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Rooted in history, a garden design for the ages in Maine

TO VISIT Milena Banks’s garden, which meanders down a hill overlooking Maine’s smallest city, is to wander through the mind of an artist, author, and world traveler who studied flower arranging in Japan and drew inspiration from the landscapes of England’s literary masters.

Banks and her husband, Erik, bought the 60-acre Bath farm, complete with 1812 granite house, in 2004. The land around the house “was just an empty space surrounded by trees and swamp,” she says, standing in the pea-stone driveway at the top of the tranquil hillside. “There was a little puddle at the bottom.”

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The couple, who previously lived in Greenwich, Connecticut, were shopping for a home near a city but with space to rehabilitate an increasing number of rescue animals — another of Banks’s interests. They found the farm on the Internet, but the house was a disaster. She made an offer so low she was sure the seller would refuse. Instead, she and Erik became the new owners.

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