Lovely Lupines in Maine: Where to find lupines near Inns Along the Coast

We call this lupines with a view. These lupines are growing in gardens around the Newcastle Inn in Newcastle, ME. Photo courtesy of Newcastle Inn.

We call this lupines with a view. These lupines are growing in gardens around the Newcastle Inn in Newcastle, ME. Photo courtesy of Newcastle Inn.

By Marti Mayne

Barbara Cooney, a children’s storybook author, wrote a wonderful story about how Miss Rumphius planted flowers among the rocks in her gardens and the seeds spread throughout the countryside.  That story, entitled Miss Rumphius was make believe and Miss Rumphius was a fictious name and roughly based upon a true story.  According to the New England Historical Society, the “real” Miss Rumphius was a woman name Hilda Edwards who arrived in South Bristol, Maine, from Bristol, England, in 1904, at the age of 15. She loved visiting her uncle’s cottage in Christmas Cove, however at the time there were no roads to Christmas Cove. Hilda Edwards had to take a train to Newcastle and then a mail launch down the Damariscotta River to get to the cottage.  She returned to the cottage year after year, eventually bringing lupine seeds imported from her home country of England. After they began to bloom, every summer she cut bundles of lupine stalks and shook out their seeds over a wider space to spread the bounty of purple and pink flowers across the rocky roads and countryside. 

She eventually gained the nickname “Lupine Lady”, just like in the  Cooney story.  And one of the best messages from the book was found in one of the final paragraphs when Miss Rumphius tells her niece: "You must do something to make the world more beautiful." 

While they don’t have the same fascination with lupines as Hilda or Miss Rumphius, the innkeepers at Inns Along the Coast continue the tradition and many have planted lupine gardens at their own inns. Follow any of the Inns Along the Coast’s wonderful itineraries, staying at a different inn from Kennebunkport to Bar Harbor, and you’ll not only find beautiful lupine gardens at the inns, but along the way too.  The scenic route between all nine members of Inns Along the Coast is Route One, meandering through beautiful Coastal Maine Towns where lupines grow along the roadside.

 Let’s take an armchair tour of what you’ll see when you visit any of the Inns Along the Coast’s gardens or on the roadside along the way. Did the seeds originate in Christmas Cove, planted by Hilda?  It’s entirely possible that with the help of the wind when these beautiful flowers go to seed, that some of the plants you’ll see roadside today may have started in 1904 when Hilda arrived at her uncle’s cottage and began her planting career.

Starting in Kennebunkport at the Captain Jefferds Inn, you’ll find gorgeous gardens filled with lupines planted by master gardener and innkeeper Erik Lindholm. Alive in a vista of purple, these gardens offer guests quite a thrill when the lupines are all in bloom.

Beautiful purple lupines in bloom with Captain Jefferds Inn in the background. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Beautiful purple lupines in bloom with Captain Jefferds Inn in the background. Inns Along the Coast photo.

More lupines grow amidst the rock gardens surrounding the Captain Jefferds Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

More lupines grow amidst the rock gardens surrounding the Captain Jefferds Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Moving up the Maine Coast along Route One, it’s easy to spot fields of lupines along the road. The wind easily spreads the seeds of the lupines once they go by creating fields of purple, pink and white lupines, standing straight like soldiers along the way. Our next lupine stop was along Route One, right outside of Freeport, home to the Brewster House B&B.

Purple lupines on Route One, in South Freeport, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Purple lupines on Route One, in South Freeport, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

The sun shining on purple lupines makes them appear blue. These lupines found along Route One in South Freeport. Inns Along the Coast photo.

The sun shining on purple lupines makes them appear blue. These lupines found along Route One in South Freeport. Inns Along the Coast photo.

We continued our lupine tour traveling North once again on Route One. Soon we came to a gorgeous field of lupines and wildflowers right outside the turn off for Newcastle and Damariscotta, home to the Newcastle Inn.

This beautiful filed of wild daisies, lupines and yellow flowers is found on Route One, right near Newcastle, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

This beautiful filed of wild daisies, lupines and yellow flowers is found on Route One, right near Newcastle, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines come in pink too, and this pretty field of lupines was spotted growing along Route One, near Waldobo, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines come in pink too, and this pretty field of lupines was spotted growing along Route One, near Waldobo, Maine. Inns Along the Coast photo.

We condinued North on Route One, passing Moose Crossing Garden Center outside Waldoboro, and had to stop to get a shot of the beautiful lupines there (we ended up taking home a few potted ones from the Garden Center too!).

Unusual pinky/purple lupines at Moose Crossing Garden Center. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Unusual pinky/purple lupines at Moose Crossing Garden Center. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Our next stop was the three inns in Rockland - Berry Manor Inn, LimeRock Inn and Granite Inn, where we found beautiful gardens and plenty of additional purple flowers.

Purple and pink lupines surround the gazebo at LimeRock Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Purple and pink lupines surround the gazebo at LimeRock Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Berry Manor Inn’s gardens are filled with these purple flowers and budding peony bushes. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Berry Manor Inn’s gardens are filled with these purple flowers and budding peony bushes. Inns Along the Coast photo.

While we didn’t find lupines at the Granite Inn, we did discover gorgeous purple irises in bloom in the gardens there. And across the street at the Ferry Terminal, another field of pretty purple flowers was found to add to the scene!

Beautiful purple irises with one stand-out white one in the crowd, all found in the gardens surrounding the Granite Inn in Rockland, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Beautiful purple irises with one stand-out white one in the crowd, all found in the gardens surrounding the Granite Inn in Rockland, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Fields of these beautiful purple and white flowers grow wild right outside the Rockland Ferry Terminal. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Fields of these beautiful purple and white flowers grow wild right outside the Rockland Ferry Terminal. Inns Along the Coast photo.

As we continued North on Route One between Rockland and Camden, we discovered field after field of wild lupines along the side of the road, just beyond Rockport, ME. These were perhaps the most spectacular lupine fields of all.

Lupine fields filled with purple flowers on Route One, coming into Camden right outside Rockport, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupine fields filled with purple flowers on Route One, coming into Camden right outside Rockport, ME. Inns Along the Coast photo.

And finally we found ourselves in Camden, Maine. We wandered through the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn, and discovered not only beautiful Camden Harbor views, but of course, lupines too!

Lupines and other purple flowers growing in the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

Lupines and other purple flowers growing in the gardens at the Hawthorn Inn. Inns Along the Coast photo.

While our tour had to come to an end in Camden, Kristi, innkeeper at the Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B was able to capture some photos of lupines on Bar Island, just off of Bar Harbor. The lupine season is a little behind here, but if you look hard, you’ll find them.

Look closely and you’ll see the lupines growing in this field on Bar Island, near Bar Harbor, ME. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Look closely and you’ll see the lupines growing in this field on Bar Island, near Bar Harbor, ME. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Oh! There’s one! A lupine growing on Bar Island. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

Oh! There’s one! A lupine growing on Bar Island. Photo by Kristi Losquadro.

So that’s the end of your armchair tour of lupines near the Inns Along the Coast. Don’t wait too much longer to take your lupine tour of these inns. The blooms are peaking throughout most of Maine now, but they don’t last long. However, once they go to seed, be sure to stop and grab a few to spread in your neck of the woods, just like Miss Rumphius!

When you take your tour, be sure to stay with one or more of the 9 Inns Along the Coast. Book directly with these inns for the best rates.

Consider one of  the Inns Along the Coast for your next New England getaway, holiday or vacation.

In Kennebunkport:

Captain Jefferds Inn: Email: captjeff@captainjefferdsinn.com, website: www.captainjefferdsinn.com, reservations: 800-839-6844, 207-967-2311, Erik and Sarah Lindblom

In Newcastle

Newcastle Inn:  Email: info@newcastleinn.com, Website: www.newcastleinn.com, reservations: 207-563-5685, Your hosts: Julie Bolthuis and her four-legged assistant innkeeper, Jabu.

In Rockland:

Berry Manor Inn: Email: info@berrymanorinn.com, website: www.berrymanorinn.com, reservations: 800-774-5692/ Business line: 207-596-7696, Innkeepers:  Cheryl Michaelsen & Mike LaPosta

Granite Inn: Email: info@oldgraniteinn.com, website: www.OldGraniteInn.com, reservations: 207-594-9036, 800-386-9036.  Innkeepers:  Ed & Joan Hantz

LimeRock Inn: Email: info@LimeRockinn.com, website: www.LimeRockinn.com, reservations: 800-546-3762, 207-594-2257. Innkeepers:  Daniel and Ashley Bonneau and their daughter, Vieve.

In Bar Harbor:

Saltair Inn Waterfront B&B: E-Mail:  relax@saltairinn.com, website: www.saltairinn.com, 207-288-2882, Innkeepers: Kristi & Matt Losquadro.

Aysgarth Station B&B: Email: innkeeper@aysgarth.com, website: www.aysgarthstation.com, 207-288-9655, Innkeeper: Melody Kronenberg.

In Camden

Hawthorn Inn: Email: info@camdenhawthorn.com, website: www.camdenhawthorn.com,  207-236-8842, Your hosts: Ted & Lisa Weiss

In Freeport

Brewster House B&B: Email: info@brewsterhouse.com, website: www.brewsterhouse.com, 207-865-4121, Your hosts: Dave Noel & Kelleigh Dulany