On the last day of our week in Maine, after spending the morning in Wonderland (part 10), we had some time, so we decided to stop by an interesting garden we had passed several times in our travels around the area. Asticou Azalea Garden is in Northeast Harbor.
It is a public garden, owned and conserved by the Land & Garden Preserve. We pulled in to the tree lined parking lot, pulled out our cameras and split up, each following different paths through this peaceful and serene place.
Since I love to photograph flowers this was a very interesting stop for me! I walked along the paths and saw that there were many plants that would have been flowering earlier in the year but there were still many flowers to see & shoot.
Info on the gardens from Wikipedia:
“The Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor, Maine, United States, is a popular visitor attraction. It was created by lifelong resident of the village, Charles Kenneth Savage, in 1956. Savage also created Reef Point Estate in nearby Bar Harbor. It was from Reef Point that several specimens, with the financial assistance of John D. Rockefeller, Jr., were moved, including the weeping hemlock, just north of the main bridge.
Located at the intersection of Route 198 and Route 3 (Peabody Drive), the 2.3 acre garden and its pond are open to the public during daylight hours from May 1 to October 31. It features a selection of rhododendrons and azaleas, including the Rhododendron canadense, Maine’s native azalea. Styled after a Japanese stroll garden, the fine-gravel paths are raked regularly in a manner that suggests flowing water. There is also a sand garden, where this effect is repeated but with the addition of stones, which are meant to represent islands.”
After a few minutes I found a bench on the shore of the large pond and sat down to enjoy the scene. I realized that all the greenery would be perfect for infrared so I ran back out to the car to grab my Nikon D200 that was converted to infrared by Life Pixel.
The conversion I have is a 590 nm filter which they call Super Color IR as some color does come through along with the IR light. The color in camera is very strange as the sky is reddish. So you have to do some work on the image in Photoshop.
The huge trees with many branches are one of my favorite subjects for IR as the green leaves all go white so the intricate tree branches are much more visible than in a regular color image.
The Japanese style garden was another great subject for IR.
The light green of the ferns & other plants at the gate were almost white in IR so I converted fully to Black & White to highlight the contrast that IR gives you versus converting a color image to B&W.
But I had to go back to the regular camera when I found these simple Anemones. These are one of my favorite flowers!
A Japanese garden would not be complete without a Japanese Maple. This one was just starting to turn red!
There were many plants that made amazing images like these ferns. These were backlit and the repeating pattern caught me eye.
This Balloon Flower bud was a sign of more to come. I wish I could see this garden in the spring!
If you are in the Bar Harbor/Acadia National Park area I recommend a stop at lovely Asticou Azalea Garden. If you are a flower & plant person this place is not to be missed! Check out their website for more info.
That is all for now!