Fellow intern Kristin watering in
the new plants
Misfits, like this variety of Mouse Ear
Hosta, can be stunning too,
Don’t miss it!
The new completed display

Sometimes life doesn’t give you lemons, it gives you a mismatched assortment of leftover nursery plants and it’s still up to you to turn the menagerie into lemonade. My task for the week was to help staff horticulturist Justin Nichols transform these otherwise unusable extra plants into a beautiful display in the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden to disguise the restroom.

While our choices were limited enough in terms of color, texture, height, and cultural needs, we were also required to experiment with many plants marginal to coastal Maine. These plants (including Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Gulftide’, Mahonia japonica, Ilex opaca ‘Weston’, and Lagerstroemia ‘Hopi’) are suited to a specific hardiness zone and will thrive in certain aspects of our climate but may have decreased vigor or be unable to survive our winters.

Thanks to a little creativity and resourcefulness, what was once an eyesore in the Children’s Garden has been transformed in to a lovely hodge-podge of “Marginal Misfits.”

- Montana Williams, Pearson Horticulture Intern