Gardening with Dahlias :: Tips for Growing Flowers in Maine

Maine Bed and Breakfast breast cancer donations

Bev Davis’ Gardening Tips for Dahlias – 

Why are Dahlias a great flower to add to your garden?

  • Dahlias come in a variety of colors. If you follow a color theme in your garden, you can find a bulb to compliment your theme. Even if you just like one-color variety, there is a large range from which to choose, including dark purples, reds, pinks, yellow and even some two-tone combinations
  • Dahlias make an excellent cutting flower. Most stems are strong enough for large or small arrangements. The “Dinner-Dish” varieties are spectacular just alone in a vase or floating singly in water.
  • Dahlias can take direct sunlight all day long or a sun/shade combination.
  • Dahlias need water but are not temperamental like impatiens which like lots of water. Dead-heading is really easy. As blooms fade, they require just an easy clip and discard to your compost pile.
  • Dahlias bloom from early spring to late fall. The more you clip the flowers, the more come behind….you always have a show of brilliant color in your garden.
  • Dahlias are an annual here in New England. BUT they are easy winter keepers. Just dig the bulb and knock the soil off. Place in a bucket and put in a cool and dark place like a cellar or basement.  Cover lightly with a tarp.  The bulbs really need to be kept in the dark over the winter.  During the growing season bulbs multiply and can be split before replanting in the spring — (I like 3-4 bulbs with each planting).
  • Dahlia bulbs can be purchased at any nursery or you can buy blooming plants.

However, we have a deal for you!
I have deep red/yellow center plants that grow about 4-5 feet tall. They have produced multiple bulbs, more than we can use in the Captain Lord Mansion gardens. Thus, we are proposing selling our excess bulbs as a fundraiser for our breast cancer survivors.
If you would like to have a packet of these bulbs, the first 20 people who order and make a donation of $50.00 to our “Dime for Time” Fundraiser honoring Bev’s Sister Lois (who lost her battle with breast cancer 12 years ago) will receive their bulbs in late April along with planting instructions.  100% of the donation will be given to “My Breast Cancer Support“, a 501 c-3 Charity in Portsmouth, New Hampshire which financially and emotionally supports women during their struggle with breast cancer.

So, make a donation for breast cancer patient support and add Captain Lord Mansion Dahlias to your garden.

Dahlia gardening tips

gardening in Maine

Captain Nathaniel Lord Returns – A Piece of Kennebunkport History

On an ordinary day in summer 2015, innkeepers Rick & Bev stop at Kennebunk’s Ace Hardware to pick up garden supplies. What happens next is anything but ordinary… View a piece of Kennebunkport history as Captain Nathaniel Lord returns! Follow our YouTube channel for future updates.

Come experience our historic and luxurious Kennebunkport bed and breakfast for yourself!

AAA Four Diamond Award 2015 – 35th Consecutive Year

We are delighted to announce receipt of the AAA Four Diamond Award again for 2015!

AAA 4 Diamond Award

Here at the Captain Lord Mansion, we believe it is an extraordinary accomplishment. To travelers, Four Diamonds means AAA (the leader in travel standards with over 55 million members) considers us a lodging establishment that is “upscale in all areas.”

What’s more the the AAA Four Diamond Award tells the world that our “accommodations are progressively more refined and stylish. The physical attributes of the inn reflect an obvious enhanced level of quality throughout. The fundamental hallmarks at this level include an extensive array of amenities combined with a high degree of hospitality, service, and attention to detail.”

Bev and I are exceptionally proud of this level of excellence and we’ve maintained those standards over the past 35 years. Our inn is one of only a handful in Maine to receive the award. The 2015 AAA plaque, seen here, hangs in our foyer, just inside the main entrance.

Just so you know, this is not an award that comes easily. It cannot be bought. It cannot be influenced by a free night’s stay or an expensive dinner. It takes hard work to get there.

The inspectors come without notice. They conduct a white-glove inspection and are brutally particular. They are not beholden to anyone except the standard. How you did the year prior does not matter. They expect improvements every year in service, hospitality, cleanliness, decor, gardens, room enhancements.  AAA’s 55 million members know they can rely on the inspection grading.

Every year, Bev and I have tried to give our guests and AAA something more. Establishing our Memory Garden, the garden waterfall as well as enhancing the other extensive gardens on our grounds was important because AAA considers the exterior of a Four Diamond property just as important as the interior.  So do we!  However, it is also important to continue to invest in room upgrades, redecorating and renovations.  This winter, Bev worked her magic in the Merchant Captain’s Suite, Mary Lord, Lincoln, Daniel and finally the kitchen in the Captain’s Garden House.

Kennebunkport, Maine Bed and BreakfastRomantic Getaway in Maine


Your innkeepers, Bev Davis & Rick Litchfield

Frequent Travel Rewards – Romantic Getaway in Maine

Romantic Bed & Breakfast in Maine

How do you secure frequent travel rewards at the Captain Lord Mansion and how does does the “Memory Garden” relate?  We devised a rather special way to honor our frequent visiting guests.  Every five visits to our romantic bed & breakfast inn earns a gift from the innkeepers; the 10th repeat visit being very special because it earns an engraved paving stone in the inn’s “Memory Garden”.  Here is a picture of a couple (Greg and Deanna) celebrating their 10th visit to the inn by viewing their brick in the “Memory Garden” walkway.

When we were contemplating ways to honor the frequent visitor to the Captain Lord Mansion, we thrashed about with lots of ideas, but none really struck us as being unique.  In 1995, when touring the “Gardens”  show rooms at the Atlanta Gift Mart, we discovered these engraved stones. Bev immediately conceived the idea of a garden area using the engraved stones to recognize the 10th visit.  I had been looking at fountains, so we combined her idea with mine and “voila” a rewards program was born.  The next issue was having the garden designed and built.  Our friend Tony Elliot from Snug Harbor Farm designed the garden and a local contractor built it.  We now have over 750 engraved stones in the garden area and adjoining walkway.  Bev and I salute these loyal guests with a hearty “thank you” for their loyalty and friendship over the past 37 years.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Tesla Charging Station :: Now Available in Kennebunkport

Tesla Charging StationAs a member of The Select Registry, a group of “Distinguished Inns of North America”, the inn was chosen to participate in a nationwide installation of a charging station for electric cars including one specifically for Tesla Automobiles. Here is a picture of the first Tesla for which we proudly provided a charge at the Tesla Charging Station over the 4th of July weekend.  The Captain Lord Mansion is now included on the Tesla Internet mapping network as well as other Internet data bases for charging stations.  This is just one more of the services we are proud to offer our guests.  So, if you are traveling in your Volt or Tesla, consider the convenience of charging here at the inn and not worrying about it!


Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield (Shown here the day the station went operational.)

Tesla Charging Station in Maine

A Kennebunkport Vacation – Summer Activities in Maine

Bicycling in Kennebunkport

If you are considering a Kennebunkport vacation which includes a visit to the Captain Lord Mansion, an intimate Maine Coast Bed and Breakfast, we invite you to review the many vacation activities available for your enjoyment. Kennebunkport offers you a plethora of fun things to do to entertain, to educate and to expand your horizons!  Or just come to the Mansion to relax and unwind! Here is an alphabetized list of Kennebunkport’s vacation activities from A to Z:

A Kennebunkport Vacation:

Bev and I truly enjoy summer in Maine and especially Kennebunkport because there is so much to do.  We often find there is more events and activities than time to do them!  If you would like to discuss your vacation plans and how we may assist you in planning the perfect vacation, including romantic sunsets, please call (207-967-3141) the Captain Lord Mansion, a luxurious Maine Coast bed and breakfast inn, today!

Your innkeepers, Bev Davis and Rick Litchfield.

summer getaway in Maine


Scooter Rentals :: Kennebunkport Summer Getaway

Scooter rentals in Maine

This is not Bermuda, but you can rent scooters in Kennebunkport!

You now can rent scooters from Harbor Village Scooters which is located at Coopers Corner in Kennebunk’s Lower Village at the Sunoco Station.  We have miles of flat roads and lots of beautiful scenery.  Don’t struggle finding a parking space at the beaches; tour the Franciscan Monastery grounds, or scoot out to Cape Porpoise to see the lobster fishermen bring in their daily catch of lobsters. Doing this by scooter is so much more refreshing in the open air out of your car.  Our staff members at the Captain Lord Mansion are pleased to reserve your scooter for you.  For Scooter Rentals in Kennebunkport go to Harbor Village Scooter Rentals.

Your Innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

Jillyanna’s Cooking School – Kennebunkport, Maine Activity

Cooking school in Maine

Do you know about Jillyanna’s Cooking School, which is located in Kennebunkport?

Are you looking for something different to do while on your summer vacation at the Captain Lord Mansion in Kennebunkport?

Bev and I had the pleasure of attending a demonstration of the wood-fired oven and the delectable goodies our friend Jill Strauss creates. She and he partner Valerie do pie classes, home-made pasta classes as well as private, wood-fired pizza events.  It was one of those pizza events which we attended.  Jill and Valerie only use fresh ingredients, many of which they grow in their garden.  The food, the setting and the hospitality are terrific.  If you are looking for a cooking experience while with us this season, we encourage you to give Jillyanna’s a try.

The wood-fired oven is magnificent; however, part of the cooking experience is learning how to cook with different types of ovens, gas, electric as well as the wood-fired oven.  Click through the link in this blog to learn more about this very different vacation activity.  Jillyanna’s is tucked away in a rural setting in a quiet part of Kennebunkport..

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

wood-fired cooking school

17 Summer Activities to do in Kennebunkport, Maine

whale watching in Maine

Think you’ll be bored on your summer vacation in Maine?  Think again!  Here is our list of 17 things to do this summer in Kennebunkport.  And this list only scratches the surface of the plethora of summer activities found in Kennebunkport and the surrounding area.  When visiting the Captain Lord Mansion, our capable staff can connect you with tickets, times, directions, maps and any othe rthing you need to take advantage of these summer activities.

Your innkeeper, Rick Litchfield

  1. View the Bush Estate on Ocean Avenue; it was the summer White House for 41!
  2. Swim at the beautiful white sand Goose Rocks Beach
  3. Shop the many fine boutiques found in the Port’s Dock Square
  4. View Goat Island Lighthouse and see the Lobster Boats at Cape Porpoise Harbor
  5. Tour the Franciscan Monastery Gardens and Grounds
  6. Experience the nature trails at Laudholm Farm/Wells Reserve
  7. Tour the Kennebunkport Historical Society’s White Columns “First Families” Museum
  8. Learn the history of the Kennebunks at the Brick Store Museum
  9. Take a Ride on an old trolley at the Seashore Trolley Museum
  10. Take an educational and scenic cruise on the Lobster Boat Rugosa
  11. Go canoeing on the Kennebunk River and have a Captain Lord Mansion picnic lunch at “Picnic Rock”
  12. Enjoy a day seeking whales on the “First Chance” Whale Watch cruise
  13. Bicycle along Ocean Ave to tour the beautiful stone edifice of St. Anne’s Episcopal Church
  14. Enjoy a sea Kayaking adventure with Coastal Maine Kayak
  15. Take a horse-drawn Carriage Ride through the Historic District
  16. Take a relaxing scenic sailing adventure on the Schooner Eleanor
  17. Take a cooking class at Jillyanna’s Wood-fired Cooking School

Sailing in Maine

Kennebunkport River Green – Fascinating History

River Green in KennebunkportThe Kennebunkport River Green has a fascinating history.  Originally, the land which now is called “The River Green” was house lots; there were three houses situated on that land during the 1800’s.  In the late 1800’s, the Captain Lord Mansion was owned by Charles P. Clark, the grandson of the original builder, Nathaniel Lord.  Because the three house blocked his view of the Kennebunk River, he had each moved to different part of town.  Being a wealthy railroad magnate from Connecticut, he could easily afford the cost of removal of the houses.  The bucolic park-like setting remained as part of the Lord family estate until 1972 when the Mansion was sold out of the family for the first time in 170 years.  The purchaser of the Mansion estate, Biddeford native Jim Throumoulos, was intent on selling the land to raise capital for funding his renovations to the Mansion.  Local residents were concerned that an important scenic part of the town would be destroyed by development; thus, in 1973, the River Green became the catalyst for citizens organizing the Kennebunkport Conservation Trust.  The Kennebunkport River Green was the initial land purchase of the Conservation Trust which has grown exponentially under the leadership of Tom Bradbury.  Currently, the land owned and under conservation by the Trust is extensive and even includes Goat Island and its’ iconic lighthouse.  As owners of the Captain Lord Mansion, we are grateful for the stewardship of the citizens of Kennebunkport to create the Conservation Trust and preserve the River Green as an open park which showcases the Mansion during the winter and spring months.  Your innkeepers, Bev Davis & Rick Litchfield

Inn in Kennebunkport Maine