We hope that we inspire you as much as you inspire us.

Asticou Azalea Garden

Maine's Mount Desert Island's Northeast Harbor holds a hidden Gem. When world famous landscape gardener Beatrix Farrand dismantled Reef Point Estate due to financial issues, Inn Keeper and Renaissance Man Charles Savage stepped in to rescue Farrand's beloved Azalea collection, with financial help of John D. Rockefeller, and incorporated it into one of America's premier water gardens.

Savage, a noted painter, sculptor and expert in hospitality was motivated to create a new attraction for the guests of his family's luxury hotel.  His inspiration was a combination of Japanese gardening, the lush natural landscape of Maine, and the beautiful Reef Pointe Azalea collection. With a time frame of one year and no formal landscape design training, this true artist built one of our favorite water gardens.


Asticou showcases one of the worlds most diverse and mature Azalea collections planted throughout the Japanese inspired garden, designed to flawlessly integrate the existing natural Alder swamp landscape.


Savage's use of a sand garden along the eastern edge of the stream creates the illusion of islands near flowing water, contrasting each other's beauty while enhancing the characteristics of each feature. His balance of natural and man-made aspects of the garden is on point with traditional Japanese style while blending vegetation and stones of the west. 

Laughing Waters is particularly inspired by the meandering streams throughout the garden that are cleverly positioned to lead someone on an interactive journey through the garden and its ponds, creating clever vantage points.  Natural edging details are married ever so delicately to the lush mature landscape, making it difficult to determine where the ground stops and the impressionist landscape painting begins. 

At Laughing Waters we strive to incorporate our inspirations like Aticou into beautiful water gardens around America. If your project is truly inspired by water, Laughing Waters will help bring your water to life.

Laughing Waters Project Inspired by 
The Asticou  Garden


For More information about the beautiful Astcou Azalea Garden:


Laughing Waters Inc  | 708.466.0480
dhanley@laughingwatersinc.com | www.laughingwatersinc.com