There are many ways to get to Thuya Garden. Visitors by sea can tie up at Asticou Terraces Landing and walk up Asticou Terrace Trail. Drivers can park either at the landing or at the top of Thuya Drive. But we preferred to hike.
The path we chose was Little Harbor Brook Trail to the top of Acadia’s Eliot Mountain, visiting Thuya Garden on our descent as a slight – and very worthwhile – detour. After all, even in the most enchanted of Acadia’s bucolic settings, which this trail is, it is rare to come upon a wooden fence with a door that opens onto such manicured beauty.
Thuya Garden was created by Charles K. Savage in 1956 on land that was formerly the orchard of Joseph H. Curtis, who built a home on this property in Northeast Harbor in 1912. In the style of a semi-formal English garden, it features colorful annuals, perennials, expansive lawns, and indigenous eastern Maine woodlands. (By the way, the name Thuya is derived from Thuya occidentalis, the northern white cedar, that grows abundantly in this part of Maine.)
A special aspect of the garden is that many of its original plants and garden ornaments are from the collection of Beatrix Farrand (1872-1959), the prominent landscape architect who designed gardens for private estates, botanic reservations, college campuses, and the White House. She worked closely with John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and designed the landscaping around Mr. Rockefeller’s granite bridges in Acadia National Park.
Thuya Garden is a lovely place to rest, contemplate, and study plantings that thrive in eastern Maine.
Come by sea, car, or hiking trail – but be sure to come.