in the form of a grand weeping willow cascades into a sea of shade-loving plants. Tall oak, paper birch, and Korean fir also dapple the sunlight and create an ideal partial shade environment along a gentle downhill slope for rhododendron, hosta, astilbe and the like. Continue the path around the corner, and the garden opens into a bright, spacious lot-and-a-half summer paradise.
The Uricks started from scratch, there were no plantings and few trees here when they moved to the property 10 years ago. “The Korean Fir were here,” Chris remembers, “and a yard full of old furniture and trash.” A great transformation has taken place; this full, quintessentially summer garden now has an arboreal feel replete with a vegetable garden, ornamental shrubs, a bank of lilies and lots of opportunities to sit and relax.
“We wanted as much outdoor living space as possible,” Chris explained. Vibrant lawn chairs and tucked benches can be found throughout the garden near beds of annuals — larkspur, zinnia, and cosmos — and perennials such as Shasta daisy, bee balm and black-eyed Susan. The perimeter of the property is defined by split rail fencing and garden gates adding a traditional and cozy feel to the garden. A robust magnolia in the center of the property was moved from their previous home, and clearly enjoys its new location.
Stone patios, built by Dennis, descend in several tiered levels from the deck of the colorful board and batten home, offering many vantage points from which to view the flowers, trees and water beyond. Climbing hydrangea, potted herbs and flowers bring the garden to upper levels of the space as well. A grape-draped pergola, offers dining seating next to one of Dennis’ latest projects, a handbuilt wood-fired clay pizza oven. Also new this year is a garden-side lounge, which looks perfect for napping in, tucked below the deck in a previously weedy storage area. “There is always a project going on here,” Chris said.
On the far end of the extended garden raised beds of vegetables, fruit trees, high bush blueberries and raspberries round out the sizeable edible portion of the garden. Small sculptures, birdbaths and birdhouses complete the creative landscape. The scent of sea air and chirp of birds make the Urick’s garden a feast for the senses.
Directions: From downtown Belfast, take High Street North to Rte 1 North; cross the Veterans (Passy River) Bridge; turn left on Rte 141. Take first left, Robbins Road; #44 is on left after Delmos Street. Park alongside the road.