Boothbay Harbor in Bloom

Speaking of Boothbay, Maine Crime Writers Gerry Boyle, Vicki Doudera, Kate Flora, James Hayman, Lea Wait and I (along with lots and lots of other great authors) will all be in Boothbay this Saturday from 12:30 to 3:30 at Books in Boothbay, a celebration of Maine writing. We’d love to see you there!

Hi. Barb here.

CLAMMED UP, the first book in my new Maine Clambake Mystery series takes place in a harbor town in mid-coast Maine, in June. I was lucky enough to be writing my book in Boothbay Harbor exactly in that time frame–so inspiring!  But then I looked up, and it was late June. The early June flowers were starting to fade.  How was I going to remember what was blooming during the eight-day period in which my book is set?

So I grabbed a camera and went for a walk. Here’s what I saw.

Irises in our backyard-a little off their peak by the time I took the pictures

Rhubarb--also from our backyard. If it looks a little scruffy, it's because my husband had already picked and cooked a fair amount by this point. BTW-I'm looking for a rhubarb recipe for my book. Gifts of recipes gratefully accepted!

By this point I was out of our yard and walking around town. What are these? They look like thistles to me.

Peonies and irises-so beautiful

The roses were spectacular

A (mostly) annual garden

Flower boxes and hanging plants everywhere

Also, rhododendrons, a little off peak by the time I took the photos, a riot of annuals, tons of wild flowers and lupines, of course! Too many to show.

June’s sometimes a little cool for typical summertime pursuits in Maine, but it’s the best month for flowers in my opinion.


About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries. Her books have been nominated for multiple Agatha Awards for Best Contemporary Novel and have won the Maine Literary Award for Crime Fiction. She lives in Portland, Maine. Readers can visit her website at
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6 Responses to Boothbay Harbor in Bloom

  1. Deanna says:

    Hi – not thistles, but spring onions! Our roses also had the best year. Dee

  2. Linda Meadows says:

    My husband and I just visited Boothbay the other day to see the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. What a treat. I think this is one of the midcoast area’s biggest secrets. There are over 200 acres of beautiful plants and flowers. It’s a definite ‘must see’.

  3. MCWriTers says:

    I have such incredible peony envy. I never can get them to grow anywhere. Sometimes a winter storm kills my roses. But I’m having great luck with hydrangeas by the sea. I’m so enjoying the touring that Maine Crime Writers are taking our readers on this month.

    Very smart, by the way, to take those pictures, as I know from once having put blooming azaleas in Massachusetts in September. Luckily, I caught that before the book went to print.

    As you may know…John Clark, our visiting librarian, used to be the librarian in Boothbay Harbor.


    • Barb Ross says:

      Peony envy? I thought that was a myth. What would Freud say?

      I love peonies, especially the vibrant colors, though my memory from my childhood is they’re covered with ants. I do love hydrangeas. My daughter-in-law had them in abundance at her wedding. Gorgeous.


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