Press Release

Mix of sun, shade and whimsy stand out at Searsmont garden

Photo by Annadeene K. Fowler

One of the features of the Frees garden in Searsmont is its too shed and greenhouse. The garden will be open on Friday, July 20, as part of the Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Days series.

Photo by Annadeene K. Fowler

A collection of rocks embellishes Peg Frees’ garden in Searsmont.

SEARSMONT, Maine — Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days series will travels to Peg Frees’ garden at 425 Muzzy Ridge Road. The garden will be open to the public 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 20. 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.

In Frees’ garden a winding woodland path through the forest ends at a secret garden cut out of the woods on a deer trail. The dappled light is ideal for native ferns and grasses, low-bush blueberries and many shade loving hostas. The garden includes a collection of at least 30 varieties, which can be seen throughout the garden.

“People who don’t know hostas and only see them planted in a straight line up driveways don’t understand what there is to love about them” she explained. Her selection includes plants with colors ranging from dark grey to pale green, and spotted, single colored or variegated leaves. Leaf shapes include round and short to long and narrow with textures ranging from smooth to grooved. Their size is also highly individual. Frees’ garden includes the large broad-leafed Sum and Substance in the Secret Garden and the tiny  Blue Mouse Ear in a driveway miniature hosta garden bed.

A Japanese-inspired garden overlooks a large vegetable plot which features raised beds, high bush blueberries and a cutting garden. A hot house of tomatoes and peppers, and a garden shed built by Peg’s husband are backed by her wild Darwinian Garden, where cast offs from other areas and wildflowers are allowed to grow as they will.  “It is survival of the fittest here,” Peg said, watching Black-Eyed Susan and poppies jostle in the breeze.

Directions: From Belfast’s downtown take Main St./R0ute 3 west. Turn left on R0ute 131 south staying on the road on the right side of the fork. Continue on Route 131 south, before the village turn left on Moody Mountain Road, and then a quick left on Muzzy Ridge Road. Drive about 2.5 miles up Muzzy Ridge. The house is on the right  and not visible from road. Watch for yellow Open Garden arrows. There is a limited amount of parking by the house. If walking is not an issue, park alongside the road and walk up, leaving the close-by parking for those who need it.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call Diane Allmayer-Beck at 207-338-3105, email, or visit .


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