Archive for August, 2012

Fall and Winter in the Garden with Irene Brady Barber

Friday, August 31st, 2012
September 29, 2012
9:00 amto12:00 pm

Festuca glauca "Elija Blue' (William Cullina photo)

Irene will teach you what tasks need doing in the fall and winter ornamental garden.  Topics include what plants to cut back in winter versus in the spring, and which materials to leave for fertility and protection and which to clean up to reduce diseases and pests. You’ll learn about winter protection mechanisms to combat snow, ice, salt, and wind damage. She will introduce bulb orders and planting, and finally will help you assess your ornamental gardens’ needs for the coming spring.  Don’t miss this information-packed class, perfectly timed for buttoning up your cherished garden.

Irene Brady Barber is currently both a landscape designer for Cosmic Stone & Garden Supply and a seasonal horticultural educator at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.  She is presently working to complete a professional certification in the field of horticultural therapy, which is the focus of much of her teaching at the Gardens. 

Where:   Bosarge Familiy Education Center
Price:     $35 members, $42 non-members

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Invasive Plants: Issues, Identification, and Ecology with Ted Elliman

Monday, August 27th, 2012
October 3, 2014toOctober 4, 2014

This class at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, October 3 and 4, is co-sponsored with the New England Wild Flower Society. It is part of the curriculum for the Gardens’ Certificate Program in Native Plants and Ecological Horticulture but is open to all, subject to availability.  

What’s all the fuss? Invasive plant species have been getting a lot of bad lip service from botany, ecology, horticulture, and conservation professionals alike. Ted Elliman, Vegetation Management Coordinator for the New England Wild Flower Society, to find out why. In this two-day course, Ted will introduce you to the basic ecological problems surrounding these aggressive and tenacious plants. He’ll delve into the complicated (and sometimes political) issues surrounding invasive plant species, including the process by which a plant becomes labeled “invasive.” Finally, Ted will introduce you to some of New England’s most common invasive species through images, specimens and short local field visits.  Please bring lunch, a hand lens, water, and warm, sturdy clothes to go afield for short forays.

Ecologist Ted Elliman is currently Vegetation Management Coordinator for the New England Wild Flower Society, where for the past five years he and his dedicated corps of volunteers have located, documented, and controlled invasive species in natural areas for land trusts, conservation organizations, and state agencies across the New England landscape.  In his present position, he also conducts botanical inventories, rare-plant and natural-community documentation. Previously, Ted worked as a contract ecologist for the National Park Service and several other agencies doing rare-plant and natural-community surveys and invasive-management projects on the Appalachian Trail (from Maine to Pennsylvania) and the Boston Harbor Islands.   He has been a natural history tour guide to western China for the last 15 years.

Where:   Bosarge Family Education Center and local field destinations
Price:     $120 members, $150 non-members (preregistration required)

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Horticultural Ecology, with Bill Cullina

Monday, August 27th, 2012
September 11, 2014toSeptember 12, 2014

This Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens class, part of the Certificate Program in Native Plants & Horticulture, is subtitled “Biological Interactions of Garden Plants and Environment.” In this class, which meets from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, September 11 and 12, you’ll delve into topics of how plants interact with their garden environment. Topics instructor Bill Cullina will cover include specific adaptations to environmental condition and interrelationships between garden plants and their surrounding biotic and abiotic influences. He’ll also discuss concepts such as competition, symbiosis, parasitism, pollination, and dispersal. 

While this is a core course in the Certificate program, it is open to everyone, subject to availability. 

Executive Director Bill Cullina previously served as Director of Horticulture for the Gardens and before that was Nursery Director for the New England Wild Flower Society. He is a well-known author and recognized authority on North American native plants. He lectures on a variety of subjects to garden and professional groups and writes for popular and technical journals. His books include Wildflowers; Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines; Understanding Orchids; Native Ferns, Mosses, and Grasses; and most recently, Understanding Perennials

Where:   Bosarge Family Education Center
Price:     $140 members, $170 non-members (preregistration required)


Where Am I?

Monday, August 27th, 2012

This wall was created along the Birch Allee. The stone wall running from the Shoreland Trail up the ledge and across the Birch Allee was most likely a property boundary or perhaps a sheep fence. The thin, stony soils here were too poor for crops, but did support sheep farming from the 1700s until the mid-1800s. Now thickly covered in moss and ferns, this wall is a vivid reminder that 200 years ago, most of the Boothbay peninsula was clear of trees, and herds of sheep and cattle dotted a landscape of small farms.

This summer, four dramatic stone benches were installed throughout the Gardens. This graceful loveseat is located in the Woodland Garden, tucked behind the Cleaver Event Lawn. We’ve spotted kids climbing on it, adults stretching out on it, and couples snuggling on it. These granite benches came from a quarry near Augusta while others in the Gardens have come from Mount Desert Island.

Yes, there really are palms in Maine. The Needle Palms are located in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden next to the treehouse. Part of the horticulture research that happens at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens includes testing plant hardiness. The Needle Palms are the most hardy species of palm in the world. It is a very slow growing plant and is adaptable to cold temperatures and conditions such as we have in Maine.

These stone steps are on the Maine Woods Trail and lead to the Lady’s Slipper Glen. In 1998, we started to study the plants at the center of this one-acre area where they are very common. Each June, volunteers count all of the flowers, monitor growth for many of the plants, and attach a numbered tag to new plants. Over 2,300 plants have been tagged, nearly five times as many as were found at the start of the study. Visit us from late May to mid-June each year to see this lovely orchid display.

Geocaching, according to, is an international outdoor treasure hunt where players try to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, using a smartphone or GPS and then share their experiences online. Did you know that there is a geocache located within Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens? Now that you know we have wouldn't be fair to tell you where it is, would it?!