Coastal Gardens with Winky Lewis

Coastal Gardens with Winky Lewis

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All photos courtesy of Winky Lewis

Sometimes dreamy projects land on our plates when we least expect it.
The most recent one was a project we collaborated on with Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay.

For the past year, we worked closely with the horticultural team at CMBG brainstorming various ways we could interpret an angela adams garden.
We landed on two ideas… one was a concept that Jen Dunlap of CMBG designed, where she took inspiration from our designs and translated them into the Rainbow Terrace in the Children’s Garden, using bright dahlias in the colors of some of our area rugs. This garden is a big beautiful burst of color that children and adults enjoyed all summer.
The other garden was a dreamy project. When we strolled the grounds initially, I was taken immediately by an under utilized shady area in the back of the garden. The idea was to create a lush, mossy landscape that appeared to have been growing there for centuries. I wanted to create a respite from the sensory overload that can happen when surrounded by so much natural beauty. The goal was to create a place that invited you to sit and soak up the beautiful peaceful surroundings.
I had the pleasure of bringing in help from friends and family (Julie Smith, Honour Mack and Lee Hamill) whom helped make the gardens come together. We foraged in the woods collecting mosses, lichens and lush covered branches. Most came from areas that will be parking lots in the future, so we moved them to a permanent spot where they can be enjoyed for years to come. This garden never would have happened at the level that it did without Sharmon Provan a horticulturalist on the CMBG team. Sharmon raked the tiniest pine needles and planted endless ferns for us. Another member of the hort team, Anna Leavitt spent hours working on the lichen garden and brought that area to life. It all glows in different lights and at different times in the season. Rodney Eason, the head horticulturalist had the vision to bring us all together for a creative and inspiring partnership that I hope will continue in the future.
The theme of this years gardens at CMBG was Myth, Magic and Medicine. With that in mind, I called on one of my favorite Portland artists, Laura Fuller to bring her magic to the gardens. Laura is a glass artists that creates other-worldly sculptures, many that seem to have grown out of rocks, caves and trees. Laura created several hanging pieces that cast sparkling light throughout the moss garden. They are tucked up high and down low and are a treasure to discover.
Sitting stately at the entrance to this garden are 5 gorgeous granite boulders known at CMBG as the “5 Bears”. In mid winter, Jen and Sharmon post holed it through deep snow to create templates for me to design cushions to sit on top of the large abstract shaped chunks of granite. From there, we had our Cave Fantasy pattern screen printed onto canvas, waxed and sewn into beautiful odd shaped cushions by our friends at Blackpoint Mercantile.
It goes without saying that this garden was a collaborative group effort, pulling talent in from many artists, crafters, gardeners and friends new and old.
Be sure to stop by and visit the gardens any time of year, there is always something new growing and blooming in that beautiful corner or the Maine Coast.

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