Archive for December, 2012

Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden

Friday, December 21st, 2012

North Entry to the Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden

Our Senior Horticulturalist, Dick Zieg, has been feverishly looking through plant catalogs the past couple of weeks searching for new plants and ideas to enhance the gardens of the Cleaver Event Lawn and Garden. This is the area that surrounds the open panel of turf above the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses. 

Dick explains some of the changes he plans to make in 2013

Dick is the primary gardener for this area and he wanted to provide some new horticultural displays for 2013. A month ago, I sent him some images of the mixed borders at Great Dixter in East Sussex, England; and this lit a fuse with Dick. He has picked out a nice array of new plants to mix into the existing plantings. Just a sampling of new plants he has picked out includes Liquidambar styraciflua ‘Slender Silhouette,’ Hibiscus ‘Pink Elephant,’ and Clematis ‘Wildfire.’




Be sure to walk around the gardens surrounding the Cleaver Event Lawn  this summer and see all of Dick’s improvements. – Rodney

Images by: Dick Zieg, Rodney Eason, Sugarcreek Gardens, Sooner Plant Farm, and

FULL – Kitchen Garden Series Dinner with Chef Josh Hixson of 40 Paper Italian Bistro

Monday, December 17th, 2012
June 6, 2013
6:00 pm

Please note: Every seat is full for our June Kitchen Garden Series Dinner. Please check our calendar for additional dinners at the Gardens.

You’ll want to be at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens on Thursday, June 6, when Chef Josh Hixson of the 40 Paper Italian Bistro in Camden, Maine, creates a delectable multi-course Kitchen Garden Series Dinner. Wine and gratuities are included. Numbers are limited; for reservations and to check availability, call 207-633-4333, ext. 101.

Please visit the calendar for dates and information about additional Kitchen Garden Series Dinners.

Where:   Kitchen Garden Cafe, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Price:     $75 members, $90 non-members

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Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Winter Work

Friday, December 14th, 2012

Throughout the winter, we thought it would be great to share with all of our visitors what we do once the perennials are dormant and Jack Frost moves into his winter home on the Boothbay peninsula. This is the first of weekly updates showing you some of the improvements we have on the boards in the Gardens. Hopefully, when you and spring come back to the Gardens, you will be able to notice the fruits of our labors.

The first update is about Justin’s trail improvement work down along the Back River. Thanks to a grant from the Fields Pond Foundation, Justin is able to continue improving the trails on the Gardens’ property. He was also able to attend a workshop on best management practices for trail building this fall, which was coordinated and taught by the Maine Forest Service. He is using knowledge and techniques gained from this workshop directly on the trail improvement.

Justin is focusing our trail improvements on the Huckleberry Cove Trail. This trail runs south along the shoreline of the Back River from the Vayo Meditation Garden along the gorgeous ledge outcrop. If you have yet to walk down this trail, be sure to check it out this spring. When the trail was initially constructed, a layer of landscape fabric was used under the walkway mulch. Over time, we noticed that the fabric did not provide a rough enough surface for the mulch to “grab” onto. The walkway appeared that it was cracking in places, and in other locations you could even see the black landscape fabric.

Justin surveying his work

Justin surveying his work

What Justin did this past week was to initially scrape away the top layer of walkway mulch. Then he pulled away the landscape fabric, which we are hoping to reuse in other areas of the property. Justin is using smaller equipment and hand tools to create as little impact on the surrounding forest as possible. The mulch is scraped back by using a compact, track loader called a Toro Dingo (see above). By using a loader on tracks, the weight of the machine is spread out over a greater surface area, which causes less disturbance and compaction. Justin is hauling excess material out of the trail area with a small Kubota all-terrain vehicle. If you have been to the Gardens, you probably have noticed our staff moving about in these useful machines.

If Justin gets near a tree root, he parks the Dingo and finishes the excavation using a shovel and rake. It can be hard work, but Justin loves the fact that it keeps him warm on these colder days.

Area pulled away by Dingo

Area pulled away by Dingo

Next week, Justin will begin resurfacing the pathway with a walkway mulch we use called Superhumus. I will provide an update on the resurfacing next week. – Rodney