Dig It!
Garden Blog
Dig It! Garden Blog

Category: Wetlands

Reading & Exploring Wetlands with your Child

Monday, May 25th, 2020

This year the theme for Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens is Wicked Wetland Wonders—and here at the Gardens we have an abundance of wetlands! Many children have spent afternoons catching frogs while participating in summer camps, field trips, and pond investigations in the Children’s Garden pond. There are so many other wetlands here and all around Maine to learn about and explore as a family. Read More

Once in the Springtime

Friday, April 3rd, 2020

You may find yourself suddenly realizing that it’s spring.
And you may find yourself listening to birdsong and the drip-dripping of snow thaw.
And you may ask yourself, “What happens to all those sweet, slimy amphibians when temperatures plummet during the winter?”
And you may ask yourself, “How did they get here?” after letting the winter days go by and seeing them again just in time for the warmer months.

Okay, then. Here’s the story (and it’s an interesting one!). Many amphibians hibernate through the winter in their adult stage. In fact, some amphibians can even survive being frozen solid! Freeze-tolerance has been studied extensively in wood frogs, who prepare for the frigid temperatures by creating a sort of “antifreeze” in their bodies, the main component of which is an accumulation of glucose (sugar) in their blood. Other amphibians exhibit this freeze-tolerance as well, and many employ the additional protection of burrowing under leaves and forest debris—with snow piled on top, that creates some nice insulation for these ectotherms (cold-blooded animals unable to create their own body heat). Some amphibians even take it a step further and actually burrow into the forest floor below the freeze line. Read More

Art of the Garden

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

There are so many reasons I love my job as Interpretation and Exhibits Coordinator at the Gardens. For one, I get to learn about nature and then communicate that knowledge to volunteers and staff so they, in turn, can pass it along to our visitors. Each year, I focus on creating educational opportunities around our annual theme, adding new signs at spots of interest in the Gardens, developing our Discovery Carts, and brainstorming new tours. All of this research about the natural world informs not only my work, but also what I do when I am not at the Gardens.

At home, I am usually gardening or painting. As an artist, my art is directly linked to what I learn at the Gardens. Recently, I have completed two works that are part of a new series, Restoring the Wild, about native plants and the ecosystems they engender. After working in our butterfly house these past three years, I know that native insects need native plants. I also know that we need native insects—the foundational support for our whole ecosystem. In this time of steep insect decline, it’s important to realize that native insects have co-evolved with the plants around them—many can only eat a specific plant or family of plants, which is why growing a wide array of local species is so important. Read More