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Two Maine Rock Gardens

By Lynette L. Walther Maine gardeners Vickie Cunningham in South Bristol, and Douglas Cole in Rockport have created their own versions of traditional rock gardens. Cunningham’s garden started out as a rocky, wooded hillside with a southeastern exposure that rolls steeply down to the waterʼs edge. Today, after nearly a decade of handiwork, it is a series of brilliant beds of hardy perennials. Cole “inherited” his garden with the purchase of his home in Rockport. The rocky ledge at the side of the house came with a “fair amount history,” he explained. The original homeownerʼs garden was well known in the area for its whimsical little village on the hillside. Though the tiny houses are long gone, today Cole has expanded the rock garden for the enjoyment of all who pass. Look closely and you might discover a treasure or two, trinkets from the Colesʼ travels, tucked among the plants. These horticultural responses to a surplus of rocks and ledges are natural choices for Maine where rocks abound. As Cunningham and Cole have proved, anyone can design and develop a mini mountain environment that, once established, requires a minimum of maintenance. Contributing Editor Lynette L. Walther is the recipient of the Garden Writers Association’s Silver Award of Achievement. She gardens in Camden, Maine. Her blog can be found at: gardeningonthego.wordpress.com.