Archive for July, 2013

Members Bonus! Special Early-Morning and Evening Hours

Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
July 25, 2013
8:00 amto8:00 pm
August 1, 2013
8:00 amto8:00 pm
August 15, 2013
8:00 amto8:00 pm
Haney Hillside-sunset vert-W_Cullina-240w

Haney Hillside Garden at Sunset
(William Cullina photo)

Experience our gardens in a whole new light! On four separate dates this summer, our gardens will be open to members an hour before we officially open and for three hours after the regular closing time. Come as early as 8 a.m. and/or stay as late as 8 p.m. on alternate Thursdays in July and August.

While there’s no need to preregister, all members should check in through the Membership Office. Please note that the Gardens Gift Shop, Kitchen Garden Café, Front Desk and Education Center will not be open during the additional hours.

If you aren’t already a member, this is a great time to join! Please visit our Membership page.

Reception for Hillary Parker Exhibit: “A Portfolio of Nature’s Beauty”

Monday, July 8th, 2013
July 16, 2013
4:30 pm

Hillary Parker portrait 240pxJoin us at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, July 16, in the Education Center lobby at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to celebrate the exquisite work of Artist-in-Residence Hillary Parker.  The reception is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

Hillary is a naturalist and international award-winning botanical watercolor artist with paintings exhibited and sold worldwide.  A former resident of Camden, Maine, she now works from her studio on St. Simons Island, off the coast of Georgia, returning to Maine to spend time with family in Boothbay whenever time permits. She has enjoyed a dual career of teaching and painting for more than 20 years and enjoys keeping up with the demands of private and public commissions, juried exhibitions, lectures, international workshops, and solo and group shows with galleries that represent her. Her paintings can be found in Singapore, El Salvador, Canada, Japan, Argentina, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Mexico, South Africa, Bahamas, and throughout the U.S. Visit Hillary’s website.

Hillary Parker will be teaching the following workshops during her July 16-19 residency.
July 16: Painting Poetry in Nature
July 18: Edible Art
July 19: Wine and Watercolors

DaPonte String Quartet July Concerts

Monday, July 8th, 2013
July 3, 2014
7:30 pm
July 24, 2014
7:30 pm
DaPonte at the Gardens-240The DaPonte String Quartet will present two concerts at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in July.
On Thursday, July 3, at 7:30, the Quarter will perform the following program entitled “Made in America:” 
-Randall Thompson “Alleluia”
-George Gershwin “Lullaby”
-Samuel Barber ” Adagio”
-Earl Stewart “Blues Fugues”;
-George Crumb “Black Angels”
On Thursday, July 24, at 7:30, the program, entitled “Entente Cordiale,” will include the following: 
-Claude Debussy Quartet in G; 
-Dmitri Shostakovich Quartet No. 4
-Henry Purcell “Fantasias”
Tickets: $25 (unless otherwise specified) available at There is no charge for those under 21. 

Snug Harbor Happiness

Friday, July 5th, 2013
A view of sun perennials on the grounds
I am so obsessed with
this succulent wreath!
Snug Harbor’s private succulent collection

Out of the three of us horticulture interns at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, I would have to say that I’m the garden center guru of the bunch. I’ve worked at a few different garden centers/greenhouses in my time and just love helping customers find exactly what they need for their garden. Let’s just say I’d be putting it lightly if I said I’m a little obsessed with all things nursery related. I think I get this trait from my mother; if we had it our way, we would stop at every garden center we see just to gaze at the beauty and fantasize about buying everything. Recently, I’ve found my new favorite garden center in Maine that I will be dreaming about for days.

As interns in the horticulture department, we are lucky enough to get to go on several field trips throughout the summer. Don’t worry- I’m sure you’ll get to hear all about them on this blog. Our first field trip was a few weeks ago to Oven’s Mouth Preserve on a guided hike through the trails. This past Wednesday, we ventured on our second exciting field trip to Kennebunk, Maine to visit Snug Harbor Farm. As you now know of my extensive love for garden centers, you can imagine me arriving at this beautiful farm and not being able to contain myself. I wanted to see, touch, and smell everything!

We got a tour of the grounds from employee Todd Carr and owner Tony Elliott. I honestly couldn’t believe the variety of product they offered. They obviously carry the essentials such as annuals, perennials and woody trees/shrubs, but they did things I’ve never seen a nursery do before. Here are just a few examples: The staff do a lot of topiary work, which they are able to rent out for weddings and other special events. They have a massive succulent collection; one from which the public can buy and also their own private collection that’s just for viewing. The property houses an entire field dedicated to plants that will become cut flowers people can buy and use to decorate their homes. The staff even holds various classes that the public can sign up for throughout the year. Just recently, they even brought in a lobster tank so they could sell live lobster on their property as well! This place really is a one-stop shop and must-see for any garden lover.

As expected, it was a huge struggle for me to leave Snug Harbor Farm; I just wanted to stay there forever. Sometimes you’re lucky enough to stumble upon a gem of a place and it’s always sad when you have to eventually head home. Luckily, I can still follow their blog if I ever get deprived and want to know what’s going on around the nursery. Maybe someday I’ll get a job at a garden center that is just as beautiful, but it’s definitely going to be hard to top the beauty of Snug Harbor Farm.

-Carrington Flatness, Horticulture Intern

Noble Science

Friday, July 5th, 2013
Dr. Michael Dirr teaching (photo by
Director of Horticulture Rodney Eason)
An example of a “nobel tree” in my
front yard in Boothbay Harbor:
Acer platanoides ‘Royal Red’

Last Saturday I attended our 2013 symposium, “Trees in Your New England Garden and Landscape,” with my fellow interns and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Horticulture staff members. The symposium began with keynote speaker and renowned woody-plant expert Dr. Michael Dirr who delivered a lecture on the importance of “noble trees” and new tree introductions. He defined a noble tree as an inspiring species immense in stature, architecturally elegant, that spans generations. Dr. Dirr’s rationale for planting these trees included aesthetics, carbon dioxide sequestration, wind abatement, shade, storm water mitigation, and even their ability to discourage criminal activity.

Dirr’s fervent opinion of the importance of planting trees and consistently searching for new cultivars inspired me to better communicate the significance of plants to my peers. In college my friends playfully mocked me for choosing to study horticulture. Many of them thought my interest in plants was “nerdy” or simply a hobby only their grandmothers’ fancied. Because I’ve never been very skilled with words I was often left unable to defend my field of study, but thankfully the importance of horticulture is undeniable and I don’t need a degree in communications to articulate humanity’s need for it.

While it has always been easy for me to list the benefits of plants – providing food and oxygen, regulating the water cycle, carbon sequestration, as a derivative for medicine, and as the backbone of all habitats – the value of public gardens is more difficult to communicate. When I try to describe what botanical gardens do, I rely on four simple words – education, conservation, research and display. Botanical gardens serve their communities by cultivating community, preserving native and exotic plants, and educating the public on notable plants and sustainable horticultural practices. They provide an aesthetically pleasing environment for everyone’s enjoyment. It is suspected that institutions like Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens will be instrumental in the mitigation of the effects of climate change, and because of their placement throughout the world, they may help move species around and help ecosystems adapt to changing climates.

- Montana Williams, Pearson Horticulture Intern 





Fairy Fun!

Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013

Those stairs took me forever,
but I think they add a
nice homey touch to the stump.


One of the hardest parts about
building a fairy house is adding color!

Those fairies sure do know
how to decorate!

One of my favorite parts of the fairy
house is the stone design of the
Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens logo!

Fairy house building has been a tradition for more than 100 years in Maine, especially on the coast and on the islands. A fairy house is a small structure that is built in the woods and is usually found at the base of a tree. They use natural materials like, twigs, driftwood, and leaves. As a general rule, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens does not allow the use of live plant material; this is to ensure that we do not harm the natural habitat around the fairy house building area.

On one of my first visits to the Gardens, I was about 14 years old, and I came with my two younger cousins. I fell in love with the Gardens and was absolutely loving being here. My cousins, on the other hand, were not. Being boys of 10 and 8, all they wanted to do was play in the woods or go home and kayak. It was only when we got to the Fairy House Village that they finally stopped complaining and became excited about being here. They were fascinated by the Fairy House Village. To be honest, it is truly something magical to behold. We all got started right away building our own fairy houses. Our first fairy house was really quite pathetic. But you can only improve from there!

Last Thursday I got the opportunity to try out my fairy house building creativity again! The morning started off with me scratching my head, having absolutely no idea where to start. There are simply too many directions you can take in building a fairy house. There is no way to compare houses because they are all unique. Every fairy house created is beautiful and brilliant in its own way.

Finally I just decided to go down to the Shoreland Trail and walk along the shore finding decorating materials. Luckily I stumbled upon an intriguing piece of driftwood that became the main feature of my fairy house. After that it was just a burst of creative energy to decorate and make the house fairy suitable. In the end, even though it took a few days to design and decorate, I think it turned out well. I tried to make mine original and represent the Gardens in the best way possible, so I did my best to design the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens logo in stones.

On July 5, we are starting what are called the Fairy Fridays. You can find more information about dates and events at Fairy Friday…And One Weekend. Be sure to keep an eye out for all the fairy houses designed by members of both the horticulture staff and volunteers. Come out and join us in all the fun of Fairy Fridays!!

- Kristin Neill, Horticulture Intern