CAMDEN, Maine — For 66 years in midcoast Maine, a highlight of summer has been the Camden Garden Club’s House and Garden Tour set fr Thursday, July 18th. It’s justly famous. The Camden-Rockport area is certainly one of the earth’s most beautiful, and the homes and gardens here take advantage of vistas of sea, mountains, and sky, as well as the moderate temperatures that perennial gardens love.
The six stops on the 2013 tour are a mixture of homes that fit every comfort into smaller spaces and wide open, expansive houses, with lots of glass for taking in long views. The gardens are both breath-taking and heart-warming, inviting wandering.
For example, situated on a sloped site overlooking Rockport Harbor, is a shingle-style Maine “cottage,” designed in wonderful harmony with the site by John Morris Architects. Completed in 1999, it was featured in the book, “Leading Residential Architects.” A guest house, originally built in 1873, was restored a few years ago.
The five-acre property is surrounded by woodlands and colorful gardens, both formal and informal, including a secret, quiet spot with a stone couch, with views of the lighthouse and bay. The house has sweeping rooflines and deep overhangs reminiscent of early 20th century Maine cottages. The waterside porch extends the entire length and offers breathtaking harbor views, while the south porch overlooks pools, waterfalls and an in-ground spa.
Inside, historic photos of Rockport harbor have been enlarged and mounted on the walls of the oval entry to the study. The study itself features custom-crafted, hand-rubbed mahogany millwork, including the coffered ceiling. The dramatic main staircase, filled with natural light, rises two stories.
More information about the Camden House and Garden Tour is at camdengardenclub.com or by calling Signe Mather at 207-596-7263. Tickets may be purchased ahead of the day for $25, online or in Camden at Surroundings and Whitehall Inn; in Rockport at Plants Unlimited and Hoboken Gardens; in Belfast at Brambles; in Waldoboro at Moose Crossing. Tickets the day of the tour will be $30, at the Maine Sport parking lot on Route 1, Camden, and the Camden Hills State Park, Route 1, north of Camden. On the day of tour, no credit cards will be accepted.
All Tour proceeds make possible the hanging geranium baskets and holiday wreaths on Camden’s light posts, flower boxes and beds, the children’s amphitheater, scholarships, street trees, maintaining the Village green, and many other gifts to this community.