SCARBOROUGH – Nestled like a secret garden in the midst of a sprawling neighborhood, this lovely property is so secluded that even some longtime neighbors are unaware of its existence.

That privacy is part of the home’s great charm, as are the enchanting gardens to which more than an acre of the 5.36-acre estate is devoted. Well-spaced along the stone paths are several delightful custom outbuildings, including potting sheds and gazebos; and one of the pleasures of wandering through the garden is discovering each of those in turn.

The first to be built, about 25 years ago, was the “square” potting shed, near a fenced-off work area for tools, composting and more. Behind pachysandra and euonymous and its little fenced porch, the pretty shed has electricity, a bluestone floor, 6-over-6 front windows and a Palladian side window, and ample shelving. Like its companions, it’s constructed of Northern white cedar, from a mill in Hampden.

Along a winding path that introduces you to the whimsical “pothead” family and a Bacchus water feature, a second potting shed perched on a little rise is circular, 8 feet in diameter, stone-floored, its roof scallop-shingled and hydrangea-vined. The window’s 15 panes are seeded glass. Winner of both the Best in Show and People’s Choice awards at the Portland Flower Show, it’s very much like a dwelling for a hobbit or other fantastical creature, and in fact is the home of a phoebe (and/or family) who, every spring, dips under the roof opening and builds her nest.

A bit more formal and European-flavored is the screened gazebo, with its eight arched windows and a wood-paneled ceiling that matches the floorboards. The second “oldest” of the outbuildings, it sits off the patio near the largest of the garden’s many Japanese maples, and is perfect for summer dining.

Set amid two strands of driveway is a broad island where you can step across a charming, 9-foot arched bridge with a small curbing, to a circular … temple, might be the most apt description. A ring of five solid-cedar Doric columns and three granite benches encloses a brick floor with a granite sundial in its center. Vined with wisteria and clematis, this tranquil retreat for conversation and reflection won Best Of Show in a Maine State Horticulture Show. That award, and  others, honor the creators of these gardens’ hardscapes: stonework by Mike Mercier of Mercier Landscaping in Gorham, and structures designed and built by Ron Forest of Ron Forest Fence Company in Scarborough.

Far up the 800-foot driveway, just within sight of the road, four-foot stone pillars with cottage-style roofs greet visitors. Nearby is the “arbor house,” topped by a new, dog-ear shingled roof. Open at either end, the arbor house has a stone floor, a barrel-arched ceiling, and bench seating along each interior side, with latticework behind.
In front stands a little stone man, arms raised. The statue, a gift to the homeowners from Mercier, seems to extend a welcome to the property, and his presence is a foreshadowing of the garden’s power to charm and inspire.

The home is listed for sale at $725,000 by Marie Flaherty of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northeast, and is featured as the Home of the Week in the Maine Sunday Telegram. For more information or to arrange a private viewing, please contact Marie at 400-3115, 776-9160, or at [email protected]


Staff photos by Derek Davis

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