2016-2017 PROGRAMS

Monthly meetings of the Belfast Garden Club are held on the third Tuesday each month from September to May. Meetings are held in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library, 106 High Street, Belfast, unless otherwise announced. The business meeting starts at 1:00 p.m. and the program starts at 2:00 p.m. In addition to the monthly daytime meetings, there is a Winter Program Series also held in the Abbott Room at the Belfast Free Library beginning at 6:30 p.m. Details of all the programs follow:

October 18, 2016
Pruning Small Trees and Shrubs
for Health and Beauty
Marjorie Peronto

Learn how annual pruning of flowering shrubs and ornamental trees in your landscape will keep them healthy and attractive. Marjorie will discuss proper timing for pruning different woody plants, how plants respond to pruning, how to make pruning cuts, and what tools you need. She will have samples for demonstration. Bring your questions!

Marjorie is a Professor for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and has been teaching courses in food production, ecological landscaping, and pruning woody landscape plants for 25 years. She has produced numerous instructional pruning videos. Marjorie is a statewide resource among her colleagues on native and invasive plants of the Northeast. She oversees the Downeast region’s Master Gardener Volunteers program, training individuals to conduct community outreach projects that promote sustainable gardening and food security. She has also developed nationally recognized School Gardening courses, which teach school staff how to create a comprehensive plan for a school garden and incorporate the garden into their curriculum. Marjorie and her partner Reeser Manley published The New England Gardener's Year, winner of a Maine Literary Award in 2014.

November 15, 2016
Going Native: Using Native Perennials, Shrubs and Trees in the Landscape
Heather McCargo

Heather McCargo will give a presentation about gardening with native plants. “We will look at a variety of recommended plants for the home landscape, and talk about easy methods for native seed sowing and issues in the nursery trade with native plants and genetic diversity”. Wild Seed Project is a Maine based nonprofit that works to increase the use of native plants in all landscape settings in order to conserve biodiversity, encourage plant adaption in the face of climate change, and to create pollination and migration corridors for insects, birds and other wildlife. We have an interactive website and publish an annual magazine Wild Seed.

Heather McCargo, the founder and director of the Wild Seed Project, is an educator with 30 years of expertise in plant propagation, landscape design and conservation planning firms specializing in ecological design, has been a contributor to several research projects with USAID, National Gardening Association, and with MOFGA. She has lectured nationally and is widely published in journals and magazines.


December 13, 2016
Location TBD

12:30 p.m.


January 17, 2017
Growing Strawberries and Raspberries in Maine
David Handley

Have you always entertained the wish to pick some delicious mouth- watering fresh berries for breakfast? Come hear expert David Handley describe the where and how. Choosing the site, preparation, the best varieties for Maine-these and other topics will be included. Bring your interest and your questions to this interesting presentation.

David T. Handley is a Vegetable and Small Fruit Specialist and a Cooperating Professor of Horticulture for the University of Maine. He has been based at the Highmoor Farm Agricultural Experiment Station since 1983, where he carries out applied research regarding berry and vegetable variety evaluation, production techniques and pest management strategies.

January 24, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
It's Snowamazing ... the Wild Side of Winter Snow
Mike Shannon

Snow ... you've got to love it! It' worth a second look!

Jim Vickery in his book Winter Sign reminds us that winter is a mistress to reckon with . . . it hunts us with its cold and haunts us with its beauty. Let's embrace the winter season and explore life in the cold. Discover to your surprise and delight that the leafless woods are not lifeless.

Mike Shannon is a lifelong naturalist, storyteller, educator and Registered Maine Guide. Whether in the forest prowling for owls or aboard boats scanning for pelagic birds, he continues to lead outings for local groups. He is retired from Unity College where he taught ornithology and ecological education. A former director of the Audubon Ecology Camp in Maine (Hog Island), he has also served as Master Naturalist for the Massachusetts Audubon Society. Mike has a long history of sharing his passion and enthusiasm for things natural.

February 21, 2017
Visit an Historical Walled Garden
Nan Cobbey, Joan Willey

The Cambo Estate’s garden on the eastern coast of Scotland has been called “one of the most engaging summer gardens in all Scotland.” It so enchanted Garden Club members Nan Cobbey and Joan Willey two summers ago that they came home with more than 400 pictures and 30 minutes of video. They will share their images and impressions of the garden while telling a bit of the history of the estate which dates back to the 12th century. The garden fills a two-and-a-half-acre walled site. The wall, an almost golden Georgian brick 10 feet high, is alive with climbing roses and vines. The garden itself offers bowers of clematis, neat beds of herbs and greens, vegetables, flowering shrubs, fruit trees, berry bushes, weeping willows, a profusion of wild flowers that bloom in great swathes of color and texture and all accompanied by song birds and the rushing music of a creek coursing through beneath high-arched cast-iron bridges and a Victorian green house.

Nan Cobbey of Belfast, a retired reporter and editor, trained as a master gardener here in Maine. Her work involved extensive travel and she always added visits to local gardens to her itinerary. Of them all, the best is the walled garden at the Cambo Estate in eastern Scotland. Joan Willey is an herbalist, and volunteer with the Head of the Tide Permaculture Project. Now retired, she was active in the Sierra Club for 45 years and Regional Director, for the Mid-Atlantic.

February 28, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
The Revolutionary Nature of Early 18th Century English Gardens and Their Influence on Mount Vernon, Monticello and Henry Knox's Vision for Montpelier
Carol Moon Cardon, PhD

In 2000 Dr. Cardon and her husband bought a house in Cushing, Maine and they both became involved in the General Henry Knox Museum. She organized and led two trips for the museum, one focusing on the gardens of the American Founding Fathers in Virginia. She is actively involved in the landscape development of the Knox Museum. She will share how her studies of grand 18th century garden designs influenced the plans for the gardens and grounds of the Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston, Maine.

Trained as an art historian, Dr. Cardon's recent passion is the gardens and gardeners of 18th century America, Britain and France. She has lived in Paris since 1985, is an accredited lecturer on the chateaux and gardens of the Loire Valley, and has worked for numerous universities and the Metropolitan Museum.

March 21, 2017
Growing Asparagus in Maine
Lee Graham

Asparagus, a much-loved vegetable, is not seen as often as one might expect in home gardens. Unlike most vegetables, it is a perennial, giving it a huge advantage for some who tire of completely replanting their entire vegetable gardens each year. Learn what you need to know about planting, growing, harvesting and maintaining a bed of asparagus on your land.

Lee Graham, instilled with a love of gardening by her grandparents, has been growing organically since the 1970’s. She and her husband spend their winters in Belfast and their summers on their 72 acre organic farm, raising not only asparagus, which they market, but also apples, berries, grapes, flowers, and a wide variety of vegetables. They are particularly proud of their restored apple orchard, which they have under-planted with 5,000 daffodils.

March 28, 2017 - 6:30 p.m.
Travels to Japan with Lee Schneller Fine Gardens
Lee Sligh and Liz Stanley

In September of 2013, Lee Sligh took her employees from Lee Schneller on an adventure to central China into Tibet to rendezvous with a crew member who was reuniting with his Tibetan family after many years. Both parts of the trip were inspirational (the latter very poignant and a bit harrowing), and the travel bug spread. In March of 2015, Lee took the crew to Japan again to see dozens of diverse and beautiful gardens around Kyoto. In October of 2016, a third trip took a larger group back to Kyoto and also Hiroshima.

Lee Sligh and Liz Stanley will show slides, and talk about traveling (and eating) with fellow gardeners, some of the principles of Japanese design, and what they've brought back to create gardens here in Maine.

Lee Sligh is an author and owns Lee Schneller Fine Gardens

Liz Stanley works for Lee Schneller Fine Gardens and also the University of Maine Cooperative Extension:

April 18, 2017
The Potager: A Traditional Design for Modern Vegetable Gardens
Anne E. Perkins

A potager is a traditional type of vegetable garden with permanent growing beds laid out in a geometric pattern. Many potagers also incorporate flowers, herbs, and fruits as well as vegetables. This type of garden lends itself well to modern methods of cultivation and is very decorative as well. This talk will highlight some modern potager designs, planting plans, and how decorative elements can be incorporated into your gardens to create a garden of both use and beauty.

Anne E. Perkins farms in Owls Head. She has a CSA and provides veggies for Miranda’s Restaurant in Rockland, ME.


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