A mown path travels down through the protective stand of shagbark hickory, revealing sea and sky as it reaches the oceanside edge of this historic property in Southern Maine. Open to the public only on occasion, we fell fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Cynthia Hosmer’s private gardens as part of the Seacoast Water Garden Tour.
Situated on the rocky coast of York and stretching into Brave Boat Harbor, we were left awestruck by the expansiveness of the setting. The day was hot, sunny and windy, and this image came to mind as we wandered the estate.
There are intimate spaces carved out of the wildness of the setting, with fluttering parasols frequenting the landscape, lending a summery air.
The gardens are unexpectedly reserved, their restraint in counterpoint to the wildness of the ocean nearby, and in deference to their history.
Nearer to the house, a walled garden provides some respite and repose.
The ocean is a constant, very much influencing the gardens’ layout and design.