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Sears perky phlox and a water view

The finale in Belfast’s Open Garden Days on Friday, August 18, features a reboot of gardens gracing a tip of land with sweeping bay views. Open hours at Vicky Sears’ 9 Airmail Lane property in East Belfast have been extended from 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. to make it easier for everyone to visit and see how these gardens have transformed over the summer.

The waterfront property features a cottage nestled into gently rounded berms containing a mature Asian-style garden. The strong structure of its classic elements—delicate Japanese maples, creeping cedars and carefully pruned mugo pines—has been softened with blowsy growth.

Sears side garden bursting with color

Elsewhere on the two and a half acres, new blooms draw the eye to areas that might have gone unnoticed in spring—pale yellow and jersey orange daylilies and white gooseneck loosestrife add sparkle to a wood’s edge on one side of the house. Large-leafed blooming raspberry bushes fill out a border.

On the other side, Vicky’s rock garden has come to life with vibrant yellow coreopsis, pink astilbe, and blue-and-white “Love in a Mist” nigella. A hydrangea paniculata adds height, and its cool white blooms offset the garden’s bright colors.

Sears pathway

The winding pathway to the water is bordered by thickly growing hostas. Phlox adds delicate pinks. Thyme creates a thick blanket of purple in one bed. Meanwhile, Vicky has decorated her long deck with pots of blossoms bursting with peaches, purples, pinks and whites that add even more vibrancy to the landscape.

A $5 donation is requested at the garden. The Belfast Garden Club will use proceeds from Open Garden Days 2017 to fund scholarships, maintain public gardens in downtown Belfast, and offer a full schedule of free daytime and evening programs that help inspire people’s love of gardening and their desire to protect and preserve our native flora and fauna.

Directions: To get to the Sears garden, take Route 1 north across the Passy bridge. Continue heading north and look for a row of mailboxes with two that are raised above the rest for “Bills” and “Airmail.” There is limited parking at the garden. Visitors who are able are asked to park well off the road on the Airmail Lane side of Route 1 and walk down the driveway. For your own safety, please avoid walking across the highway, which is thick with traffic at this time of year.

For more information, call club member Marje Stickler at 338-5059.

Each year the Belfast Garden Club awards scholarships to two Waldo County high school graduates working towards a degree in conservation, ecology, horticulture, natural resources, sustainable agriculture or a related field. Click link to download a scholarship application form. Deadline for submitting applications is April 30, 2017.

For more details, please click on ABOUT US, then OUR PROJECTS and scroll down to Education.

On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Sally Shure, chair of the club's Book Committee, presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman, director of the Belfast Free Library.
On behalf of the Belfast Garden Club, Sally Shure, chair of the club's Book Committee, presents a donation of gardening and horticultural related books to Steve Norman, director of the Belfast Free Library.

In 2016, 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
Adams, George.  2013.  Gardening for the Birds:  How to Create a Bird-friendly Backyard.  Portland OR, Timber Press.  444pp.
Baldwin, Debra Lee.  2013.  Succulents Simplified:  Growing, Designing, and Crafting with 100 Easy-care Varieties.  Portland OR, Timber Press.  272pp.
Darke, Rick and Doug Tallamy.  2014.  The Living Landscape:  Designing for Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden.  Portland OR. Timber Press. 392 pp.
Gracie, Carol.  2012.  Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast:  A Natural History. Princeton Univ. Press.  272pp.
Keys, Andrew and Kerry Michaels.  2015.  Growing the Northeast Garden.  Portland OR, Timber Press.
McDowell, Marta.  2016.  All the Presidents'Gardens:  Madison's Cabbages to Kennedy's Roses--How the White House Grounds have grown with America.  Portland OR Timberpress.  336 pp.
Soule, Deb.  2013.  How to Move Like a Gardner:  Planting and Preparing Medicines from Plants.  Steiner Books. 256pp.
William, Thomas R.  2015. The Art of Gardening:  Design, Inspiration, and Innovative Planting Techniques from Chanticleer.  Timber Press.  Portland OR. 338pp.

Books for Children
Aalto, Catherine. 2015.  The Natural World of Winnie the Pooh.  Timberpress. 308 pp.
Worth, Bernie & Aristedes Ruiz.  2001. O Say Can You Seed?  All About Flowering Plants.  

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.

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.

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.