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Dig It! Garden Blog

What’s in Bloom – June 2, 2016

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Staff Picks

Allium
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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How can you help the monarchs?

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Over the past few years there has been a dramatic decline in the monarch butterfly population. This has been caused by a variety of things, including loss of milkweed, drought conditions, pesticide, and habitat loss. Although some of these dangers are natural and can’t be avoided, there are ways to help out from home. So, how can you help the monarchs?

A crucial part of the monarch’s survival is their access to milkweed, so planting a form of native milkweed would be a great help. Monarchs start their life on a single leaf of milkweed, relying on it to develop and grow. Milkweed also serves as protection: the toxins monarchs receive from eating the milkweed make the butterflies poisonous to many predators such as birds. To help fight the loss of milkweed, you can plant milkweed native to your area.

Photo courtesy of Derek Ramsey 2008

Photo courtesy of Derek Ramsey 2008

Here at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens there are two main types: first, swamp milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), which prefers watery places such as areas around swamps and lakes; and second, butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) which prefers drier areas.
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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

Dancing with the Lights

Thursday, November 12th, 2015

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is reopening this November 21 for an event called Gardens Aglow. The gardens will be decorated with thousands of different colored lights, some of which even interact with music. These special lights are called Lumenplay lights and, once programmed with the play list, are stunning to watch dance to the music. These lights are featured in the Lerner Garden of the Five Senses to create a full sensory experience that you don’t want to miss!
Gardens Aglow Blog Pic
Lumenplay lights are connected with an app that lets you sync music to the lights. This app will process the song and program the lights to dance along. They create this illusion using RGB LED lights which can produce millions of different colors that twinkle and flash at a range of speeds. We will have almost 2000 of these lights, covering 6 different trees! These magnificent trees are known as the “Dancing Maples” and are a sight to see!

The Lumenplay lights will be accompanied with seasonal classics featuring artists such as George Winston. Thanks to our 100 watt Soundcast speaker, people will be able to enjoy this music from essentially every point of the Lerner Garden. This speaker is so powerful that it can produce about ten times the sound of an everyday, old fashioned boom box. The Lumenplay lights will just be the icing on the cake. The entire garden is going to be full of amazing displays during the event, and we hope to see you during Gardens Aglow.
– Lisa Pawlowski

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)

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