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Category: Horticulture

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’

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’

What's in Bloom at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

What’s in Bloom this Week

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Entry Walk:
Lavendula ‘Phenomenal’ – Lavender
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’
Begonia ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf’
Coleus ‘Wasabi’

Lerner Garden of the Five Senses:
Actaea racemosa – Black Snakeroot
Hemerocallis – Daylilies
Echinacea – all of them!
Monarda – Bee Balm

Great Lawn:
Echinacea – Purple Coneflower
Salvia confertiflora
Filipendula – Queen of the Prairie
Anigozanthos – Kangaroo Paw

Rose and Perennial Garden:
Clematis ‘Hagley Hybrid’
Clematis ‘Comtesse de Bouchaud’
Rosa ‘Prairie Joy’
Ligularia ‘Bottle Rocket’
Lavendula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ – Lavender

Kitchen Garden:
Digitalis ferruginea – Foxglove
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’ Sweet – Coneflower
Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’
Helianthus ‘Earthwalker’ ‘Velvet Queen’ ‘Crimson Queen’ ‘Primrose Giant’ bold impressive – Sunflowers
Papaver somniferum – Bread Seed Poppy
Thymus citriodorus – Lemon Thyme
Calendula cultivars – Marigold
Dill

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
The Daisies are incredible!
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’
Lonicera sp. – Honeysuckle
Echinacea cultivars – Coneflower
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’
Asclepias sp. – Milkweed

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Stachys ‘Helen von Stein’
Coreopsis ‘Red Satin’
Echinacea ‘Passion Flute’ – Coneflower
Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’ – Milkweed

Bosarge Family Education Center:
Hypericum ‘Blue Velvet’ – Kalm’s St. Johnswort
Diervilla
Cotinus obovatus – American smoke tree
Gillenia stipulata – American Ipecac
Asclepias incarnata – Milkweed

Shown above: Echinacea purpurea ‘Green Jewel’

Main Entry - Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Visitor Center

Arrival is New at the Gardens

Thursday, July 17th, 2014

In case you have not yet visited the gardens here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens this year, you will immediately notice a new series of plantings from the parking lot to the Visitor Center. Over the winter, we drew up plans for a new arrival garden that would provide for more flower color and a better view of the visitor center. The entrance walk had matured to the point where many of the plants were now being shaded out by now mature trees and shrubs.

Entry Garden - Winter 2013As soon as the ground thawed this spring, we began moving trees and removing overgrown plantings. We left a core backbone of spring flowering shrubs such as the witchhazels that we love in March and April. By removing some of the overgrown shrubs, we were able to uncover the beautiful, curving stone wall that had been installed when the gardens were first built.

Before you cross the walk to the arrival path, we planted a row of hydrangea standards which should be flowering in a few weeks. This initial burst of flower color will be a signal that you are on the right path. After you cross the walk, you are immediately greeted by the bright red stems of ‘Bright Lights’ swiss chard and the red flowers of Phygelius x rectus ‘Devil’s Tears.’ As you ascend the pathway, we have added perennial and annual color all along the way, with the color palette tending towards bright and happy colors. The design intent was put a smile on your face as you walk toward the visitor center and set up the summer displays.

The showstoppers thus far have been the begonias. We planted Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’ and Begonia ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf.’ The bright orange and red of these flowers have most of our guests stopping and taking note of the beautiful plants. By the end of this summer, all of the annuals should fill in the arrival beds and make for a colorful and impactful display.

Another detail to note is that our facilities crew pulled the Kennebunk green color from inside of the visitor center and added it as an accent color to the entry columns. Our marketing team also added 5 colorful banners to signal your arrival to CMBG and our year of the Pollinator. We hope you enjoy these improvements as we continue to make Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens a great place for you to visit.

– Rodney Eason
Director of Horticulture and Plant Curator

Kieve Summer Camp for Boys helps CMBG

Thank You, Kieve Summer Camp for Boys

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

A big THANK YOU to 16 campers and 3 counselors from Kieve Summer Camp for Boys in Nobleboro, Maine who came to Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens today in spite of damp weather to give their time weeding! They spent two hours weeding around the Bosarge Family Education Center. What a huge help to our Horticulture crew.

What’s Hot on a Cool Maine Day?

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

What could be better on a cool, rainy Maine day than a bright, bushy Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ Cone-fections Coneflower? This double-flowered, blazing red-orange bloom is a hybrid of Echinacea, a North American genus in the Daisy family, bred in the Netherlands. What a warming sight in our rugged coastal Maine climate. As you can imagine, it’s very attractive to butterflies. Plant Coneflower in the Fall for a summer display, one that will bloom steadily from June until frost.

What's Blooming

What’s in Bloom this Week

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Entry Walk:
Beta vulgaris ssp. vulgaris ‘Bright Lights’
Osteospermum ‘Zion Copper Amethyst’
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’
Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Deep Red’ – Milkweed
Begonia boliviensis ‘Santa Cruz Sunset’

Lerner Garden of the Five Senses and Great Lawn:
Hemerocallis – Day Lilies
Platycodon – Balloon Flower
Echinacea – Coneflower
Heliopsis – False Sunflower
Campanula – Bell Flower

Bibby & Harold Alfond Childrens’ Garden:
Cuphea micropetala – Candy-corn plant
Iris ensata ‘Lion King’ Japanese Iris
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ – Sneezeweed
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ – Plantain Lily
Bergenia pacumbis

Rose and Perennial Garden:
Echinacea ‘Hot Papaya’ Cone-fections Coneflower
Liatris spica ‘Kolbold’ – Gay feather
Ligularia ‘Bottle Rocket’
Delphinium elation ‘Blue Lace’ – Larkspur
Agastache ‘ Black Adder’ – Hyssop

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Hemerocallis – Daylilies
Oriental lilies
Cornus Kousa – Dogwood
Astilbes
Arisaema candidissimum Pink-flowered (aka Pink-striped Cobra lily)

Kitchen Garden:
Helianthus – Sunflowers
Leonotis nepetifolia ‘Naivasha Apricot’
Garlic Scapes
Dill
Papaver somnifera – Bread Seed Poppy

Bosarge Family Education Center:
Cotinus coggygria – Smokebush
Gillenia stipulata – American Ipecac
Monarda – Bee Balm
Asclepias incarnata – Milkweed

Pure White and Fragrant: Astilbe ‘Avalanche’

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

Fragrant, pure white Astilbe ‘Avalanche’ is tall and sweetly fragrant in the Cleaver Event Lawn gardens this week. Graceful, feathery flowers atop glossy green frond-like foliage are content in part to deep shade and damp to wet conditions. We love how this herbaceous perennial attracts pollinators, like butterflies. Fortunately, Astilbe is not a favorite of deer. Native to ravines and woodlands in Asia and North America, Astilbe is an easy, satisfying plant for a home garden that’s most commonly known as ‘False Spirea’. You’ll find Astilbe offered in a variety of colors when you visit your local greenhouse. Come enjoy it here if you can!