Maine's Acadia region is filled with artists and artisans taking inspiration from the stunning landscape and sea vistas, and the area between Ellsworth and the Schoodic Peninsula is an especially fertile crescent. Just ask Dan Farrenkopf and Phid Lawless, of West Sullivan. Their company, Lunaform, creates wheel-turned concrete garden pottery that has been featured in national publications.
"There's such a deep gardening tradition right here," Farrenkopf says. "There are several public gardens, and we feel honored that people want to include us in their garden tour."
Must-visit gardens in the Acadia region are Thuya Garden and Asticou Garden, both in Northeast Harbor, and the Wild Gardens of Acadia. Less-known public gardens include the petite Charlotte Rhoades Park and Butterfly Garden, in Southwest Harbor, and the Beatrix Farrand Society at Garland Farm in Bar Harbor. The Rockefeller Garden, in Seal Harbor, is open only by reservation, and Stewart estate in Northeast Harbor only opens in May for a Spring Bulb Tour showcasing more than 45,000 blooms.
Pairing garden and art touring is a natural, especially in the Hancock-Franklin-Sullivan area, where many of the artists and artisans have worked together to offer a touring map. After touring Lunaform, many visitors wander the byways seeking Ann and Paul Breeden's Spring Woods Gallery and Willowbrook Garden, Charles and Susanne Grosjean's Hog Bay Pottery, Barter Family Gallery, Russell and Akemi Wray's Raven Tree Gallery, and Torj and Kurt Wray's Gull Rock Pottery.
Of course, either surrounding or betwixt and between these gardens, studios, and galleries are sections of Acadia National Park as well as local land trust preserves that offer hiking, biking, and places to picnic and drink in the region's stunning natural beauty.