Like wild roses, softening the edges between spruce and sea

It’s not just your imagination. Travel the shady roads leading to and around Boothbay Harbor and you’ll catch the alluring scent of roses, long before you see the pink beauties trailing along gardens and shoreline paths. The rosa rugosa is for many the signature rose of a coastal summer, with bushes growing like hedgerows between meadow and ocean.

For some rosa rugosa is pegged as “invasive” along with purple loosestrife and bittersweet, and it does trace its path back to the Asian coast from Siberia to Japan. Rosa may be native or may have arrived with the English colonists. The first mention doesn’t occur until an 1899 roadside sighting on Nantucket. If our “beach plum rose” is really native, we think, the Abenaki who first trod the woodland path at Spruce Point might have characterized the full moon of the month as the Wild Rose Moon instead of the Strawberry Moon. Still we find this lovely naturalized rose has roots as deep as the history of the settlement of Boothbay. The simple blossoms are so reminiscent of the emblems, red and white of the War of the Roses. As Maine rugosa grower Suzanne Verrier at North Creek Farm in Phippsburg notes, ”The species are among my favorites because in part, these are the original roses. I value their purity and simple elegance coupled with their will and ability to not only survive but flourish.” She also notes the value of the dense foliage as a shelter for wild birds and protection against predators. A reason the beauty and fragrance of these roses are enhanced by birdsong.

Obviously roses have excellent agents, advancing the idea of stopping to smell them, that any other name would keep their scent just as sweet and that the first rose of summer fades too soon. But there are parallels between this enduring reminder of gracenotes and the mission of hospitality. Like this rose, Spruce Point Inn is part of the landscape now, softening the edge between spruce forest and the sea, shoring up the bank against erosion, impervious to the cold and salt air, sheltering those who seek us out. Spruce Point Inn strives to entice with a full sensory experience – a place to stop and take in the day, the light, the “oceanside memories made in Maine.” Like the rose, we bloom in summer, flourish in the fall with the seasonal fruits of continued labor, hedging home against the winter winds when the season is past.

Spruce Point Inn is all about savoring the moments; pausing in the rush of the 21st century to take a deep breath of life. Gather the petals of personal history, while you may.