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Category: Horticulture

Monarchs at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

Caterpillars, Chrysalises & Butterflies: Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is a Certified Monarch Waystation

Monday, September 15th, 2014

Q&A with Horticulture staff member, Sharmon Provan, Plant Records Coordinator & Plant Propagator and Monarch Waystation project manager at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

 
Q. Why and How did Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) become a Monarch Waystation?
A. Finding no Monarch butterflies at CMBG last year, after many years of great numbers of them, we wanted to aid in supporting and increasing the Monarch migration which has been greatly affected by deforestation and loss of habitats for Monarchs (and other wildlife) for development in Mexico and the U.S. According to Monarch Watch over 6,000 acres a day of land is developed per day in the U.S. alone. Also, the use of non-selective systemic herbicides, such as glyphosate, which is heavily used in farming, and even heavy roadside mowing, are wiping our native milkweed plants, the Monarch’s main food and nectar source. In celebration of our 2014 theme, “Pollinators!”, becoming a Monarch Waystation was one more way we could ‘educate-by-doing’, or lead by example, to make everyone aware of the importance of pollinators in our ecosystems and how easy it is to get involved. We contacted www.monarchwatch.org and followed their basic directions to get certified.
 
Q. What did you have to do for CMBG to become certified Monarch Waystation?
A. First, we had to commit to providing enough of the right types of plants, especially Milkweeds, to support a population of Monarch caterpillars. We are a colossal size garden and have committed over 5,000 square feet and most of our upper main campus to this project. Plant density is important, so we have made sure we have at least 2-10 plants from the Monarch Watch list per square yard. We’ve learned more is always better! We supplemented our existing nectar and other food source plants by bringing in many new types of plants, including annuals, perennials, and shrubs. We started so many extra milkweed plants in our greenhouse this spring that we could barely walk through the aisles!
 
Monarch Watch has a comprehensive list of plant species that are nectar sources for monarchs. It does not take much for a home gardener to be involved – one square yard is enough to get started. Monarch Watch also provides milkweed plants for those who do not have another source, but most nurseries and garden centers are starting to carry the plants, if they did not before, due to the increased interest. Submit an online application with Monarch Watch – it’s easy!
 
Q. What is the expected (hoped for) outcome of the Monarch Waystation project?
A. Hopefully, we have succeeded in providing a habitat for the migrating Monarch butterflies. We did see a number of tagged Monarchs around the gardens, so they came in from somewhere else. We also raised Monarchs here this summer, and the butterflies that we released, and the numerous additional butterflies, caterpillars and chrysalises we are finding in our gardens this summer give us hope we have made a difference in the protection and support of the Monarch species.
 
Q. What are your observations based on summer 2014. Successes and surprises?
A. We have learned a lot about the process of raising Monarchs, and realized just how many eggs they lay, and just how much they actually eat!
 
Q. What are the ‘next steps’ in being a Monarch Waystation
A. We have committed to being a Monarch Waystation, so we have committed to providing the food source for the Monarch butterflies indefinitely. I would like us to start the tagging process next year so progress can be tracked as the butterflies migrate. Maybe we will get proof that our own butterflies made it to their winter destination.
 

Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’

What’s in Bloom this Week

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

Norweb Entry Garden (along Barter’s Island Road):
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’
Clematis ‘Zorero’

Entry Walk:
Senna didymobotrya
Asclepias curassavica (Yellow Form) – Tropical Milkweed
Oxypetalum caeruleum
Phygelius ‘Devil’s Tears’
xDigiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’
Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ standards

Great Lawn:
Clethra alnifolia ‘Sixteen Candles’ – Summersweet
Salvia splendens ‘Lighthouse Red’
Sprobolus heterolepis
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Anigozanthos ‘Big Roo Red’ – Kangaroo Paw

Rose & Perennial Garden:
Oryza sativa ‘Black Madras’
Origanum ‘Rosenkuppel’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Grandiflora’
Rosa ‘Kent’
Agastache ‘Black Adder’
Sedum ‘Frosty Morn’
Rosa ‘BAlmas’

Lerner Garden Of The Five Senses:
Muhlenbergia capillaris ‘Aurora Borealis’
Hibiscus moscheutos ‘Blue River II’
Molinia caerulea ssp. arundinaceae ‘Skyracer’
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ baskets
Zinnia marylandica ‘Zahara Sunburst’
Gentiana triflora var. montana

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Tropaleolum ‘Spitfire’
Helianthus annus ‘Earthwalker’ – Sunflower
Various sweetpea cultivars
Ipomoea purpurea ‘Kniola’s Purple’ – Morning Glory
Agastache ‘Tutti Frutti’

Alfond Children’s Garden & Terrace Loop:
Coreopsis triptis
Vernonia noveboracensis
Aralia ‘Sun King’
Allium tuberosum
Lonicera sempervirens ‘Major Wheeler’ – Honeysuckle
Geranium ‘Jolly Bee’ & ‘Gerwat’
Heuchera villosa ‘Brownies’
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’ – Coneflower
Pycnanthemum muticum
Actaea cordifolia – Appalachian Bugbane
Dahlia display at ACG greenhouse
Vernonia noveboracensis – New York Ironweed
Helenium ‘Red Jewel’
Hydrangea paniculata

Haney Hillside:
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ – Sunflower
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower

Cleaver Event Lawn:
*Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ – Turtlehead
Digitalis purpurea ‘Candy Mountain’ – Foxglove
Dahlia ‘Kyodi Yusaki’
Geranium ‘Pink Lady’ – Cranesbill
Calicarpa dichotoma ‘Early Amethyst’
Hydrangea pan. ‘Kyushu’

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal flower
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – Rozanne Cranesbill
*Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’

*Shown above, Chelone lyonii ‘Hot Lips’ – Turtlehead

Lobelia cardinalis

Staff Favorite Flowering Plants – early September

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Norweb Main Entrance Garden:
Clematis ‘Zorero’ (I am Red Robin Clematis)
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ (Panicle Hydrangea)

Bosarge Family Education Center:
Aconitum uncinatum (Blue Monkshood)
*Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
Phlox paniculata ‘David’ (Garden Phlox)
Pycnanthemum muticum (Mountain-mint)

Lerner Garden of the Five Senses and Great Lawn Gardens:
Echinacea spp. (Coneflowers)
Helenium hybrida ‘Helbro’ (Mardi Gras Sneezeweed)
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’ (Rose Mallow)
Hylotelephium ‘Vera Jameson’ (Stonecrop)
Ligularia dentata ‘Othello’ (Bigleaf Ligularia)
*Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Phlox paniculata ‘Danielle’ and P. ‘David’ (Garden Phlox)
Oryza sativa ‘Black Madras’ (Ornamental Rice)
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ (Black-eyed Susan)

Rose & Perennial Garden:
Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Lace’ (Larkspur)
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ (Sunflower)
Hylotelephium ‘T. Rex’ (Stonecrop)
Rosa ‘BAImas’ (Pinktopia Rose)
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ (Autumn Sun Coneflower)
Silphium terebinthinaceum var. pinnatifidum (Cut-leaf Prairie Dock)

Haney Hillside Garden:
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ (Sunflower)
*Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)

Cleaver Event Lawn Garden:
Helenium ‘Red Jewel’ (Sneezeweed)
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Interhydia’ (Pink Diamond Panicle Hydrangea)
Hydrangea ‘Dvppinky’ (Pinky Winky Hydrangea)
Phlox paniculata ‘Franz Schubert’ (Garden Phlox)
Solidago ‘Dansolitlem’ (Little Lemon Goldenrod)

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Allium tuberosum (Chinese Chives)
Helianthus spp. (Sunflowers)
Ipomoea spp. (Sweat-peas, especially ‘Almost Black’)
Lactuca spp. (Lettuces)
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’ (Pincushion Flower)
Sorghum (Broomcorn)

Alfond Children’s Garden and Terrace Loop Garden:
Agastache spp. (Hummingbird-mints, Hyssops)
Coreopsis tripteris (Tall tickseed)
Gentiana clausa (Bottle Gentian)
Helenium ‘Red Jewel’ (Sneezeweed)
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Renhy’ (Vanilla Strawberry Hydrangea)
Liatris ligulistylis (Blazing Star)

*Shown above, Giles Rhododendron Garden

What's in Bloom

What’s in Bloom this Week

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Entry Walk:
xDigiplexis ‘Illumination Flame’
Asclepias curassavica – Tropical Milkweed
Cestrum sp.
Begonia boliviensis
Chamanthium latifolium – Northern Sea Oats

Great Lawn:
Echinacea cultivars
Anigozanthos flavidus – Kangaroo Paws
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Salvia confertiflora
Oriza sativa ‘Black Madras’

Lerner Garden of The 5 Senses:
Ligularia ‘Othello’
Phlox ‘David’ and Phlox ‘Danielle’
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ – Sneezeweed
Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’ – Black Eyed Susan
Sedum ‘Vera Jameson’
Lobelia cardinalis and siphilitica – “red and blue cardinal flower”

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
Gentiana clausa
Helenium ‘Red Jewel’
Hibiscus syriacus ‘Notwoodthree’
Rosa ‘Balshue’ – Roses
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower
Alstromeria ‘Sweet Laura’
Acanthus spinosus
Hydrangea macrophylla cvs. (shown above)

Haney Hillside:
Heliopsis ‘Lemon Queen’
Lobelia cardinalis “cardinal flower”
Dicentra – Bleeding Heart

Rose & Perennial Garden:
Perovskia atriplicifolia
Hylotelephium ‘T. Rex’
Eupatorium perfoliatum
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’
Sedum ‘Frosty Morn’

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Rhododendron x ‘Cunningham’s White’
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – Rozanne Cranesbill
Hosta ‘Catherine Lewis’
Allium ‘Millennium’

What's in Bloom

What’s in Bloom This Week

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Entry Walk
Begonia cucullata var. cucullata ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf’
Coleus ‘Wasabi’
Pennisetum purpureum ‘Vertigo’
Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Deep Red’
Cynara cardunculus ‘Florist Candy’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Great Lawn
Echinacea cultivars – Coneflower
Salvia confertiflora
Eupatorium purpureum – Joe pye weed
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Anigozanthos – Kangaroo Paw

Rose and Perennial Garden
Agastache cana ‘Rosita’
Agastache ‘Black Adder’
Coreopsis tripteris
Salvia ‘Rasberry Delight’ – Sage
Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Showers’

Lerner Garden of The Five Senses
Begonia boliviensis in baskets
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ – Black Eyed Susan
Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ – Shasta Daisy
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’
Lobelia siphilitica and L. cardinalis – Blue Cardinal Flower and Red Cardinal Flower
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ – Sneezeweed
Rainbow Knock Out roses
Phlox ‘David’

Cleaver Event Lawn
Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ – Grape-Leaf Anemone
Stenanthium gramineum – “eastern featherbells”
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ – Coneflower
Phlox paniculata ‘Franz Shubert’
Hydrangea ‘Sweet Summer’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’
Clethra acuminata – Cinnamon Clethra

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden
Allium senescens var. glaucum
Daphne x transatlantica ‘Blafra’
Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’
Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’
Allium tuberosum

Giles Rhododendron Garden
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – Rozanne cranesbill
Hosta ‘Katherine Lewis’
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower

shown above: Calendula – French Marigold

Echinacea - coneflower

What’s in Bloom this Week

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Entry Walk:
Digiplexis
Asclepias currassavica – tropical milkweed
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’
Chasmanthium latifolium – northern sea oats
Begonia ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf’

Great Lawn and Lerner Garden of the Five Senses:
Hemerocallis – daylilies
Phlox
Helenium – sneeze weed
Rudbeckia – black-eyed Susan
Lobelia cardinalis – cardinal flower
Lobelia siphilitica – blue Lobelia
Echinacea – coneflower – shown above, with two pollinators!
Coreopsis – tickseed
Anigozanthos – kangaroo paw

Haney Hillside:
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ – sunflower
Viburnum Iantanoides
Lobelia cardinalis

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
Liatris pycnostachya
Allium ‘Pink Planet’
Buddleia Davidii ‘Adokeep’ – butterfly bush
Lobelia Cardinalis
Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Calendula officinalis
Helianthus ‘Earthwalker’ – sunflower
Agastache ‘Tutti Frutti’
Zinnia elegans ‘Lilac Emperor’
Gomphrena haageana ‘Qis Orange’

Rose & Perennial Gardens:
Verbena bonariensis
Rosa ‘Balmas’
Calicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’
Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’
Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta ‘Katherine Lewis’
Benthmedia Japonica ‘Wolf Eyes’ Dogwood, not blooming, but looks gorgeous!
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – rozanne cranesbill

Asclepias curassavica

What’s in Bloom this Week

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Entry Walk:
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’
Osteospermum – African Daisies
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’
Asclepias curassavica – Tropical Milkweed (shown above)

Great Lawn:
Echinacea – Coneflower
Coreopsis – Tickseed
Anigozanthos – Kangaroo Paw

Lerner Garden of the Five Senses:
Anemonopsis macrophylla
Leucanthemum – Shasta Daisies
Gentiana ‘True Blue’
Monarda – Bee Balm
Lillium ‘Golden Stargazer’, ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Silk Road’

Rose and Perennial Garden:
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ – Sunflower
Angelica gigas
Echinacea ‘Balsomed’ – Coneflower
Echinacea ‘Magnus’ – Coneflower
Astillbe chinensis var taquetii ‘Superba’

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Spigelia marilandica
Geranium ‘Sue Craig’
Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Inula magnifica ‘Gold in Spring’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’

Kitchen Garden:
Potato and Lettuce flowering, several cultivars
Calendula – Pot Marigold, several cultivars
Amaranthus several cultivars
Helianthus – Sunflowers, several cultivars
Ipomoea purpurea – Morning Glory; several cultivars
Emilia sonchifolia var. javanica – ‘Irish Poet’ Tasssel Flower
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower
Gentian ‘True Blue’
Echinacea ‘Pink Double Delight’ Cone-fections Coneflower
Leucanthemum – Shasta Daisy
Hibiscus – Blue Chiffon Rose-of-Sharon
Ligularia Japonica – Japanese Ligularia
Allium – Ornamental Onion
Lonicera sempervirens – Trumpet Honeysuckle
Tunica saxifraga – Tunic Flower
Liatris ‘Prairie Blazing Star’ – Gayfeather

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta ‘Whirlwind’ plantain lily
Lobelia cardensis ‘cardinal flower’
Hydrangea arborescens ‘A. G. Annabelle’
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ Rozanne Cranesbill

Bosarge Family Education Center:
Aconitum uncinatum
Heuchera villosa ‘Autumn Bride’

Kristin

Unique Plants for Maine Gardens: Agave and Dinosaur Food

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Greetings fellow plant enthusiasts, my name is Kristin Neill. For those of you that don’t remember me, I am originally from Greensboro, North Carolina. I’m a student at North Carolina State University studying Horticultural Science and Plant Biology. This is my second summer interning at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. I’m excited to have the chance to return to Maine and continue working and learning every day at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens.

One of my favorite parts about working for the Gardens has to be planting. We are constantly changing designs and adding and moving plants within the individual gardens and it’s phenomenal to get to participate in these changes. We were very busy in June completing some of our biggest projects, including a new design in the Great Lawn bed and many annual plants. We have some very beautiful displays this year, including some very exceptional plants.

So let me tell you about some of my favorite unique plants this summer. I’ve had the opportunity to do many of the annual plantings in the front entrance walk, the Great Lawn, and the Children’s Garden. One of the more interesting plants in the garden, that is definitely not native to Maine, is the Agave. Agave was interesting to handle in its entirety. Sharp needle-like ends at the tips of each leaf make handling this gorgeous plant deadly, and make planting even harder. Agave is known as the “century plant”, meaning that it takes a long time for it to flower, then after flowering the plant will die. Up here in Maine, though, this plant will not make it through the winter and will never get the chance to flower. Although it was a challenge to handle and plant, I enjoy having this plant in the gardens as well as seeing guest reactions to it. It has been used in a distinctive design on the front entrance walk. Where else will you see Agave growing in Maine?

Agave

Now think back to the times of dinosaurs; imagine the massive looming creatures and the massive plants growing that had to sustain such creatures. One of our newest additions to the Rhododendron Garden is a plant reminiscent of such plants. Called Gunnera manicata, this giant-leaved perennial definitely resembles “dinosaur food”, which also happens to be one of its common names. Gunnera manicata is one of the largest herbaceous perennials on earth. The huge, toothed, palmately-lobed, and prominently-veined leaves on Gunnera can get as big as 6 to 8 feet across. This unique plant is also commonly called “giant rhubarb” because of its similarities to rhubarb, although botanically, it is not related.

Big Plant

So come visit this summer and check out these unusual plants along with many more unique ones here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens!

-Kristin Neill
Bridge Summer Intern 2014, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Horticultural Science and Plant Biology Major, North Carolina State University

Meghan

First Impressions of a Horticulture Summer Intern

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

As a new horticultural summer intern at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (CMBG) and having never been in the state of Maine before I was unsure what to expect when I first arrived at the Gardens. Of course I had seen pictures of various places within the garden and have been amazed by them, but none of these photos could compare to actual beauty of CMBG. My first day of work I found myself in complete awe of this spectacular place, even the parking lot that I found myself lost in was amazing. The colors of the flowers are so vibrant and the smells intoxicating. The small details of each individual flower of the blooming plants make Coastal Maine so magical. My first week of work was definitely filled with work to be done from removing tulip bulbs to mulching in the rain. I woke up sore but so excited to head back to work in the wonderland that is CMBG. Even today I find myself walking around in a fantasy trying to absorb everything that CMBG has to offer. The flowers are in a constant rotation of blooming times. The first week I arrived the Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) was flowering and now Delphinium elatum is in full bloom and roses are filling the air with their invigorating fragrance. Everything changes here, but my amazement of this place remains the same. I am just about half way through my summer internship at CMBG and I can’t imagine leaving this remarkable place. When I head back to the University of Delaware this fall to complete my senior year I’m not sure I will be able to find the same tranquility that I have discovered here in Maine. Not only is the environment of CMBG a great place to work, but also the other horticulturalists are so knowledgeable and fun to work with. I have definitely learned a lot about horticulture thus far and I look forward to what else CMBG has to offer as I finish up my last month and a half in this utopia that is Maine.

- Meghan Sobbott
Walbridge-Bacon Summer Intern 2014, CMBG
University of Delaware 2015
BS Agriculture and Natural Resources
BS Plant Science
Environmental Soil Science Minor

What's in Bloom this Week

What’s in Bloom this Week

Monday, July 28th, 2014

Main Entrance:
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ standards
Tweedia
Lavendula ‘Phenomenal’
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’

Bibby & Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
Geranium macrorrhizum ‘Variegatum’
Petrorhagia saxifraga
Ligularia japonica
Syringa ‘Penda’ – Bloomerang lilac
Cuphea micropetala (KOO-fee-ah my-kro-PET-ah-lah) – Candy Corn plant (shown above)

Rose & Perennial Garden:
Ipomea ‘Firecracker’
Hyssop ‘Black Adder’
Echinacea sp. – Coneflowers
Knipfophia ‘Lola’
Perovskia atriplicifolia

Lerner Garden and Great Lawn:
Ligularia
Hemerocallis – Daylilies
Lillium ‘Golden Stargazer’ and ‘Silk Road’
Platycodon – Balloon Flower
Helenium – Sneeze Weed
Echinaceas – Coneflowers
Melanthium – Bunch Flower
Phlox ‘Danielle’ – Garden Phlox

Haney Hillside:
Ceanothus americanus – New Jersey tea
Dicentra – Bleeding Heart

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Allium millennium
Phlox paniculata ‘David’
Phlox paniculata ‘Danielle’
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’
Phytolacca americana ‘Silberstein’ – Pokeweed

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – Rozanne cranesbill
Astilbe simplicifolia ‘Hennie Graafland’
Rhododendron ‘Hachmann’s Charmant’