Off To Orono

Horticulture, News

One of the amazing Malus spp. at
the Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden


What a wonderful color combination
these Astillbe spp. have made in the
Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden

A spectacular view of the
Orono Bog Boardwalk

Yesterday, on July 11, the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens horticulture interns got to head out on yet another fun field trip day. The plan was to head to Orono, Maine, to see the different horticultural aspects of the city. Being an alumnus of the University of Maine, with a vast knowledge of the area, staff horticulturist Will Bridges was the obvious choice to be our leader for the day. 

We started our journey touring the UMaine campus and seeing the different plantings that embody the school. Being a recent college graduate, it was quite bittersweet to be back on a college campus again so soon. I have discovered, though, that I just love seeing how college campus landscapes vary from school to school. We even got to sneak a peek inside the Roger Clapp Greenhouses and see the different collections they have acquired.

While on the campus, we stopped by the Lyle Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden. This garden was started in the 1960s by Lyle Littlefield when he was a professor of horticulture at the university. The garden has an extensive variety of ornamentals that have been planted throughout the decades. It was fun walking through this garden with Will because he knew a lot more about this particular landscape than the average person does. He was around when some of the plant material was added to the landscape and told us some fun facts about the garden that few people would know.

The next stop on our trip was to visit the UMaine Cooperative Extension Penobscot County Master Gardener Demonstration Garden. This garden had different plantings in various plots from Master Gardeners in the area. There was also a small section dedicated to the recent All-American Selection (AAS) plants to show how they would perform in a landscape. I loved seeing the AAS plants because some of them are so new that I had never heard of them before!

The last stop of our day was the Orono Bog Boardwalk. Just over one mile long, this bog boardwalk really shows off the vast vegetation changes that can come with a bog habitat. The informative signage on the boardwalk was phenomenal in helping us identify the plants and wildlife in the area. The landscape of the open bog (as seen in the picture to the right) was truly breathtaking since we had never seen anything like it before. All in all, it was a very fun and educational day for our group.

-Carrington Flatness, Horticulture Intern