Sunken garden redesigned to grow wild, edible plants

BAR HARBOR — Teaghan Rose, a College of the Atlantic senior, spoke at the Bar Harbor Garden Club’s recent September meeting. Her presentation described a historic preservation project that transformed a neglected garden into an edible, wild and native garden. Rose is Co-Chair of the college’s Garden Club.

The “Sunken Garden” is located between the Turrets Administration Building and Peach House. Over the years, various students have been inspired to restore this historic garden.

They determined the garden’s origins to be from the former John J. Emery estate. John and Lela Emery began building the Turrets in 1895, and later bought the adjacent estate called The Moorings. They later razed The Moorings and built a formal Italian garden on its foundation.

The most recent transformation phase of the sunken garden was Yaniv Korman’s senior 2018 project that involved historical research and helping lead a community restoration process with the community. Korman also created a list of edible plants currently growing in the garden.

“Yaniv did not restore the Sunken Garden to its historical annual flower garden state,” a brochure about the garden project says. “Rather, he created an edible wild garden, while preserving elements of the garden’s historic structure and its role as a space in which people can interact with nature.”

In addition to promoting the sunken garden as an education tool for students, Korman also developed a 5-year maintenance plan to help ensure the garden’s sustainability. He and Rose led all of the student educational workshops and planting operations.

Following the presentation, Rose gave a tour of the garden and pointed out an information station where a copy of the “Edible-plant List of the Sunken Garden” brochure, along with historical photographs of the garden, are available.

The garden is open to the public.

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