Sand Garden Restoration

The Sand Garden Restoration offers a unique opportunity for historic preservation, organizational continuity, and the inspired engagement of future generations of garden visitors, designers and historians.

The Sand Garden is a distinctive highlight of the Asticou Azalea Garden stroll and an integral element of its landscape. Charles K. Savage designed and built the Asticou Azalea Garden in 1958 using plants from Beatrix Farrand’s Reef Point Estate. John D. Rockefeller Jr funded a portion of the project.


The Sand Garden has been lovingly cared for by Mary Roper, Head Gardener at the Asticou Azalea Garden for the past three decades. In 2019, Mary celebrated her 30th year working at the Azalea Garden. 

In Mary’s words, “Charles Savage’s naturalization of an otherwise stark feature helps to explain how his sand garden always appears to belong on site, how accessible it is to our visitors, how it does not require a skilled or developed meditative approach to be appreciated, and how Mr. Savage resolved the visual needs of his Maine site without the nearby Buddhist temples offering viewing platforms, border walls and a generally refined, religious atmosphere as they do in Japan. Created through a rich collection of Maine elements, Savage’s sand garden appears simultaneously native and exotic. It offers a level of sophistication beyond its Asian origins, expertly woven into the language and landscape of Maine.”

 …This sand garden…was conceived purely from the standpoint of effect, of introducing a surprise for the visitor…an exotic introduction…providing one of the few examples of the type to be found outside of Japan itself.

– From a 1958 report from

Charles K. Savage to John D. Rockefeller Jr.


Reconstruct & Extend Cedar Fence: Updated Design with Pile Footings

Reset Dry-Stack Stone & Tile Wall


Improve Path Edge: Reset Tiles & Replace Foot Barrier & Replant with Irrigation


Renovate Viewing Area & Improve Moss Garden: Reconfigure Layout / Incorporate Charles Savage Bench design 

Replace & Reset Stepping Stones / Planting Renovations / Reset Stone Wall   

Replenish Sand Garden & Reset Stones 


Replenish, Replace, Irrigate & Remove Plants

Land & Garden Preserve

PO Box 208   |   Seal Harbor, ME  04675   |   |   207.276.3727


Tax ID #23-7102758

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