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Dig It! Garden Blog

Category: Horticulture

What’s in Bloom June 22, 2016

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Staff Picks

Clematis ochroleuca 'Curlyheads'
I love the gold seed heads on Clematis ochroleuca ‘Curlyheads’ in the Event Lawn. – Anna, horticulturist

Cistus 'Bicolor Pink' small flowered rock rose
I’m so excited about this little gem of a plant, Cistus ‘Bicolor Pink!’ It is in full bloom, tucked carefully away in the Overlook section of the Rose and Perennial Garden. I added these Mediterranean natives to our collection in 2014 and am enamored with the fact that they over wintered! Check them out because they may not be here forever. – Jen, horticulturist

Monarda bradburiana
This beautiful bee balm (Monarda bradburiana) is low maintenance and uniquely beautiful, making it my personal favorite. Its leaves can be made into tea, and it also attracts many pollinators, including bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. Found around the Burpee Kitchen Garden Terrace. – Sarah, social media marketing intern
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Milkweed for Monarchs

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

It is incredibly important to grow enough milkweed to support and grow monarch populations. Milkweed comes in many varieties, and is the only food source for monarch caterpillars. Not only are the leaves essential for monarch caterpillar growth, but the flowers help nourish the adult butterflies as well. The amount of wild milkweed has declined in past years, and horticulturists and home gardeners alike have been working to restore it. This past year, there were less than 275,000 monarchs overwintering in Mexico, and that number was even further reduced by a late winter storm. By comparison, the most recent peak year of 1997 had over 1.2 million monarchs overwintering in the Mexican forest. Increasingly, researchers are finding: no milkweed, no monarchs.

Asclepias tuberosa 'Hello Yellow' DSC_4776

The native species of milkweed in the Northeast that we are propagating here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), orange milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa), and common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca). Horticulturist and propagator Dan Robarts is growing large amounts of these three varieties, in addition to experimenting with some small numbers of other beautiful – if not native – varieties.
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What’s in Bloom – June 2, 2016

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Staff Picks


Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ is a sensation in the Kitchen Garden! – Diane, horticulturist

RHEUM 'ACE OF HEARTS' DS6_5952_SZ336
The Rheum ‘Ace of Hearts’ (ornamental rhubarb) is looking quite fine in the Lerner Garden. There are several other species and cultivars throughout the gardens that will be in bloom as well. – Will, horticulturist
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What’s in Bloom This Week – May 25, 2016

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Staff Picks

Redbuds
These small trees (Cercis canadensis – Eastern Redbud) are at their peak right now! We’re at the very top of their range, meaning they are marginally hardy, but with this past year’s mild winter they are doing great. The leaves don’t start to emerge until the flowers are going, so their beauty is not obscured! They can be found in many parts of our gardens, but these shown are in the Children’s Garden. – Syretha, horticulturist

Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanoles) and 'Coerulea' Large Camas (Camassia leichtinii)
There are two great perennial bulbs blooming on the back side of the Event Lawn this week: a sweet mix of Spanish Bluebells (Hyacinthoides hispanoles) and ‘Coerulea’ Large Camas (Camassia leichtinii). Check them out! – Anna, horticulturist

DODECATHEON-CLEVLANDII-INSULARIS_SZ336
The Dodecatheon clevelandii ssp. insulare (Padre’s Shootingstar) is looking spectacular next to the bridge in the Lerner Garden. Will, horticulturist
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What’s in Bloom – May 19, 2016

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Staff Picks

Narcissus 'Manly'
This Narcissus ‘Manly’ is outstanding. A creamy yellow double daffodil that stays in bloom for a long time. Perfect in the Norweb Entrance Garden! – Sharmon, horticulturist

Mertensia virginica Virginia Bluebells DSC_3549
The Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells) is a large swath of blue under the birches in the Lerner Garden. – Will, horticulturist

Cercis canadensis redbuds
Don’t miss the Redbuds (Cercis canadensis) popping all over the gardens this week. They look especially nice heading towards the Rainbow Terrace in the Children’s Garden with the stunning purple, pink and yellow tulips behind them. – Anna, horticulturist
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Shhh! Plants are sleeping in these beds!

Friday, December 18th, 2015

When spring finally comes to the gardens, 35,000 tulips will pop through the soil of beds all over Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, giving us an incredible display of color as the world comes out of its winter sleep. But before we see our incredible rainbow of flowers, these plants need to have things just right…

SM Tulips near Event Lawn

The sun’s rays act as a messaging system for plants. All summer long, the sun’s light tells tiny structures inside of green plant cells to create sugars that the plant will use as food. Those sugars are stored in a root or bulb under the soil, where it can be used even when the plant is done making food just as animals fatten up before hibernation. As the days get shorter, the sun’s message to make food is cut off, and the plant begins to rest, pulling its food from roots beneath the soil.

During the fall, some plants are getting their buds ready to burst the next spring. Cells whose only job is to help the plant to grow line up at the tips of the branches and bulbs of plants like tulips and peonies, where they wait for springtime to pop into action. Without these cells, these plants’ growth may be stunted, making short, misshapen plants, or worse—no plants at all.

tulip bulbs DSC_2197

If the soil is stepped on or crushed too tight around the bulbs, they won’t be able to get the water they need to make new cells, or the space to grow new roots to hold them in place in spring rainstorms.

Dan planting tulips

These big patches of soil in the gardens aren’t places where we’ve forgotten to plant. They are the place where all the action is happening! The tiny buds of peonies and food-filled bulbs of tulips are working hard to get ready to put on their spring show.

Keep your eyes out for places where the soil is bare, and help these plants survive the winter by staying on pathways or grassy areas. We can’t wait to see you—and our 35000 tulips!—this spring!

– Jo Gammans, volunteer and guest services coordinator

What’s in Bloom This Week

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Helianthus salicifolius Willow-leaf Sunflower DSC_1563
Norweb Entrance Garden:
Chamaepericlymenum canadense — Bunchberry
Clematis terniflora – Sweet Autumn Clematis
Cuphea micropetala – Bat-faced Cuphea (In Containers)
Fuchsia ‘Autumnale’ – (In Containers)
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ – Panicle Hydrangea
Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’ – Calla Lily ( A few left in containers)

Visitor Center Entrance Walk:
Canna ‘Striata’ – Bengal Tiger canna lily
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’
Fuchsia ‘Swanley Yellow’
Hibiscus acetosella ‘Jungle Red’

Great Lawn Beds:
Hylotelephium (Sedum) ‘Autumn Joy’
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Canna ‘Striata’
Grasses looking beautiful throughout, particularly Muhlenbergia ‘Muhlarbor,’ Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues,’ ‘Miscanthus sinensis ssp. purpurascens,’ and Calamagrastis x acutifolia ‘Stricta’
Aster ericoides ‘Schneegitter’
Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’
Aster novae-angliae ‘Andenken an Alma Potschke’
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What’s in Bloom This Week

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Hibiscus syriacus 'Notwoodthree' Blue Chiffon Rose-of-Sharon007
Norweb Entrance Garden:
Chamaepericlymenum canadense — Bunchberry
Cuphea micropetala – Bat-faced Cuphea (In Containers)
Fuchsia ‘Autumnale’ – (In Containers)
Hemerocallis – Daylily
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ – Panicle Hydrangea
Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’ – Calla Lily (In Containers)

Entry Walk:
Plectranthus argentatus
Anigozanthos ‘Burgundy Jumper’
Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’
Plectranthus ‘Zap Knarley’
Cuphea llavea
Phygelius ‘Devil’s Tears’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight ‘

Woodland Garden:
Angelonia ‘Dangeloni4’ – Alonia White Angelonia
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ — Cranesbill
Hellebores
Hosta ‘Lakeside Shore Master’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ and ‘Kyushu’ – Panicle Hydrangea
Nemesia ‘Fleurame’ –Opal Innocence Nemesia
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Seiryu’ – Toad Lily
Veratrum formosanum
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What’s in Bloom This Week

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Heliopsis helianthoides var scabra 'Sommersonne' Summer Sun False Sunflower DSC_7280
Alfond Children’s Garden:
Lavendula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ — English Lavender
Hydrangea arborescens ‘NCHA1’ — Invincibelle Spirit Smooth Hydrangea at the entrance surrounding the whales
Leucanthemum X superbum ‘Becky’ — Shasta Daisy
Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ — Spiked Speedwell
Salvia nemorosa ‘Cardonna’ — Meadow Sage
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ — Sneezeweed
Salvia verticillata ‘Endless Love’ — Lilac Sage
Iris ensata ‘Lion King’ — Japanese Iris
Calendula, Yarrow, Echinacea and Chamomile still blooming in the physic garden
Monarda ‘Jacob Cline’ — Bee Balm now blooming in the physic garden!
Clematis ‘Nelly Moser’
Lowbush blueberries are just starting to ripen on Blueberry Island! (Yum!)

Lerner Garden and Forest Pond:
Achillia ‘Moonshine’ — Yarrow
Philadelphus ‘Snowflake’ — Mock Orange
Rogersia pinnata ‘Chocolate Wings’ — Rodger’s Flower
Rosa ‘Nearly Wild’
Rosa ‘Rainbow Knockout’

Haney Hillside:
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker’s Red’ — Beard-tongue
Penstemon calycosus — Long-sepaled Beard-tongue
Penstemon smalli — Small Beard-tongue

Woodland Garden:
Arisaema candidissimum Pink-flowered Form — White-striped Cobra Lily
Benthamidia japonica ‘Madison’ – Crown Jewel Dogwood
Benthamidia japonica ‘Square Dance’ — Dogwood
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ — Cranesbill
Tiarella ‘Candy Striper’
Angelonia ‘Dangeloni4’ – Alonia White Angelonia
Hellebores

Norweb Entrance Garden:
Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’ – Calla Lily (In Containers)
Benthamida japonica – Japanese Dogwood
Clematis ‘Zorero’ — I am a Red Robin Clematis
Iris sibirica ‘Harpswell Happiness’ — Siberian Iris
Phedimus floriferus ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’ – Orange Stonecrop
Lupinus ‘Noble Maiden’ – Lupine
Hemerocallis – Daylily

Perennial and Rose Garden:
Hydrangea arborescens ‘A.G. Annabelle’
Rosa ‘BAIset’
Astilbe ‘Peaches and Cream’
Rhododendron ‘Golden Showers’
Hemerocallis ‘Chicago Knockout’ (above 5 all located in the bed between the Children’s Garden and the Perennial and Rose Garden)
Echinaceas are beginning to bloom! In this garden, that includes: purpurea ‘Virgin,’ purpurea ‘Magnus,’ and paradoxa
Last week to catch the Kniphofia uvaria ‘First Sunrise,’ Eremurus stenophyllus, and some roses
Rosa ‘Robusta’
Ligularia ‘Bottle Rocket’
Sempervivum ‘Red Beauty’
Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’
Spirea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’
Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Lace’

Great Lawn:
Echinaceas, including: ‘Evan Saul,’ x hybrida ‘Balsomcor,’ ‘Balsomselo,’ ‘Pica Bella,’ purpurea ‘Kim’s Knee High,’ and ‘Hot Papaya’
Anthemis ‘Susanna Mitchell’
Salvias blooming include verticillata ‘Purple Rain,’ spendens ‘Ablazin Purple,’ ‘Rose Queen,’ and x sylvestris ‘Blauhugel
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra ‘Sommersonne’
Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’
Callirhoe involucrata
Yucca filamentosa ‘Color Guard’

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta all coming into bloom!
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’
Rhododendron ‘Weston Sparkler’
Benthamidia japonica – ‘Satomi’ and ‘Summer Games’
Geranium Gerwat aka ‘Rozanne’
Kalmia latifolia, and cv. ‘Sarah’
Kalmia ‘Kaleidoscope’
Deutzia gracilis ‘Nikko’
Astilbe ‘Deutchland’

Education Center:
Gillenia trifoliata
Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’
Lilium canadense
Kalmia latifolia
Various Coreopsis hybrids ( E.g., Cha Cha)
Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
Rudbeckia hirta
Rosa caroliniana

Visitor Center Entrance Walk:
Phygelius x rectus ‘Devil’s Tears’
Begonia cvs.
Solanum pyracanthum — porcupine tomato
Calycanthus x raulstonii ‘Hartlage Wine’
Digitalis — foxgloves

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Allium ‘Hair’
Allium sphaerocephalon
Helianthus ‘Buttercream’
Helianthus ‘Italian White’
Agastache cvs.
Calendula cvs.

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Echinacea paradoxa
Astilbe ‘Rock and Roll’
Morina longifolia
Thalictrum rochebrunianum
Verbascum ‘Christo’s Yellow Lightning’
Astilbe cvs.
Petunia ‘African Sunset’

What’s in Bloom This Week

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Calendula in ACG
Lerner Garden and Forest Pond:
Primula x bullesiana — Primrose
Achillia ‘Moonshine’ — Yarrow
Syringa reticulata — Japanese Tree Lilac
Philadelphus ‘Snowflake’ — Mock Orange
Paeonia ‘Bartrzella’ — Yellow Itoh Hybrid Peony
Rogersia pinnata ‘Chocolate Wings’ — Rodger’s Flower
Salvia nermosa ‘Caradonna’
Rosa ‘Nearly Wild’
Rosa ‘Rainbow Knockout’
Digitalis grandiflora — Perennial Fox Glove

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Rhododendron ‘Weston Sparkler’
Benthamidia japonica ‘Satomi’ and ‘Summer Games’
Geranium Gerwat aka ‘Rozanne’
Kalmia latifolia, and cv. ‘Sarah’
Kalmia ‘Kaleidoscope’
Deutzia gracilis ‘Nikko’
Astilbe ‘Deutchland’

Education Center:
Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’
Lilium canadense
Kalmia latifolia
Various Coreopsis hybrids
Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
Rudbeckia hirta

Alfond Children’s Garden:
Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’ — Yarrow
Iris virginica ‘Carl Amason’ — Blur Flag Iris
Nepeta ‘Joanna Reed’ Catmint
Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Dwarf Blue Butterfly’ — Siberian Larkspur
Geranium ‘Tiny Monster’
Gailardia aristata ‘Arizona Apricot’ — Blanket Flower
Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ — Spiked Speedwell
In the physic garden:
– Achillea millefolium ‘Pomegranate’ — Tutti Frutti Series Yarrow
– Calendula officinalis ‘Bon Bon Orange’ Pot-marigold and ‘Resina’ Pot-marigold
– Echinacea purpurea — Eastern Purple Coneflower
– Matricaria recutita – German chamomile

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Morinia longifolia
Echinacea paradoxa
Astilbe ‘Avalanche’
Geranium ‘Rozanne’

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Papaver somniferum
Eschscholzia californica
BKG containers:
– Emilia javanica
– Brassica juncea cvs
– Pisum sativum ‘Dwarf Grey’
– Calendula cvs

Great Lawn Beds:
Callirhoe involucrata
Salvias x sylvestris ‘Blauhuegel,’ ‘Rose Queen,’ and verticillata ‘Purple Rain’
Anthemis ‘Susanna Mitchell’
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ is beginning
Coreopsis ‘Jethro Tull’
Astilbe x arendsii ‘Bressingham Beauty’
Spirea japonica ‘Alpina’

Perennial and Rose Garden:
Oenothera tetragona
Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’
Agapanthus ‘Lapis Lazuli’
Astilbe ‘Deutschland’
Many roses still look beautiful, including ‘Kent,’ ‘Radtko,’ ‘Belinda’s Dream,’ ‘Lillian Gibson,’ ‘Prarie Joy,’ ‘John Cabot,’ and ‘BALmas’ among others
Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’ and ‘Multi Blue’
Spirea japonica ‘Anthony Waterer’ is just starting
Kniphofia icarian ‘First Sunrise’

Meditation Garden:
Sedum stefco — Stonecrop
Arisaema candidissimun — Pink-striped Cobra Lily

Haney Hillisde:
Kalmia latifolia — Mountain Laurel
Penstemom digitalis ‘Huskers Red’ — Beard-tongue
Penstemon smallii — Small Beard-tongue
Penstemon calycosus — Long-sepaled Beard-tongue
Gillenia trifoliata — Bowman’s Root

VC Entrance Walkway:
Cuphea micropetala — candy corn plant
Phygelius rectus ‘Devil’s Tears’ — cape fuchsia
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’
Begonia ‘Bepared’ — Dragon Wing red begonia
Anigozanthus ‘Burgundy Jumper’ — kangaroo paw

Woodland Garden:
Arisaema candidissimum Pink-flowered Form – White-striped Cobra Lily
Benthamidia japonica ‘Madison’ – Crown Jewel Dogwood
Benthamidia japonica ‘Square Dance’ Dogwood
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ – Cranesbill
Tiarella ‘Candy Striper’
Hellebores

Norweb Entrance Garden:
Benthamida japonica – Japanese Dogwood
Clematis ‘Matka Urszula Ledóchowska’
Clematis ‘Zorero’ – I am a Red Robin Clematis
Iris sibirica ‘Harpswell Happiness’ – Siberian Iris
Phedimus floriferus ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’ – Orange Stonecrop
Lupinus ‘Noble Maiden’ – Lupine