|Boston to Bar Harbor
A Pacific Horticulture Tour
July 25-August 1, 2014
Escorted by Josh Schechtel, PHS Board Member
Tour Manager Cheryl Hedgpeth Nichols
-----tour limited to 22 guests, 7 spaces open----
Join us as we explore public and private gardens in New
England at the height of summer. Our itinerary will
include gardens in the Boston area before we roam north
to Maine, with stops at Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor.
This region has been a refuge for old New England families for generations, and many of the
summer homes have magical gardens that were designed to capitalize on the relatively short
summer season. Some formerly private estates are now public gardens, but others are still occupied
by the families that own them, making them among the most rarely seen of garden
To make a reservation, please scroll to bottom of this page
Friday July 25 Make your way to Boston and the Residence Inn Downtown/Seaport. Walking distance to Boston
Harbor, the hotel is in a newly restored historical building with glass elevators soaring above a 1900's era subway
tiled atrium. Guests enjoy spacious suites with full kitchens and separate living and sleeping areas. This evening
we’ll take a short stroll along the harbor to Strega Ristorante for a welcome dinner with wine. Dinner.
Saturday July 26 & Sunday July 27 Boston Area. We’ll enjoy breakfast each morning at the hotel before
departing by private motorcoach for public and private garden visits. Specific private gardens and order of visits are
still being finalized, but our public garden visits are slated to include:
Sedwick -Long Hill House & Gardens: In 1916, this 114-acre hillside property attracted Atlantic Monthly editor and
publisher Ellery Sedgwick and his wife Mabel for its lovely views of the rural North Shore. As the couple formulated
plans for the elegant Federal-style home that would become their summer retreat, Mabel Sedgwick also set about
designing gardens and landscape amenities that are still renowned a century later. Her vision was sustained and
expanded by the second Mrs. Sedgwick, a rare plants specialist, who added new species of trees and shrubs to the
estate. The gardens are laid out in a series of separate garden “rooms” surrounding the handsome, Federal-style,
brick house. Each garden room is distinct in its own way, accented by ornaments and statuary. Today, the gardens
retain the “Garden for Living” style with integrated outdoor rooms, mature plantings that blend into the surrounding
woodlands, and a spirit of innovation in horticulture. To design their indoor living space, the Sedgwicks hired the
Boston firm of Richardson, Barrott and Richardson. The family wanted to bring the outdoors in, and they decorated
the rooms with lovely murals of garden scenes and flowers. Its interiors also boast elegant woodwork and
mantelpieces from the Isaac Ball House in Charleston, South Carolina. The gardens are flanked on all sides by
more than 100 acres of woodland as well as an apple orchard, meadow, children’s garden, and agricultural fields,
including a 2-acre organic vegetable farm.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Gardens. Gardens and horticulture flourish here, reflecting Isabella Stewart
Gardner’s passion for these activities. The Museum’s interior Courtyard is itself an astonishing work of art,
combining plants, sculpture, and architectural elements. We will have time for a quick peek at the art work as well.
Tower Hill Botanic Garden: Headquarters of the Worcester County
Horticultural Society, formed in 1842 and the third oldest active
horticultural society in the U.S. The Society purchased Tower Hill
Farm in 1986 with the belief that the Society could best fulfill its
goals by developing a garden open to the public. There are over
15 special gardens ranging from a Cottage Garden to a Wildlife
Refuge Pond. Of special interest to plant enthusiasts is the
Systematic Garden, a one-of-a-kind educational experience where
you'll discover plants arranged "systematically" or according to
current scientific understanding of their evolutionary relationships.
Designed in an Italianate style, this garden presents 26 distinct
plant families, making it a virtual encyclopedia of the Plant Kingdom.
Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded in 1831 as "America's first garden cemetery." With classical monuments set
in a rolling landscaped terrain, it marked a distinct break with Colonial-era burying grounds and church-affiliated
graveyards. The cemetery is credited as the beginning of the American public parks and gardens movement.
Mount Auburn's collection of over 5,500 trees includes nearly 700 species and varieties. Thousands of very well-kept
shrubs and herbaceous plants weave through the cemetery's hills, ponds, woodlands, and clearings. Landscaping
styles range from Victorian-era plantings to contemporary gardens, from natural woodlands to formal ornamental
gardens, and from sweeping vistas through majestic trees to small enclosed spaces. Many trees, shrubs, and
herbaceous plants are tagged with botanic labels containing their scientific and common names.
Private gardens include Ellen Lathi, whose passion/obsession with plantsmanship is evident in the choice
specimens she has sought out. Trees and shrubs flaunt foliage in shades of yellow, gold, green and burgundy. A
vast array of forms contribute to the garden composition, whether it is the exclamation point effect of a fastigiate
beech, the cascading branches of a weeping Japanese maple or the texture and movement of ornamental grasses.
Perennials play an important supporting role, as well as late bloomers that add a colorful last hurrah to the garden.
Bold potted tropical foliage plants add drama to the summer season, and change the flavor of the garden each
year. After touring the delightful public and private gardens of the Boston area each day, we will return to the hotel
late afternoon in time for evening on your own in Boston.
Breakfast each day, Lunch included on the 26th.---lunch on your own 27th.
Monday July 28 Following breakfast at the hotel, we check out of the
Residence Inn and board our private motorcoach for the trip north to Maine,
the Pine Tree State. Along the way we will visit Bedrock private garden north
of Boston in Lee, New Hampshire. Bedrock Gardens was started in 1987
by its two owners: Jill Nooney, visionary, horticulturist, sculptor, and
landscape designer, ‘the problem maker’ and Bob Munger, engineer, water
magician, hardscaper, and precision guy, i.e. 'the problem solver.' The garden
started humbly, but became a 20 acre garden on a 30 acre piece of land. It is
designed as a garden journey, notable for its plants, landscape design,
hardscape and sculpture. We’ll enjoy lunch in the garden before we
continue north arriving late afternoon at the Beach Cove Waterfront Inn,
located beachfront near Boothbay Harbor. Away from the hustle and bustle of
downtown, Beach Cove offers a quiet, secluded Maine getaway. Rooms have air conditioning, small fridge,
microwave oven and coffee maker. Enjoy the private beach and pier -- rowboats and canoes are available. There is
also a fireplace and picnic area located by the water. Tonight we’ll enjoy a dinner on the pier including Maine
Lobster or fresh local fish, finishing with homemade blueberry pie. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Tuesday July 29 Following breakfast at the hotel, we’ve been invited to visit the garden of Pacific Horticulture Society
member, Jane Donelon. Jane has been developing her garden for over 30 years and it's overflowing with many
uncommon plants including unusual clematis and other vines, climbing trees and shrubs, trellises, arbors, and a
shed; a bog garden; a rock garden; a fernery; a white garden; woodland and wildflower paths; hillside and
stonewall gardens and more....all on a very small plot. Our day continues with the world-famous Coastal Maine
Botanical Gardens, rated among the top public gardens in America. We will enjoy lunch at the garden followed by a
private tour with the Director of Horticulture. Spread over nearly 250 acres, the Gardens have a mission to protect,
preserve and enhance the botanical heritage and natural landscapes of coastal Maine. Returning to the Beach
Cove Inn, the balance of the afternoon and evening are free to explore the picturesque seaport of Boothbay Harbor.
The quaint town has the atmosphere of an old New England Village with fishing boats and a delightful mix of arts,
culture, eclectic shops and natural beauty. Breakfast, Lunch
Wednesday July 30 Following breakfast at the hotel, we check out of the Beach Cove and board our private
motorcoach bound for Bar Harbor. We will have lunch in Bar Harbor followed by a very special treat, a private visit to
Kenarden, a Maine estate that harks back to Bar Harbor's heyday at the beginning of the last century. Entering
through impressive granite gates, we’ll follow a long driveway that winds its way through magnificent tended woods
along a stream. We’ll pass a Tudor style cottage and a handsome Soderholtz urn. A restored Beatrice Farrand
sunken garden in Italianate style has a central fountain with profuse floral borders and an impressive columned
pergola with original grapevines overlooking the water. The stunning main house faces the Porcupine Islands in
Frenchman's Bay. A colorful garden encircling a pond planted with astilbes and monarda enhances the water view
from the house. A rose garden with many varieties of standard roses completes the formal gardens. A path leads to
an extensive vegetable and cutting garden reminiscent of an old estate. Later, we have been invited to see The
Farm House, a small private garden designed by Beatrix Farrand and restored by the owner, Elizabeth Mills. Our
home for the next two nights is the Bayview Hotel. Considered one of Bar Harbor’s hidden gems, the Bayview is
located away from the busy center of the village but just a leisurely stroll away. The hotel offers tranquility and
relaxation wrapped in gracious hospitality. Unwind in the intimate waterfront bar or discover the beauty of Mount
Desert Island. Dinner this evening is on your own so you can explore the many tempting options available.
Thursday July 31 After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll depart for a day
of touring. As guests of the Bar Harbor Garden Club, we will have an
amazing final day. We may include Garland Farm, the last home of
Beatrix Farrand and now the headquarters of the Beatrix Farrand
Society. The Terrace Garden has just been restored, and we will find
many unusual plants on the property. While we can’t confirm our
visit until a month ahead, we will do our best to include the
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Gardens, a private garden in Seal Harbor
that was built by Abby and her husband, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. in the
1920’s. The garden was designed by Beatrix Farrand and blends
Eastern and Western landscape traditions in a summer season
display. We’ll return to the Bayview Hotel in time for our farewell
dinner with wine. Breakfast, Dinner.
Friday August 1 Following breakfast at the hotel, check out and begin your return journey home or perhaps extend
your stay in Maine, exploring Acadia National Park or other points along the rocky coast. There is limited air service
out of Bar Harbor Airport (BHB). Nearby Bangor (BGR) has more options, shuttle service with Bar Harbor Shuttle is
available (extra cost). In addition, guests may ride on our motorcoach back to Boston. The coach will arrive at
Boston airport by 300pm for flight departures 5pm and later. Guests on flights out of Boston earlier than 5pm will
need to arrange their own transportation to Boston airport. Breakfast.
Tour Price: $2795.00 per person based on double occupancy for members* of Pacific Horticulture Society,
$2845.00 for non-members. $995.00 single supplement. *Not a member? Click here to join
Additional hotel nights at the group rate may be available, please submit your requests early as this is the busiest
time of year, especially in Maine.
To book your place on this tour, please click Here
To view Terms and Conditions, click Here
To print a copy of the Itinerary, click Here
Additional hotel nights before/after tour at group rates available upon request.
For more Information, Contact
Sterling Tours, Ltd 2907 Shelter Island Drive Suite #105-262
San Diego, CA 92106 Tel: 619 299-3010 800-976-9497 CST2023849-40