A professional gardener’s perennial beds, vegetable gardens and a woodland walk are sixth in Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days on Friday, July 29. The gardens of Emily Rogals and Paul Finden at 387 High Street in Belfast will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
Rogals has gardened on Isleboro with her employer, friend and mentor Julia Olson of Julia Olson Garden Design, for the past 15 years. She is influenced by the island gardens, such as the design for her large, visually striking garden with a mix of flowers and vegetables, marked with pathways radiating from a center trellis.
Her ornamental beds are a blend of perennials and annuals that she started from seed. Last winter more than 60 dahlias grew near the woodstove in her living room before going to clients, friends and into a vivid display in her own gardens. Annuals such as salvia, snapdragons, sweet peas, Mexican sunflowers and varieties of nicotiana also get their start as seeds under Rogals’ watchful eye.
There’s also a large, damp shade garden bursting with color in the form of ligularia rockets, astilbe, primroses, monkshood and hostas.
Rogals avoids invasive plants, and plants that Japanese beetles devour (two exceptions are a graceful Kousa dogwood and Dr. Seuss bee balm, neither of which she could resist).
A stone walkway to the house is lined with colorful pots and a bed filled with plants chosen for their color and form (the ones that attract pollinators are a plus for Rogals, who also uses organic compost, which she gets from Keene Dairy Farm in Belfast).
As an extra treat for visitors, her husband, Paul, a critical care nurse who’s also handy with a chainsaw, has expanded the winding woodland trail that leads through their large parcel to the Passy Rail Trail. Guests are invited to stroll a shorter loop through the woods and back to the yard, or continue on the trail to where it opens for an expansive view of the river and Belfast Harbor.
A $5 donation is requested at each location in the Open Garden Days series (you can buy a money-saving strip of eight for $30 at Left Bank Books in Belfast). Proceeds help the Club maintain 12 public gardens and give two annual scholarships to Waldo County youth studying “green” fields, among other Club endeavors.
Directions: Take upper High Street towards City Point, the house is on the right.
For more information, contact Martha Laitin at 323-2368.