Learn how pruning flowering shrubs and ornamental trees keeps them healthy and beautiful at the Belfast Garden Club’s first monthly program of the season, set for 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, October 18, at Belfast Free Library. The public is invited to the free talk.

Author and educator Marjorie Peronto will discuss the right timing for pruning different woody plants, how plants respond to pruning, how to make cuts, and what tools are needed. She will have samples for demonstration, and she’ll answer audience questions.

Peronto is an Extension Educator for the Hancock County University of Maine Cooperative Extension. She’s been teaching courses in food production, ecological landscaping, and pruning woody landscape plants for 25 years. She has produced numerous instructional pruning videos. She and her partner, Reeser Manley, are co-authors of “The New England Gardener's Year,” winner of a Maine Literary Award in 2014. Signed copies will be available at the presentation.

The public is always welcome at the Belfast Garden Club’s free programs, which are presented at 2 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month through April. This season’s line-up of programs includes “Going Native: Using Native Perennials, Shrubs and Trees in the Landscape” in November; no program in December; “Growing Strawberries and Raspberries in Maine” in January; “Visit to an Historical Walled Garden” in February; “Growing Asparagus in Maine” in March; and “The Potager: A Traditional Design for Modern Vegetable Gardens” in April.

For more information, contact Corliss Davis at 930-3562.

The Belfast Garden Club has awarded its two annual scholarships to Meagan McKeon of Searsport and Alicia Gaiero of Belfast. Each will receive $1,000.

Meagan McKeon
Meagan McKeon

McKeon graduated at the top of her class from Searsport District High School. This fall, she’ll begin her freshman year at University of New Hampshire, studying environmental conservation and sustainability. She hopes to have a dual major in International Affairs to better prepare herself for a more interconnected world.

“All of the Earth’s systems are connected, so in order to solve the major environmental issues facing Maine and surrounding areas, people need to think on a global scale,” she said.

In high school, McKeon participated in soccer, track and field, sailing, theater, hosting an exchange student, being a student ambassador, robotics, student council, Class President, National Honors Society, Maine National Honor Society public relations officer, Dirigo Girls State, the Barbara Bush Foundation Teen Trendsetter’s Program, and her school mentoring program. She also received awards for Student of the Quarter and Student of the Year and graduated summa cum laude.

Alicia Gaiero
Alicia Gaiero

Gaiero graduated from Belfast Area High School and will be attending the University of Maine in the fall majoring in sustainable agriculture.

She was on the honor roll all four years of high school, where she was a member and captain of varsity field hockey and the outdoor track and field team. She was a member of the National Honor Society and the National Art Honor Society.

She was a three-year class officer serving as fundraising chair for her class and the former treasurer of the student-run nonprofit Liberian Education Fund.

Her interest in agriculture was sparked by early gardening with her parents, and being a member of the Ecology Academy at Troy Howard Middle School. In high school, she did research projects on GMOs and interviewed local farmers, including an owner of the largest cow farm in Maine.

“By earning an education in the agricultural field I hope I may learn sustainable farming practices that will protect and provide for the welfare of humans, animals and work towards environmental preservation,” she said.

The Belfast Garden Club provides two scholarships each year to Waldo County students going into earth-friendly fields. It raises money through its annual Green Thumb Plant Sale and its Open Garden Days, which are held Fridays from June to mid-August.

(left to right):
Troy Howard May 27, 2016 005

Back - Westley Dyer, Maury Hepner (Garden Club member and community volunteer), Corliss Davis (Garden Club President), David Wessels (Troy Howard Garden Coordinator)

Front - Gracie Coombs (with Hoohah the bunny), Haley Wood, Kaydee Pearse, Mason Paul, Eiyah Jackson, and Alex Gerrish.

On Thursday, May 27 the Belfast Garden Club was delighted to present a check for $500 to David Wessels 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 20 to July 28.

In 2015, the Belfast Garden Club donated the following 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.

Adult Books
McDowel, M. 2013.  Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life
Lowenfels, J. 2013.  Teaming with Nutrients: The Organic Gardener's Guide to Optimizing Plant Nutrition
Druse, K. 2015.  The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change
Dowden, A.O. 1990.  The Clover and the Bee: A Book of Pollination
Walliser, J. 2014.  Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden
Chapman, B. 2014.  The Plant Recipe Book: 100 Living Arrangements for any Home in any Season

Books for Children
Raymond, Roberta.  Amy and the Amaryllis
The Editors of Klutz. 2010. Good Growing: A Kid's Guide to Green Gardening
Donalson, J. and N. Sharratt. 2009.  One Mole Digging a Hole
Brown, P. 2009.  The Curious Garden
Morris, K. and J. Kirasu. 2000.  The Jumbo Book of Gardening
Snodgrass Wiedenheft, J. and G. Anderson. 2013.  Hunting Red

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)


A bronze plaque on a stone marker was dedicated to Blanche Foss in the Belfast Free Library's Miller Street garden on Wednesday, July 8.

The plaque marks the date of the Belfast resident's passing, September 29, 2014. It was purchased with donations from Belfast Garden Club members, who wanted to remember Blanche in the garden she cared for as a member of the club's Civic Beautification Committee.

Some 25 people, including her children-Scott Foss of Truckee, CA, and Lisa Foss of Pinellas Park, FL-attended the morning ceremony. The Club provided coffee cakes, cookies and lemonade at a reception held after the stone was placed by Scott Foss.

"Mom always loved to garden," recalled Lisa Foss, who said her mother belonged to the Vernon Garden Club when the family lived in Connecticut, where Blanche worked as an educator. "She met many wonderful people and enjoyed many trips to see gardens around the country."

After Blanche retired, she moved back to Belfast, the town where she grew up and graduated from Crosby High School in 1960 (her maiden name was Ferguson). She continued to garden-at home and as a member of the Belfast Garden Club, Lisa Foss said. She also became a Master Gardener. "Mom loved to share plants with as many friends as possible. Her plants have found homes from Florida to California and many places in between," Lisa Foss said.

Lisa Foss said the plaque captures her mother's love for gardening and for Belfast, and that the ceremony made for "a special day."

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

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.

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.