Northeast Harbor, Maine, is a beautiful place to enjoy a few days in the summer. Located on the Southern shore of Mt Desert Island, the town is a haven for boaters and for those looking to enjoy the nearby trails of Acadia National Park.
I spent a few days there last week and was lucky to visit the Thuya Garden and Lodge (lucky because the herbaceous borders were in full bloom!). The Thuya Lodge, built in 1916, was the summer home of Boston landscape architect, Jospeh H. Curtis. The lodge, a wood structured home, is tucked into the hillside above the harbor with peak through views to the water. It is the trail up to the lodge, and out to two different lookouts (both built before the lodge itself), that offer the most stunning views over the water and landscape. Curtis had been summering in Northeast Harbor from the late 1800’s until his death in 1928. In 1905 Curtis put the land into trust so it could be used as a park by residents and visitors. After Curtis died, Charles K. Savage, a local landscape designer, became trustee of the property. He planned and developed a series of beautiful herbaceous borders in back of the house. The borders are organized in a geometric footprint, but offer a mix of colorful flowering plants. The gardens also include a Monarch butterfly way station, which was full of Monarch caterpillars!