Rogals house
Rogals house

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.

Rogals Mixed Bed
Rogals Mixed Bed

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.

Emily Rogals
Emily Rogals

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).

Rogals woodland path
Rogals woodland path

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.

Rogals Woodpiles
Rogals Woodpiles

 

 

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.

The Fotterall garden at 71 Bayview Street in Belfast has a view of the bay in front and a hilly garden in back. It will be open to the public in Garden Club’s Open Garden Days on Friday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
The Fotterall garden at 71 Bayview Street in Belfast has a view of the bay in front and a hilly garden in back. It will be open to the public in Garden Club’s Open Garden Days on Friday, July 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

A Belfast home with a bay view in front and a secret garden on a hill in back is fifth in Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days on Friday, July 22. Kathy and Law Fotterall’s gardens at 71 Bayview Street will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.

The former florists bought the property in 2013 after renting it one summer and then hearing it was for sale. Since then, they’ve built a stonewall in the front yard using rocks discarded from a city works project. An herb garden next to it is packed with fragrant rosemary, sage, dill, tarragon, chives, lettuces and lavender. Rust-colored nine bark shrubs add height and structure, and complement the large coppery rocks in the wall.

A path along the side of the house meanders past lilacs and hydrangeas including Pink Winky and Wild Fire, both of which are expected to be blooming on tour day.

In the back yard, the space opens up to reveal rock walls and stairs layered into a small hill. It rises above a wooden deck and outdoor metal stove bearing the motto “Rock Lobster.” (The snowbirds call their Florida house “The Love Shack”—both are titles of songs by the rock group The B-52s.) The former owner had already planted foundational trees on the hill, including a river birch, a drooping Alaskan cedar and a stewartia that bursts into beautiful white blossoms at this time of year.

The inviting front porch of two former florists, Kathy and Law Fotterall, gives a view of the bay across the street.
The inviting front porch of two former florists, Kathy and Law Fotterall, gives a view of the bay across the street.

Law cleared out large swaths of ground. Now a small lawn allows for a place to spread a blanket and enjoy the view past the house to the bay across the road. The hilly beds are full of roses, daylilies, lady’s mantle, white and pink rubrum lilies, and Moonbeam yarrow. Annuals such as cosmos, calendula, zinnias, snapdragons and four o’clocks add color and depth.

An old “three-seater” has been converted into a planter next to the potting shed.
An old “three-seater” has been converted into a planter next to the potting shed.

On the other side of the house, several rhododendrons have been put in to build a screen. A potting shed at the top of the hill is decorated with an outside planter, made from an old “three-seater” that once occupied an outhouse.

“The flowers have a language all their own,” says Kathy, who met Law while they were working for a Philadelphia florist. The two fell in love (they honeymooned on Moosehead Lake in Maine) and set up their own shop at their home in a Philadelphia suburb. They grew many of the plants they used in their business, including forsythia, which they forced in the winter and used in arrangements.

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: Turn towards the harbor from High Street on Harbor Street; turn right on Bayview Street.  Suggested parking is on Allyn or Harbor Streets.

For more information, contact Martha Laitin at 323-2368.

(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.