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Dig It! Garden Blog

Category: Horticulture

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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What’s in Bloom – May 5, 2016

Thursday, May 5th, 2016

Staff Picks

5-5 LYSICHITON CAMTSCHATCENSIS-DSC_4793_SZ336
Don’t miss the Lysichiton camtschatcencis (Asian skunk cabbage) in the Lerner Garden this week. The white blossoms are stunning. – Will, horticulturist

5-5 Narcissus 'Kokopelli' Jonquilla daffodils
These Narcissus ‘Kokopelli’ Jonquilla Daffodils along the Event Lawn have the cutest little flowers and they smell amazing! – Anna, horticulturist

5-5 Crave the Wave Hyacinth
They’ve been rocking for a bit, so be sure not to miss the stunning and fragrant sweep of Crave The Wave Hyacinth Mix in the Perennial and Rose Garden! – Syretha, 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
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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

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

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)
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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

Friday, July 31st, 2015

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hostas all coming into bloom!
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’
Rhododendron
Thalictrum flavun ssp. Glaucum
Geranium Gerwat aka ‘Rozanne’
Astilbes are popping
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’
Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’
Iris ensata ‘Emotion’
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