Sally Demeter’s “artscape” of a garden in Morrill is third in the Belfast Garden Club’s 2015 Open Garden Days on Friday, July 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Master Gardener has pushed back the woods and turned her property into a playful showcase starring shiny orbs, metal sculptures and the sound of running water.

The yard sits at the end of a long, shaded drive guarded by large erratic stones and planted with daylilies and hostas. She and her husband built their house 15 years ago, after selling their 175-year-old farm across the road. Demeter had only planted vegetables at the farm, but with more free time and the lure of what she calls “a blank canvas,” she began ornamental gardening as well.

Initially, she had to overcome poor soil. “Every plant I planted had to have good stuff put in the hole,” she said. And when she lamented her shady lot, a fellow gardener suggested, “Cut ‘em down!” Demeter removed several trees, letting light onto a small hill that now holds terraced flowerbeds.

Near the top of the hill, a circular blade ran when the property was a sawmill, around the 1940s, Demeter guesses. Now, in the same spot, a copse of birches leans over a patch of oversized hypertufa mushrooms crafted by Demeter. Behind them sits a tiny, gated “cemetery” holding no graves, but with one her of family headstones—a castoff replaced by a larger one.

On the side of the house, a fountain gurgles into a pool of lily pads. The water meanders downstream to another pool. Near that, six raised beds—holding everything from dahlias to summer squash—feature drip irrigation on a timer. Watching over the garden is a glamorous scarecrow, wearing a blue robe and fresh flowers in her hat.

Demeter, who calls herself a “scrounger,” has dotted the property with her favorite things—metal sculptures and orbs of every size, including copper spheres that, on closer inspection, turn out to be bowling balls covered in pennies.

To get to the Demeter garden, take upper Waldo Avenue to Marsh Road. Turn left on Marsh Road and drive into Morrill Village. Turn left on Weymouth Road; 124 Weymouth Road is on the left.

A donation of $5 helps the Belfast Garden Club maintain 12 public gardens in Belfast and award two scholarships each year. Strips of eight tickets for $30 are on sale at any of the Open Gardens and at Left Bank Books in Belfast. For more information, call Martha Laitin at 323-2368.

 

The Belfast Garden Club has awarded its two annual scholarships to Zachary Beaudry of Searsport and Caleb Lord of Winterport. They will each receive $1,000.

Beaudry will be a junior at the University of Maine Orono in the fall. He is studying Wildlife Ecology with a concentration in wildlife science and management. For the past five summers, he has worked with the Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed, helping to combat invasive plants in the watershed's lakes and strea ms. He said a particular concern is variable-leaf water milfoil, a non-native plant that crowds out native vegetation and clogs waterways.

Beaudry has been the head diver, weeding the invasive plants by their roots from the lake sediment. In four years, Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed have removed over 45,000 gallons of unwanted plants. Beaudry is also an undergraduate technician in the entomology lab/research program at U Maine. ...continue reading

(left to right): Brian Rolerson, Olivia Wirth, Donna Busch (Garden Club Library Book Donation chair), Corliss Davis (Garden Club President), Jon Thurston ("Get Growing!" coordinator), Junne McIntire, and Mallory Tibbetts.

(left to right): Brian Rolerson, Olivia Wirth, Donna Busch (Garden Club Library Book Donation chair), Corliss Davis (Garden Club President), Jon Thurston ("Get Growing!" coordinator), Junne McIntire, and Mallory Tibbetts.

On Thursday, June 12 the Belfast Garden Club was delighted to present a check for $500 and a book on heirloom tomatoes to Jon Thurston for the "Get Growing!" program at Troy Howard Middle School.  The check will be used for scholarships to support 15-20 summer student interns.  Mostly 6th to 8th graders, they will work from June 22 to August 3.  The book, The Heirloom Tomato: From Garden to Table by Amy Goldman, was suggested by Thurston and will be added to the school's library.

There is a new way to enjoy "Our Town Belfast." Have you heard about the Belfast in-town nature trail? Co-sponsored by the Belfast Garden Club, members of the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition mapped out and created the five mile walking trail. To download a copy of the trail map and guide, go to www.belfastbaywatershed.org and click on Learn More About Us, then Belfast In-Town Nature Trail Map and Guide.

The Belfast Garden Club made a donation last month, of 10 new garden and horticulture books to the Belfast Free Library. The books were purchased with funds raised at the Green Thumb Plant Sale held in May. Selections for the donation include books for both adults and children. Topics include writers describing their gardening experiences; growing fruits and berries holistically; natural garden style; insider secrets from Maine gardeners; gardening lab experiments for kids; as well as other subjects.

The library displays the new books for public perusal before placing them on the shelves for circulation.

The Belfast Garden Club fosters the acquisition of knowledge of gardening and protection of native flora and fauna. The club has promoted civic beautification since 1929. The club welcomes new members and volunteers year round and extends a warm welcome to all.

On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Donna Busch, chair of the club's Book Committee (R), presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman (L), director of the Belfast Free Library. (Photo by Martha Laitin)

On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Donna Busch, chair of the club's Book Committee (R), presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman (L), director of the Belfast Free Library. (Photo by Martha Laitin)

Donna Busch from the Belfast Garden Club presents gardening books for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Project to Bill Browning, Community Resource Coordinator. Photo by Martha Laitin

Donna Busch from the Belfast Garden Club presents gardening books for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Project to Bill Browning, Community Resource Coordinator. Photo by Martha Laitin

Belfast Garden Club members showed support for the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center’s Garden Program by donating instructive books to the Reentry Center’s library on growing vegetables and preparing nutritious meals after harvesting the bountiful food.  Club members gave books from their personal collections and purchased new books for the project.  The books will be available to residents at the Reentry Center’s library in Belfast to assist them in learning gardening techniques for northern climate gardens, general good gardening principles, and using the produce in the kitchen to make healthy meals.