The Boothbay Home and Garden Tour

Hi. Barb here, working away on the porch in Boothbay Harbor, Maine. So far today we’ve had rain, fog, cool wind, sun, humidity, heat and repeat. Waiting for the hail.

boothbayhousetour2On July 24, my husband Bill and I went on the Boothbay Home and Garden Tour, sponsored by the Boothbay Region Garden Club. We love these types of tours and often take them when we are in Key West in the winter, but this was my first time in Boothbay.

Why do we do this? Well, because the houses and gardens are lovely, that’s for sure. I have always loved houses, beautiful houses, big houses, old houses, tree houses. You name it. And house porn is my favorite kind of porn. Whenever I am in need of mindless entertainment, I head straight for HGTV. My favorite episodes of House Hunters are the ones where a twenty-three year old bride with a deep Texas accent looks at a room that would make a nice child’s bedroom here in the crowded northeast and says, “That’s the master closet?” (shudder) “I just couldn’t live like that.” Somehow that sort of thing never fails to amuse me.

boothbayhousetour12My excuse for taking the day off from writing was that I was looking for settings, since my series takes place in an area very like Boothbay Harbor. And I did get some good ideas.

But the main reason I go on these tours is because I am nosy as heck. I just love to see how people live and what better way than to tour five houses? Or actually ten houses, since four of the five had guest houses and one had both a guest house and a carriage house. (Which might have seemed excessive, if the carriage house hadn’t looked like the best writing studio ever.)

IMG_0763And the houses were gorgeous, and luxurious. “I’ve finally learned to go on these things without envy,” I heard a man say to his wife. “Think of them like house museums,” I told him. “You can look but you can’t touch.” Of course, then I did remind my husband on the way home to buy a lottery ticket.

Unfortunately, the houses were all heavily staged, as if for sale, so my nosiness was unrequited. Not that I blame the owners. I don’t think I’d leave personal stuff about if my house was going to be trekked through by hundreds of people, either.

You could tell the gardeners from the house people on the tour. My attitude toward the gardens is, “Oh, how beautiful!” but I have no interest in discussing what plant is what, or how to cultivate it. I want to see fine furniture and antiques and paintings and views, views, views. And I got everything I wished for.

Enjoy!

The octagonal room on the right side of this photo is a library/study lined with bookshelves in dark wood with a writing desk at the center with a view of the harbor and islands. Think you could work there?

The octagonal room on the right side of this photo is a library/study lined with bookshelves in dark wood with a writing desk at the center with a view of the harbor and islands. Think you could work there?

This house was the oldest on the tour, the "in town" house, with a wonderful mural in the dining room.

This house was the oldest on the tour, the “in town” house, with a wonderful mural in the dining room.

Here's the front garden for the house at left.

Here’s the front garden for the house at left.

 

This screened porch was beautiful--complete with stone fireplace for those cool Maine evenings. Another place I could work.

This screened porch was beautiful–complete with stone fireplace for those cool Maine evenings. Another place I could work.

The hydrangreas on the water-side of the house were humungous.

The hydrangreas on the water-side of the house were humungous.

I thought this garden sign was a little creepy--not the usual soothing sentiments. Googling tells me the quote comes from the gate to the rose garden at Lynch Park in Beverly, MA. But I don't know what the original quote comes from--if anything. Does anyone know?

I thought this garden sign was a little creepy–not the usual soothing sentiments. Googling tells me the quote comes from the gate to the rose garden at Lynch Park in Beverly, MA. But I don’t know what the original quote comes from–if anything. Does anyone know?

boothbayhousetour9

The dock out front.

 

About Barbara Ross

Barbara Ross is the author of the Maine Clambake Mysteries: Clammed Up, Boiled Over, Musseled Out, Fogged Inn and Iced Under. The sixth book, Stowed Away, will be published in December, 2017. You can visit her website at http://www.maineclambakemysteries.com.
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8 Responses to The Boothbay Home and Garden Tour

  1. Jewel Hanley says:

    ‘House Porn’. Love that phrase and I so identify with it. House Hunters International is my favorite. Try the app ‘Houzz’.

    Like

  2. Lea Wait says:

    What a wonderful day! I, too, have always loved houses. I even dream about them. Not all my dreams (if any) can come true … but I can put some of those places in my books!

    Like

  3. Kate Cone says:

    Thanks, Barb! I love that garden quote….hmmmm, might have to use that one! I also love HGTV, to my husband’s dismay. Fave is Fixer Upper and Tiny House Hunters.

    Like

  4. Mary says:

    I can see where a house tour would supply colorful background ideas, but your account puts me in mind of what Robert G. Hall thought about house tours of homes belonging to wealthy people He thought it was a bad idea for the wealthy to do because they set themselves up to be robbed of valuables later. I mention it because for a mystery writer, Robert’s opinion might be of value as part of a story. I will add that Robert’s opinion had weight as he was an antique dealer in Dover-Foxcroft and his clientele included the rich and often famous families along the East coast.

    Fortunately for you and many others who like house tours, the owners never knew Robert Gerry Hall!

    Like

    • Barb Ross says:

      Oh, how interesting. One of the many jobs my romantic interest Chris Durand has is taking care of summer houses over the winter. I was thinking he could stumble on a body.

      Like

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