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Turkey Tracks: Gardens in the Wateshed: Fernwood Nursery Gardens

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Trukey Tracks:  August 13, 2013

Gardens in the Watershed:  Fernwood Nursery Gardens

I’m starting my tenth year in Maine, and I’ve never been to the famous Fernwood Nursery until this garden tour, planned and hosted by The Georges River Land Trust.  Fernwood is owned by Rick and Denise Sawyer, so the site is their home as well as their business.

Fernwood specializes in shade tolerant plants. yes, but in native and woodland plants that are hardy to this area of Maine.  The Sawyers choose plants that do not need staking, spraying, or extra mulch to survive our climate.  They also produce their own cultivars and bring in plants from around the world that are hardy in this area.

They recently relocated, and I really like their new digs.  I found myself wishing that I had FLAT land where I could exhale and create beds and animal spaces like Rick and Denise Sawyer have created at Fernwood.  I loved everything I saw–and then some.  Such creativity, such delights for the eyes.

Again, Fernwood displays the Sawyers’ chosen life style:  their beds illustrate how their plants fit into the ecosystem in which they live and have created by choosing the plants that will thrive in the ecosystem.  They raise animals for food and fiber and organic vegetables.  They are providing for themselves and demonstrating how to do that.  Here’s a quote:  “Whether it is the wood we burn, animals we  raise, vegetables we grow, fiber we process, or soil we build, all contribute to our sense of connection to the earth.”

Here’s how the nursery is set up–this area lies at the entrance to the property.

Fernwood Gardens

And here are random shots as I moved deeper into this experience:

These kinds of wooden garden structures are a big thing in Maine:


Deep shade plants with garden sculptures–note the contrast of dark and light plants:

Fernwood 6

A stone garden sculpture:

Fernwood 5

Near the center of the property the Sawyer died wool is displayed:

Fernwood 2

Here’s a close-up–which makes my fingers itch to knit…

Fernwood 3

An arched trellis leads towards the house and the home gardens:

Fernwood 7

Here’s the surprise just inside the trellis:

Fernwood 8

A stand of Bee Balm sits before the house:

Fernwood 9

And a gate gives entrance to one of the vegetable gardens–I wish I had been taking pictures of beautiful old gates all along the way actually…

Fernwood 10

How’s this for a fabulous scarecrow?

Fernwood 13

Bird houses punctuated the whole homestead:

Fernwood 11

My pictures of the chickens did not come out–and the pigs went into their house just as I tried to capture them with my camera.

But here’s a picture I liked a lot:

Fernwood 12

These figures carved from tree sections are seen frequently in Maine and always make me smile.

Fernwood and the Sawyers were an inspiration for me.