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Daily Garden Activities for Children

A Garden for Children

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

There it is, as you approach the Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens. A chalkboard easel beckons from the entrance with its list of handwritten daily events, ones that take place each summer day in and among lush plantings, winding stone paths, a frog and fish-filled pond, neat vegetable garden rows, and the watery hiss of somnolent-looking whales. Children and their grown-ups pour in and out of this garden every and all day, tearing through the pathways, smiles wide, touching and clambering over stones and a small wooden bridge, taking inventory of the new or familiar, twirling zestfully in this spirited place at their scale. The energy of discovery and delight is palpable; it’s around each corner and curve and just out of sight. Parents stroll and rest and smile with gratitude that this garden is built with their children and grandchildren (and them) in mind. It’s inventive, thought-filled, natural and brimming with fun. The never-go-hungry pair of chickens know this is the place to be!

Make your own Botanical Art

Make your own Botanical Art

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Botanical artists carefully observe the plants they illustrate. As part of our current exhibit by the New England Society of Botanical Artists (NESBA) we have this interactive exhibit activity by The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, Vermont located in the Bosarge Family Education Center.

Look closely at a leaf as you make your own drawing – and you can try this at home with a light box, tracing paper and a pencil. A loupe or magnifying glass is very helpful to find the more intricate details of a leaf or flower.

Draw a Leaf

 

up-close

 

MilkweedAsclepias sp. Milkweed, watercolor, by Ruth Ann Wetherby Frattasio of NESBA, on display in the Bosarge Family Education Center until September 30, 2014.

What's in Bloom

What’s in Bloom This Week

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

Entry Walk
Begonia cucullata var. cucullata ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf’
Coleus ‘Wasabi’
Pennisetum purpureum ‘Vertigo’
Asclepias curassavica ‘Silky Deep Red’
Cynara cardunculus ‘Florist Candy’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Great Lawn
Echinacea cultivars – Coneflower
Salvia confertiflora
Eupatorium purpureum – Joe pye weed
Hibiscus ‘Midnight Marvel’
Anigozanthos – Kangaroo Paw

Rose and Perennial Garden
Agastache cana ‘Rosita’
Agastache ‘Black Adder’
Coreopsis tripteris
Salvia ‘Rasberry Delight’ – Sage
Duranta erecta ‘Sapphire Showers’

Lerner Garden of The Five Senses
Begonia boliviensis in baskets
Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’ – Black Eyed Susan
Leucanthemum x superbum ‘Becky’ – Shasta Daisy
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’
Lobelia siphilitica and L. cardinalis – Blue Cardinal Flower and Red Cardinal Flower
Helenium ‘Mardi Gras’ – Sneezeweed
Rainbow Knock Out roses
Phlox ‘David’

Cleaver Event Lawn
Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’ – Grape-Leaf Anemone
Stenanthium gramineum – “eastern featherbells”
Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’ – Coneflower
Phlox paniculata ‘Franz Shubert’
Hydrangea ‘Sweet Summer’
Hydrangea paniculata ‘Kyushu’
Clethra acuminata – Cinnamon Clethra

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden
Allium senescens var. glaucum
Daphne x transatlantica ‘Blafra’
Lilium ‘Casa Blanca’
Alstroemeria ‘Sweet Laura’
Allium tuberosum

Giles Rhododendron Garden
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – Rozanne cranesbill
Hosta ‘Katherine Lewis’
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Lobelia cardinalis – Cardinal Flower

shown above: Calendula – French Marigold

Echinacea - coneflower

What’s in Bloom this Week

Monday, August 11th, 2014

Entry Walk:
Digiplexis
Asclepias currassavica – tropical milkweed
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’
Chasmanthium latifolium – northern sea oats
Begonia ‘Whopper Red Bronze Leaf’

Great Lawn and Lerner Garden of the Five Senses:
Hemerocallis – daylilies
Phlox
Helenium – sneeze weed
Rudbeckia – black-eyed Susan
Lobelia cardinalis – cardinal flower
Lobelia siphilitica – blue Lobelia
Echinacea – coneflower – shown above, with two pollinators!
Coreopsis – tickseed
Anigozanthos – kangaroo paw

Haney Hillside:
Helianthus ‘Lemon Queen’ – sunflower
Viburnum Iantanoides
Lobelia cardinalis

Bibby and Harold Alfond Children’s Garden:
Liatris pycnostachya
Allium ‘Pink Planet’
Buddleia Davidii ‘Adokeep’ – butterfly bush
Lobelia Cardinalis
Gentiana ‘True Blue’

Burpee Kitchen Garden:
Calendula officinalis
Helianthus ‘Earthwalker’ – sunflower
Agastache ‘Tutti Frutti’
Zinnia elegans ‘Lilac Emperor’
Gomphrena haageana ‘Qis Orange’

Rose & Perennial Gardens:
Verbena bonariensis
Rosa ‘Balmas’
Calicarpa dichotoma ‘Issai’
Nicotiana ‘Lime Green’
Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’

Giles Rhododendron Garden:
Hosta ‘Katherine Lewis’
Benthmedia Japonica ‘Wolf Eyes’ Dogwood, not blooming, but looks gorgeous!
Astilbe chinensis ‘Veronica Klose’
Geranium ‘Gerwat’ – rozanne cranesbill

Pollinators in the Gardens

Pollinators in the Gardens: CMBG Photo Club exhibit 2014

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

The spectacular display of the flowers at the Gardens is really all for the pollinators (in the biological sense!). Revel in the intricate relationship between flower and pollinator in this engaging presentation by Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens Photo Club members. This photography exhibit “Pollinators in the Gardens” is on display in the Resource Room of the Visitor Center until September 30, 2014. Here are some images of this lively exhibit.

Pollinators in the Gardens: Photo Club

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’

NESBA

FROM THE MOUNTAINS TO THE SEA: AN EXHIBIT OF NATIVE NEW ENGLAND PLANT PORTRAITS by NESBA

Monday, August 4th, 2014

We are very fortunate to have the New England Society of Botanical Artists (NESBA) “From the Mountains to the Sea” exhibit open here this week at its 6th and final venue, the Bosarge Family Education Center at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay ME. Everyone is invited to the reception Saturday August 9, 5-7 pm. There will be a live botanical artist demonstration by NESBA and Maine artist Kate MacGillivary at 2 p.m. The exhibit will be on view from August 1 through September 30.

NESBA works to promote public appreciation of the art and science of botanical art and illustration in New England. The Society educates individuals and organizations about botanical art and illustration through exhibits, lectures, workshops, and outreach programs.

Through its art, NESBA emphasizes New England plant diversity and its preservation, provides a community for artists and illustrators engaged in this challenging discipline, designs forums for meetings and discussions, as well as for camaraderie among other botanical artists, illustrators, scientists and historians.

NESBA - Bosarge Family Education Center
 

Images courtesy: NESBA, New England Society of Botanical Artists
Top image: Asclepius syriaca, Milkweed, Susan Pettee, Massachusetts

View From the Mountains to the Sea NESBA catalog (PDF)
For more information about the art and artists, click here

Kristin

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

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - Interns

2014 Summer Interns, field trip

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

Last week the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens summer interns went on a day trip to Bar Harbor with Rodney Eason, Director of Horticulture. First stop they went to Lunaform to see how their enormous concrete vases and pieces are made. Then they traveled the Rockefeller Estate on Mt. Desert Island and toured the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden and several other gardens as well. It was wonderful experience for our interns!

Our summer interns are involved with and contributors to many different areas of the Gardens each summer, including admissions, education, gift shop, horticulture, marketing and membership. From left to right: Emma – Mount Holyoke College ‘14, Christabel – Emerson College ’15, Kristin – North Carolina State University ’16, Fei – Bates College ’14, Meghan – University of Delaware ’15, Lauren – University of Michigan ’15, Caitlin – Rochester Institute of Technology ’15, Mary – Bates College ’16.