The site of the Bagaduce Music Lending Library offers both opportunities and challenges to garden design and creation. Among the site's greatest assets are the many mature red oaks that provide shade necessary for so much of Maine's flora as well as food for an astounding number of native insects, which are an important source of protein for our birds. Another is the diversity of habitats already present on the site including a small pond, a seasonal stream, forested wetland, regenerating forest/woodland, and well drained areas of disturbed soils receiving varying amounts of light and moisture. The buildings on the site present opportunities for demonstrating how native plants can be used in a residential setting. Plantings in these areas will bring delicate and unusual wetland and woodland plants into view for library and performance hall patrons. Visitors using the woodland trail will experience these gems in a more natural setting. Augmenting the existing diversity of plants with gardens will instantly increase the diversity of wildlife using the site.
Among the challenges on the site is the present confusion about where to park and which building to enter. Proposed tree and shrub plantings will help diminish the prominence of the existing ranch and barn buildings when visitors first enter and guide them to the public library and performance spaces beyond. Minimizing the visual extent of the current parking area while maintaining its function, drainage and ability to be plowed during snow storms is another of the site's challenges. By softening the edges with snow plow resistant plantings and placing a summerhouse as a focal point, the eye will be led to the plantings and woods beyond. Existing drainage problems around buildings will be addressed by incorporating changes in topography as part of the garden design.
Planting to create rhythm and visual interest through repeated plant motifs can delight the visitor and provide connectivity throughout the site for aesthetic and ecological benefits. The garden will unite the buildings of the campus by providing a beautiful, cohesive backdrop for library staff, patrons and concert goers. It will provide outdoor spaces for visitors and can host seasonal musical events. The garden will benefit the community by providing an example and educational opportunities for people interested in sustainable gardening and gardening with native plants. It will also serve to increase the visibility of the library in the community.