Lorie Costigan, owner of Glendarragh Lavender Farm, will give an illustrated talk on English and French lavender species, and the ideal growing conditions for cultivating these long-lived, fragrant herbs, at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, January 19. The program is hosted by the Belfast Garden Club and is free and open to the public.

Costigan will show images of her family's 26-acre farm on the St. George River in Appleton where the family raises, harvests and dries a dozen varieties of lavender. Since 2007, they have put in hundreds of plants that are organically fertilized and tended by hand. For more information, call Belfast Garden Club president Corliss Davis at 930-3562.

 

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

(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.

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.