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What’s In Bloom – June 15, 2017

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Staff Picks


The fringe trees (Chionanthus virginicus) on the Cleaver Event Lawn are covered in delicate white flowers! June is one of the best months to come up to the Event Lawn because of all of the flowering trees. The dogwoods are just starting to bloom too, so the next few weeks will be spectacular! – Anna L., Horticulturist


Can’t get enough of this early blooming alpine aster (Aster alpinus ‘Goliath’). Don’t let the name fool you. This pleasing perennial only grows about a foot tall and wide. You can discover it’s beauty in the Little Leaf Garden of the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden. And if that weren’t enough, it is also a butterfly and hummingbird magnet. – Jen D., Horticulturist


It’s peony time of year! Peonies have got to be one of my all time favorite plants for their blooms, and we have some exceptional varieties at the gardens. This week I want to give a shout out to all the awesome varieties, from the Lerner Garden to the Children’s Garden and beyond! Here’s a photo of just one of our amazing specimens to lure you in to check them out for yourself – Paeonia ‘Sonoma Welcome’ in the Great Lawn bed across from the Burpee Kitchen Garden. Come and see them all! – Syretha B., Horticulturist
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Rare Plants at the Gardens

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

I recently had the pleasure of teaching a class about plants that are rare in the wild here in Maine, yet are easily accessible for study in the cultivated collection here in our Gardens. One of the wonderful things about working and teaching at a botanical garden is that plants of disparate habitats and ranges are brought together so they can be studied, observed, and compared to other plants more easily. This, in fact, was one of the original reasons early botanical gardens were established.

During our day together, I was able to introduce students to twenty-four plants that are rare in Maine or elsewhere in New England. While (especially to a botanist) there’s nothing as special as seeing a rare species in its own habitat in the wild, it’s nonetheless very instructive and fascinating to learn to recognize a rare species in cultivation. Not to mention – it’s super-efficient to observe and learn a species from a salt marsh, an evergreen seepage swamp, dry rocky barrens, and rich mesic forest all in one afternoon!

Here are some examples of rare plants we saw here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens during our class:

image copyright dogtooth77, Iris prismatica detail
Iris prismatica detail, (c) dogtooth77
Slender Blue Flag (Iris prismatica; Maine State Status: Threatened) graces a wet swale of the Haney Hillside Garden. In the wild, it’s found at the upper reaches of salt marshes in southern Maine and southward.

sm Ceanothus americanus New Jersey Tea
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus; Maine State Status: Threatened) growing along the sunny edge Birch Allee. In the wild, it grows on dry sandy banks, balds and in open woodlands in southern Maine and southward.

R&E-ShowyLadysSlipper
Showy Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium reginae; Maine State Status: Special Concern) is thriving along the edge of the Slater Forest Pond. In the wild, it’s found in non-acidic peatlands and mossy woodlands.

R&E-Dryopterisfilix-mas
Male Fern (Dryopteris filix-mas; Maine State Status: Endangered) at the edge of the Haney Hillside Garden’s path. In the wild, it grows in rich glades and rocky slopes of Maine’s interior forests.

Please join us for more opportunities to learn about the rare plants of Maine during our year celebrating “Rare and Extraordinary Plants!” Coming up next, Maine Natural Areas Program botanist Don Cameron will lead a trip to see the rare North Blazing Star (Liatris novae-angliae; Maine State Status: Endangered) in glorious bloom at the Kennebunk Plains Preserve on August 30th.

— Melissa Cullina, director of education

Please note: Our cultivated rare plants are never collected from the wild; rather, we purchased responsibly-propagated stock.

Preparing for Monarchs: The Migration of Our Flying Hort Staff

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Monarch on Buddleja davidii 'Attraction' Butterfly Bush

A sweet, earthy wind blows over the green and soggy Great Lawn. It settles at times, letting the sun take a turn at warming your cheeks, but it remains persistent, bending grasses and branches. The wind bears on it warmth, and rain, and the promise of thousands of tiny wing beats making their way slowly and steadily from Mexico to Maine.

Like so many of Maine’s residents, Monarch butterflies spend the winter in the relative warmth in the south, though unlike our human snowbirds, they cluster together high in the trees in central Mexico, turning the forests of Michoacán a brilliant orange. They begin their return to the north just after mating and for many of the butterflies migrating, their first trip to Maine happens just a few weeks into their adulthood.
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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

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)

Entrance Walk:
Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’
Fuchsia ‘Swanley Yellow’
Canna ‘Bengal Tiger’
Hydrangea ‘Limelight’
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’

Great Lawn Gardens:
Echinaceas
Buddleia davidii ‘Attraction’
Grasses are looking beautiful, seed heads are out! Those include Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Stricta,’ Miscanthus sinensis ssp. purpurascens, Schizachyrium scoparium ‘The Blues,’ Panicum varigatum ‘Prairie Sky’
Eupatorium purpurem ssp. maculatum ‘Gateway’
Rudbeckia maxima
Vitex
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Japanese Anemone
Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’

Lerner Garden and Forest Pond:
Saggitaria latifolia–Common Arrowhead
Eupatorium maculatum–Joe Pye Weed
Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’–Black-eyed Susan
Phlox paniculata ‘David’–Garden Phlox
Gentiana ‘True Blue’–Gentian
Anemonopsis macrophylla

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Stenanthium gramineum
ARMLOADS of gorgeous Hydrangea cvs
Phlox paniculata ‘Franz Schubert’
Eupatorium maculatum

Perennial and Rose Garden:
Rosa KORsineo ‘Roxy Shrub Rose’
Perovskias are finishing up their run
Celosia argentea var. cristata ‘Flamingo Feather’
Rudbeckia ‘Herbstsonne’ and Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ are still quite sunny
Mandevilla x amabia ‘Alice du Pont’ (hanging for the pergola) is worth a visit
Scutellaria incana
Eragrostis spectabilis
Oringanum ‘Rosenkuppel’

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Gomphocarpus physocarpus
Amaranthus ‘Giant Orange’ & A. ‘Hot Biscuits’
Helianthus cvs
Scabiosa atropurpurea ‘Black Knight’
Verbena bonariensis

Bosarge Education Center:
Guara lindheimeri ‘Passionate Blush’
Oenothera fruticosa ‘Fireworks’
Various Coreopsis hybrids ( E.g., Cha Cha Cha)
Rudbeckia hirta
Lobelia siphilitica
Echinacea purpurea
Stokesia ‘Color Wheel’ and ‘Blue Danube’
Phlox paniculata ‘David’
Eupatorium purpureum
Cephalanthus occidentalis
Helenium ‘Ruby Tuesday’
Heliopsis ‘Bressingham Doubloon’
Pycnanthum muticum
Aconitum ucinatum

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta ‘June’
Hosta ‘Grand Marquee’
Geranium Gerwat aka ‘Rozanne’
Lobelia cardinalis

Meditation Garden:
Echinacea ‘Pow Wow’

Haney Hillside Garden:
Gailladia ‘Punch Bowl, Blanket Flower
Eutrochium purpureum, Joe Pye Weed
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’, Sunflower
Oxydendrum arboretum, Sourwood

Woodland Garden:
Angelonia ‘Dangeloni4’ – Alonia White Angelonia
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ — Cranesbill
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ and ‘Kyushu’ – Panicle Hydrangea
Nemesia ‘Fleurame’ –Opal Innocence Nemesia
Tricyrtis formosana ‘Seiryu’ – Toad Lily
Veratrum formosanum

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’

Bosarge Education Center:
Gillenia trifoliata
Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’
Asclepias speciosa
Various Coreopsis hybrids ( E.g., Cha Cha Cha)
Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
Rudbeckia hirta
Rosa caroliniana
Echinacea purpurea
Stokesia ‘Color Wheel’

Burpee Kitchen Garden & Environs:
Helianthus ‘Buttercream’
Amaranthus cruentas ‘Hot Biscuits’
Echinacea ‘Milkshake’
Petunia ‘Indian Summer’
Solanum pycnanthemum – aka Porcupine Tomato
Cucurbita maxima Galeux D’ Eysines
Tropaeolum majus ‘Spitfire’

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Boatloads of Echinacea and Astilbe all abloom
Digiplexis “Illumination Flame’ & ‘Illumination Raspberry’
Liatris ‘Floristan Weiss’
Petunia ‘African Sunset’ – Juicy color! Must see!

Woodland Garden:
Hosta ‘Lakeside Shore Master’ and ‘Frances Williams’
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ — Cranesbill
Angelonia ‘Dangeloni4’ – Alonia White Angelonia
Hellebores
Veratrum formosanum

Norweb Entrance Garden:
Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’ – Calla Lily (In Containers)
Hemerocallis – Daylily
Clematis ‘Zorero’ – I am Red Robin Clematis

Alfond Children’s Garden:
Dahlias – Rose Dinnerplate Mix, and Yellow Passion’ Dinnerplate.
Invincibelle spirit smooth hydrangea and ‘A.G. Annabelle’
Ligularia japonica – Japanese Ligularia
Acanthus hungaricus – Bear’s Breeches
Clematis ‘Polish Spirit’
Leucanthemum X superbum ‘Becky’ – Shasta Daisy
Digitalis ferruginea – Rusty Foxglove
Lots of different Dalylillies around Blueberry Pond: Hemerocallis varieties include ‘French Tudor,’ ‘Boothbay Delight,’ ‘Notify Ground Crew,’ ‘Fairy Tale Pink,’ and ‘Baja’

Lerner Garden and Forest Pond:
Shasta Daisies
Geranium ‘Pink Penny’ – Cranesbill
Hemerocallis cvs. – Daylily
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ – Sneeze Weed
Rudbeckia ‘Goldstrum’ – Black-eyed Susan
Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Perennial and Rose Garden
Coreopsis ‘Route 66’ and ‘Red Satin’
Hemerocallis ‘Chicago Knockout’ and citrina
Echinaceas purpurea ‘Magnus’ and purpurea ‘Virgin’
Gomphrena QIS Formula Mix
Ptilotus nobilis ‘Joey’
Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Lace’
Lonicera sempervirens ‘John Clayton’
Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’
Achillea ‘Coronation Gold’
Eryngium planum ‘Blue Hobbit’ and planum ‘Blue Glitter’
Allium sphaerocephalon
Agastaches ‘Black Adder,’ cana ‘Rosita,’ and ‘Blue Blazes’ are all in bloom
Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’

Great Lawn
Hemerocallis in bloom include ‘Hyperion,’ ‘Hush Little Baby,’ and citrina
Echinaceas in bloom include ‘Kim’s Knee High,’ purpurea ‘White Swan,’ ‘Balsomsed,’ ‘Evan Saul,’ x hybrida ‘Balsomcor,’ ‘Balsomselo,’ purpurea ‘Pica Bella,’ and ‘Hot Papaya’
Stachys officinalis
Thalictrum rochebruneanum
Physostegia virginiana – Obedient Plant
Aesclepias curasava
Filipendula rubra ‘Venusta’
Heliopsis helianthoides var. scabra ‘Sommersonne’
Silybum marianum

Haney Hillside:
Dicentra – bleeding hearts still in flower
The Haney Hillside and Vayo Meditation Garden are lush and spectacular!

Visitor Center Entrance Walkway:
Phygelius x rectus ‘Devil’s Tears’ – cape fuchsia
Canna ‘Phaison’ Bengal Tiger
Lavandula ‘Phenomenal’
Agastache ‘Blue Fortune’

What’s in Bloom This Week

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

DSC_8232
Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hostas all coming into bloom! ‘Hadspen Blue’ is especially nice.
Anemone coronaria ‘Mr Fokker’
Rhododendron ‘Weston Sparkler’
Rhododendron ‘Weston’s Innocence’
Rhododendron ‘Milenium’
Rhododendron ‘Seabreeze’
Rhododendron maximum
Thalictrum flavum ssp. glaucum
Geranium Gerwat aka ‘Rozanne’
Astilbes are popping:
A. arendsii ‘White Gloria’
A. arendsii ‘Rock and Roll’
A. ‘Avalanche’
A. simplicifolia ‘Henne Graafland’
A. japonica ‘Touch Of Pink’
A. thunbergii ‘Ostrich Plume’
Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’
Dicentra ‘Burning Hearts’
Iris ensata ‘Emotion’

Bosarge Education Center:
Gillenia trifoliata
Asclepias incarnata ‘Ice Ballet’
Asclepias speciosa
Various Coreopsis hybrids (E.g., Cha Cha Cha)
Eryngium ‘Big Blue’
Rudbeckia hirta
Rosa caroliniana
Diervilla lonicera

Woodland Garden:
Arisaema candidissimum Pink-flowered Form – White-striped Cobra Lily
Geranium ‘Sue Crug’ – Cranesbill
Tiarella ‘Candy Striper’
Angelonia ‘Dangeloni4’ – Alonia White Angelonia
Hellebores
Veratrum formosanum

Norweb Entrance Garden:
Zantedeschia ‘Edge of Night’ – Calla Lily (In Containers)
Benthamida japonica – Japanese Dogwood
Phedimus floriferus ‘Weihenstephaner Gold’ – Orange Stonecrop
Hemerocallis – Daylily

Lerner Garden and Forest Pond:
Iris ensata – Japanese Iris
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ – Sneeze Weed
Hemerocallis ‘Strawberry Candy’ – Daylily
Rosa – Several rose cultivars

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Helianthus ‘Tiger Eye,’ ‘Buttercream,’ ‘Italian White’
Allium sphaerocephalon
Calendula cvs
Agastache cvs
Garlic scapes looking great (tasty as pesto too!)
Nasturtium ‘Spitfire’

Cleaver Event Lawn:
Phlox paniculata ‘Danielle’
Astilbe cvs: large drifts all aflower
Echinacea cvs
Geranium ‘Rozanne’
Thalictrum rochenbrunianum

Perennial and Rose Garden:
-Liatris spicata ‘Kobold’ – Gay-feather
-Lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’ – English Lavender
-Achillea ‘Coronation gold’ – Yarrow
-Allium sphaerocephalon – Drumstick Allium
-Eryngium planum ‘Blue Glitter’ – Blue Eryngo
-Delphinium elatum ‘Blue Lace’ – Larkspur
-Echinacea purpurea ‘Virgin’ and ‘Magnum’ – coneflower
-Hemerocalis ‘Hush Little Baby’ – Daylily

Great Lawn Beds:
-Silybum marianum Milk Thistle just starting to bloom!
-Echinacea- ‘Hot Papaya,’ ‘Pica Bella,’ ‘Evan Saul,’ and ‘Balsomcor’ all look great
-Callirhoe involucrata – Purple Poppy Mallow
-Heliopsis helianthoides ‘Sommersonne’ – summer sun false sunflower

Alfond Children’s Garden:
Hemerocalis ‘French Tudor’ Daylily, also ‘Fairy Tale Pink’ and ‘Baja’
Leucanthemum x supernumerary ‘Becky’ – Shasta Daisy
Dahlia ‘Yellow Passion’ – Dinnerplate Dahlias
Hydrangeas – invincible spirit smooth hydrangea
Ligularia japonica
Helenium ‘Moerheim Beauty’ – sneeze weed
Hosta ‘Blue Mouse Ears’ – Plantain Lily
Petrorhagia saxifraga – Tunic Flower
Echinacea ‘Rubinstern’ – Ruby Star Purple Coneflower
Digitalis ferruginea – Rusty Foxglove
Clematis ‘Polish spirit’
Rhododendron ‘Weston’s Sparkler’ – Azalea
Veronica ‘Purpleicious’ – Spiked speedwell

Visitor Center Entrance Walk:
Calycanthus x ‘Aphrodite’
Begonia ‘Whopper Red’
Cestrum ‘Orange Peel’
Digitalis
Osteospermum

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