Dig It!
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Dig It! Garden Blog

Horticulturist and Grower Dan Robarts on Gardens, Daylilies, and “Playing Bee”

Thursday, August 13th, 2020

I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire and spent lots of time outside and amongst plants, learning to tend and grow plants through work in our large family garden. While in the throes of this homesteading education, I became entranced with the idea of plants as garden ornament. My first love and interest in ornamental plants came with daylilies – stalwarts of the New England landscape. Visits to the local nursery were always adventures into the exotic and unknown when I was little. I was amazed with the diversity of size, color, and form daylilies could display. At first, I collected those that seemed farthest from the rusty orange and simple yellows that had grown up with – acquiring pinks, purples, and bi-colored blooms. Ruffled and narrow, spidery forms in any hue – it seemed as though there were no limits to the variation. For almost a hundred years before I found them, plant breeders had been working with daylilies to create those fancy hybrids. All of the modern selections available today came from humble origins of yellow, dull orange, and brown-red flowers found in naturally occurring daylily species. Read More

Fields of Gold: For the love of goldenrod.

Thursday, August 6th, 2020

 

Before I begin waxing rhapsodic on goldenrod (Solidago spp.), let’s get one myth buried: goldenrod is not the culprit behind the agony of late-season allergies. Though goldenrod takes the brunt of the blame, it’s an insect-pollinated plant rather than a wind-pollinated one, meaning the pollen is heavy, sticky and stays put until a pollinator goes foraging for nectar. It’s the wind-pollinated, simultaneously-blooming ragweed responsible for the miseries of hay fever. Read More

Road Trip with Amanda: Family Trip – MidCoast Maine

Monday, July 27th, 2020

Check out the Gardens’ Dig It! blog for more of my favorite road trips, perfect for an individual, a couple, or a small family. Every destination is within a 1-2 hour’s drive and can be stretched into a 2 to 3-day getaway; timing is based on a Friday-Sunday trip.

Disclaimer: There are a million things one might do here in MidCoast Maine, but I offer you a tour of places I have been to, worked with, and highly recommend. I encourage you to research with Yelp, TripAdvisor, VisitMaine.com, and travel apps like Roadside America; after all, planning is half the fun of any trip! Also, this trip was mapped pre-COVID. Be sure to call or check ahead to ascertain opening hours and general availability.

There’s no doubt that MidCoast Maine is the perfect place for a family vacation. I made many trips down to Boothbay Harbor as a child with family. Funny story, as a toddler, I dropped my pacifier (I called it a “dum-dum”) off the 1901 Footbridge as a child, and I was so upset, I never had another one. With all the changes children have been asked make due to COVID-19, they could certainly use a fun-filled vacation this summer! In a normal year, you could spend an entire weekend on the Boothbay peninsula enjoying such places as the Boothbay Railway Museum, the Maine State Aquarium, and the Carousel Music Theater. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, these places are not open this year. However, there are so many other fun things to do in MidCoast Maine. Follow me for a great family trip (or for a couple who are young at heart) around the Boothbay and Phippsburg peninsulas – with an obvious stop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (get your tickets in advance, here)! Read More

Road Trip with Amanda: Couples’ Getaway – MidCoast Maine

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Check out the Gardens’ Dig It! blog for more of my favorite road trips, perfect for an individual, a couple, or a small family. Every destination is within a 1-2 hour’s drive and can be stretched into a 2 to 3-day getaway; timing is based on a Friday-Sunday trip.

Disclaimer: There are a million things one might do here in MidCoast Maine, but I offer you a tour of places I have been to, worked with, and highly recommend. I encourage you to research with Yelp, TripAdvisor, VisitMaine.com, and travel apps like Roadside America; after all, planning is half the fun of any trip! Also, this trip was mapped pre-COVID. Be sure to call or check ahead to ascertain opening hours and general availability.

Whether you are parents thrown into the brave new world of homeschooling and itching for a well-deserved break or a young couple missing date nights, every couple has earned a Maine staycation to kick-start your summer. As someone who has fallen in love with (and in!) MidCoast Maine, I can attest that it is the perfect place for romance. Join me as I guide you through the Boothbay and Pemaquid Peninsulas – with an obvious stop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (get your tickets in advance, here)! I hope you fall in love with MidCoast in this couples’ getaway.
Read More

Road Trip with Amanda: The Great Outdoors – MidCoast Maine

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I outline some of my favorite road trips, perfect for an individual, a couple, or a small family. Everything is within a 2-3 hour driving distance and can be stretched into a 2 to 3-day getaway; timing is based on a Friday-Sunday trip.

Disclaimer: There are a million things one might do here in MidCoast Maine, but I offer you a tour of places I have been to, worked with, and highly recommend. I encourage you to research with Yelp, Travelocity, Google, and travel apps like Roadside America; after all, planning is half the fun of any trip! Also, this trip was mapped pre-COVID. Be sure to call or check ahead to ascertain opening hours and general availability.

 With warmer weather in the forecast and safety guidelines being revised, if you are anything like me, you’re itching for a stint in the great outdoors. Being able to leave our houses and enjoy the abundance of outdoor activities after so long makes being in Maine ideal. After all, we are the home of L.L. Bean, Acadia National Park, and the great “Down East” – outdoor activities are what we do! MidCoast Maine has some of the greatest outdoor activities, whether you like to sightsee, hike, explore, or simply relax and enjoy some sunshine. I hope you can find some adventure (and sun) in my favorite Great Outdoors road trip – with an obvious stop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (get your tickets in advance, here)!
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Notes from the Apiary

Monday, June 15th, 2020

Hi there–as this summer’s beekeeping interns, we thought we’d give you a bird’s eye (or bees’ eye) view of our first few weeks on the job.


The hives in their new home at CMBG. You can see the apiary sign is still under construction in the background, and Erin is going to chat with some curious visitors. Observation, questions, curiosity, and education are what this apiary is all about!

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Road Trip with Amanda: Off the Beaten Path–MidCoast Maine

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

Like many, I planned domestic and international travel for 2020, plans which have all been halted for now. Trying to decide how I wanted to use my vacation time was no harder than looking in my backyard. Maine is Vacationland, after all! Growing up here, I became a self-proclaimed “Road Trip Queen” (which is actually what brought me to my career here at CMBG). The Boothbay Harbor region has always tugged at my heartstrings—with its small-town atmosphere, genuine hospitality, breathtaking views, and offerings for anyone at any age. I hope I can inspire you to make your own adventure to MidCoast Maine – with an obvious stop at Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (get your tickets in advance, here).

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I outline some of my favorite road trips, perfect for an individual, a couple, or a small family. Everything is within a 2-3 hour driving distance and can be stretched into a 2 to 3-day getaway; timing is based on a Friday-Sunday trip.

Disclaimer: There are a million things one might do here in MidCoast Maine, but I offer you a tour of places I have been to, worked with, and highly recommend. I encourage you to research with Yelp, Travelocity, Google, and travel apps like Roadside America; after all, planning is half the fun of any trip! Also, this trip was mapped pre-COVID. Be sure to call or check ahead to ascertain opening hours and general availability.
Read More

Three Herbs to Soothe the Soul

Monday, June 8th, 2020

With all of the challenges that 2020 has held for us so far, I don’t think I’ve yet to meet one person hasn’t gone through some profound, often demanding, personal challenges.

In my experience, with upheaval of any kind, there are few of us who couldn’t do with a little help. And since it’s available, where better to turn than to the natural world around us?
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Four Warming Herbs for Any Season

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

We can probably all agree that 2020 has hosted its share of challenges. And while we’ve doubtless found new ways of coping with stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, sometimes there’s nothing more comforting than invoking nostalgia.

And what is it I always say? Yup! There’s an herb for that. Read More