Perkins gravel path in front yard

An in-town Belfast yard that’s pretty as a postcard is next in Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days 2017. You’re invited to visit the 133 Miller Street property of Nancy Perkins and Stephen Underwood from 10 am - 4 pm.

Perkins pruned lilacs

The half-acre oasis is distinctive for its rose-covered, lilac-guarded trellises that hide the front yard from the street. Inside the secret garden, entered through an arbor, you’ll find beds of numerous summer-blooming flowers including peonies, catmint, and hawthorn as well as late-blooming lilacs, iris, and clematis.

Perkins meditation garden

Curving gravel paths in the front yard meander past Japanese maples and willowspurplish nine bark shrubs, and distinctively pruned, leggy lilacs. The structured paths give over to grassy walkways that lead past more trellises, where grapevines grow, to a back yard that centers on a tiny apple orchard enclosed by low stonewalls. Nearby, a meditation garden features an array of herbs including mounds of thyme. Look for bright swaths of daylilies along the back fence on tour day.

The grounds were previously guided by the green thumb of Bland Banwell and featured on the 2010 and 2012 Open Gardens tours. Banwell, who worked the property for 20 years, was a master gardener who designed the gardens with curving and overlapping lines to “keep ones eye moving through the space.”

Since moving here from Alexandria, Va., three years ago, Nan has kept intact the structure so carefully installed by Bland, but she’s added even more perennials, and she has expanded the vegetable garden, which is full of Chinese celery and the usual Maine plantings – tomatoes, herbs, greens, onions, squash and so on. Highbush blueberry bushes yield a tasty late-summer treat.

She’s also added distinctive touches, including a brilliant deep-blue metal bench in the front garden that invites visitors to sit, relax, and take in this gem of a garden.

The level property is easy to traverse. To get there from the intersection of Main and Church streets, go north on Church Street to Miller Street. Right on Miller. Park on the street. 

A donation of $5 is requested. Funds go toward the club’s civic beautification programs, scholarships for local youth, and other endeavors. For more information, call club member Marje Stickler at 338-5059.

There is a new way to enjoy "Our Town Belfast." Have you heard about the Belfast in-town nature trail? Co-sponsored by the Belfast Garden Club, members of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition mapped out and created the five mile walking trail. To download a copy of the trail map and guide, go to www.belfastbaywatershed.org and click on Learn More About Us, then Belfast In-Town Nature Trail Map and Guide.