On this Fourth of July, Hannah and I explored some of the beautiful gardens of Mount Desert Island.

Our initial destination was the Charlotte Rhoades Butterfly Garden in Southwest Harbor. This small, but spectacular garden was designed by Bruce John Riddell who is also working on our Milbridge Commons project.

The highlight of the experience was spotting these Monarch Butterflies.

One of the most spectacular features of this garden is something you cannot see when standing in it. Bruce once showed me his design for the Butterfly Garden – a piece of art in and of itself. The layout is in the shape of a butterfly’s wing. The walkways are the dark veins of the wing, the garden beds the colorful parts.

Every planting in the garden is designed to attract butterflies and pollinators.

Globe Thistle.

bees on allium at the butterfly garden


Norwood Cove was the backdrop for ourpicnic lunch at the Butterfly Garden.

carved gate of thuya garden

Ready to continue our exploration, we wandered over to Thuya Garden in Northwest Harbor. The gate to the garden is a pair of these beautifully carved wood doors.

It was a wonderfully peaceful place with seating nooks perfect for contemplation.

Thuya Gardens

Paths in the wood invited exploration.

Monarch butterflies at Thuya Gardens

And I found more Monarchs. Watching them made me determined to nurse my baby milkweed plants along so they can ultimately make it into the garden. I want Monarchs!

The colors needed to captured.

ferns at thuya gardens

As did the patterns and textures of ferns.

rainbow over the milbridge commons

Tired and content we headed home just in time to spot this double rainbow.

rainbow over the narraguagus river in milbridge

Loved the reflection of the rainbow in the river.

All in all, a lovely way to spend the Fourth!