2017-2018 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.

September 19, 2017
Tour: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Field Trip to Schleppinghurst, Lincolnville, ME
For Belfast Garden Club Members
Led by Ken Cleaves

Garden Club Members’ visit to Schleppinghurst September 19 in our own backyard of Lincolnville, Maine holds a 60 acre Japanese Garden, the unique inspiration of Ken Cleaves. By scraping, digging, moving rock, replanting in a quarry, he has lovingly created an inspired vision. Schleppinghurst, per Ken, comes from the Yiddish word, schlepp, meaning to haul heavy objects. Making use of the word his garden is named for, he has managed to create a place of wonder and beauty. Visitors will be treated to granite paths, a quiet pond, trimmed fir and pines, and a made bridge. His 32 years of work has been viewed by worldwide visitors. As he leads our tour, we will be treated to explanations of expert pruning, placement of specimens and exposed black granite in the small quarry. Ken earned the New England Wildflower Society's Kathryn S. Taylor award in 2008 for using native plants in unusual and traditional ways.

Members who plan to come should park vehicles at Reny's parking lot at 12:30 pm on Tuesday, September 19. There is very limited parking at the garden so we will carpool. The tour begins at 1:00 p.m. Wear comfortable clothes, a jacket and walking shoes.  ADMISSION CHARGE: $10.00.

To register call or email Marje Stickler 207-338-5059,  Attendance is limited.  RAIN OR SHINE.

October 17, 2017
Woodland History and Ecology in Waldo County
Presented by Morten Moesswilde

The forests of New England are diverse, and Waldo County is at a geographical crossroads, with a broad range of both northern and more southerly species. Glacial, marine and other soils add a further element of diversity. And, forests before European settlement developed in response to frequent natural events driving ecological processes at small scales. The results are a varied forest structure and species composition across the landscape. Human history especially over the last 2-3 centuries has played a further, crucial role in determining how trees and forests have grown and re-grown – after clearing, agricultural use, and timber harvesting, but also in response to myriad other influences. The woodlots of today often offer evidence of events long past. Untangling these histories and ecological responses is part of the enjoyment of today’s forested landscape. Just as important, the future of these forests will be strongly influenced by human factors and decisions today – those within and outside our control.

Morten Moesswilde is Maine Forest Service District Forester for the Midcoast District, including Waldo, Knox, Lincoln, and Kennebec counties, an area of about 1.5 million acres that is roughly 75% forested. As District Forester he provides forest management and conservation information and assistance to a wide audience, including landowners, loggers, foresters, municipalities, non-profits, schools, and others interested in the diverse forests of Maine’s midcoast. He has worked for Maine Forest Service since 1999, previously serving as Landowner Outreach Forester/Stewardship Coordinator, and Water Resources Forester. Morten is Maine Licensed Forester #3230. He holds an M.S. in Forestry from the University of Maine in Orono, and a B.A in Biology from Williams College. He also studied forestry for two years in Freiburg, Germany. He lives in Belfast with his family.


October 18, 2017
Field Trip: 10:00-11:00 a.m.

Tree and shrub identification in Belfast City Park Arboretum
Led by Chris Campbell

Belfast City Park Arboretum contains a diversity of trees and shrubs and is therefore a good place to learn how to tell these plants apart. During a stroll around the arboretum, we will consider basic features of woody plants that are useful for identification and then practice using these features to identify trees and shrubs in the arboretum.

Chris Campbell has spent most of his career studying the evolution of woody plants. After receiving a PhD at Harvard and spending three years on the faculty of Rutgers University, Chris and his family moved to the University of Maine in 1983. Here he has focused on the genus Amelanchier (in the rose family, commonly called shadbushes) and members of the pine family. Working on shadbushes has provided opportunities to study these plants in 32 U.S. states, five Canadian provinces, Greece (two trips), and Spain. Chris and shadbushes both like mountains, such as Mt. Olympus, Mt. Kerki on the island of Samos in the Aegean Islands, the Omalos Plateau on Crete, the Pyrenees, the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, numerous California mountain ranges, and the Appalachian Mountains. He spent a month in Japan working on spruces, with field work in the Japanese alps.

Meet at the entrance of the City Park Arboretum at 10 a.m.  If we have rain on the 18th, call Chris Campbell at 207-356-1123 to find out when the walk will be rescheduled.


November 14, 2017
How are things changing in Maine and what are the signs of the seasons?
Presented by Esperanza Stanicoff

We welcome Esperanza Stancioff who will discuss climate change with an emphasis on Phenology -- what it is and why it matters in today's world of a changing climate. Using the citizen science program, Signs of the Seasons (SOS): A New England Program, she will explain how data from your own back yard can be recorded and create a record together with the observations of others. The accumulated data will aid scientists in "advancing our understanding of changing Phenology," which cannot be accomplished by scientists alone. In its 7th season, it will be interesting to learn what has been gleaned so far. Our knowledgeable speaker will key in on how you can become involved. Esperanza will describe the program including their training program, resources for volunteers, the list of 19 indicator species, and where workshops will be held.

Our speaker is an associate extension professor and climate change educator with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant. She co-coordinates and manages the Signs of the Seasons Program. She has studied marine biology and has a master's degree in Environmental Education from the University of Maine.


Location TBD


January 16, 2018
How Does Compost Happen?
Presented by Mark Hutchinson

Many people compost in their backyard but have little or no understanding of the biological principles of composting. The consequence is the use of inappropriate structures for composting.  The use of compost in gardens also will be discussed. This program will address many of the myths and how to get the best benefits for the compost created.

Mark Hutchinson is an Extension Professor with the University of Maine. His education and research programs focus on soil health, compost processes and animal mortality management. Professor Hutchinson is a member of the Maine Compost Team, a USDA Sustainable Agriculture Fellow and a Certified Crop Advisory. Currently, he is involved in numerous research projects funded through Organic Research and Extension Initiative funds.  Mark has been with the University for over 17 years.


January 23, 20186:30 PM
Two Island Gardens:  Asticou and Thuya
Letitia Baldwin

These beautiful gardens are located in Northeast Harbor and are owned and operated by the Land and Garden Preserve of Mount Desert Island.  Charles K. Savage (1903-1979), a life-long resident of Northeast Harbor and owner of the Asticou Inn, is best known for the development of these two gardens.  When the famous landscape architect Beatrix Farrand announced that she would dismantle her great collection of plants at Reef Point in Bar Harbor, Savage conceived a project to rescue them.  With the assistance of John D. Rockefeller, who funded the project, the azaleas and rhododendrons from the Farrand collection were moved to an alder swamp across from the Inn.  Savage completed the Japanese-style Asticou Azalea Garden within one year.  The nearby Thuya Garden was also created using Farrand plants.

Letitia Baldwin is the author of the books: Two Island Gardens: Asticou Garden and Thuya Garden.”  Before making Maine her permanent home in 1988, she worked in Mexico City, broadcasting in CBS News and writing for Time Magazine.  In Maine, she worked for the Bar Harbor Times and the Bangor Daily News and has contributed numerous articles to major Maine publications and the Boston Globe.  She is currently the Arts/Special Sections Editor at the Ellsworth American.


February 20, 2018
Gardening in Tune with Nature
Presented by Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto

We welcome back Reeser Manley and Marjorie Peronto for the perfect winter respite; their scintillating power point presentation focused on the major themes of their first book woven into their newest book, Gardening in Tune with Nature. Their philosophy includes that the garden "should be viewed as an ecosystem in which native plants predominate and all forms of life contribute to the gardener's success." (R Manley).  Practical aspects of gardening will be covered including composting, pruning and cover cropping.  Signed books will be available for purchase.

Reeser has gardened in South Carolina, Washington state, Massachusetts and Maine. His Ph.D. Is in Horticultural Science.  He taught horticulture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and University of Maine, Orono. In 2013 he retired from teaching chemistry and physics at a small high school on the coast of Maine. Along with his column for the Bangor Daily News, he now devotes all his work time to writing about the garden.

Marjorie, a Professor for the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, has been teaching courses in pruning, food production and ecological landscaping in Hancock and Washington Counties for 22 years. She is a statewide resource on native and invasive plants of the Northeast.  She facilitates the work of the Hancock County Food Security Network which includes 17 food pantries and food kitchens which work together to address food insecurity issues.

Marjorie and Reeser live and garden in Ellsworth, ME along with Sophie, their black lab, Berry the Cat and a worm bin in the corner of the living room.


February 27, 20186:30 PM
The Beautiful Commonplace:  Pocket Parks, Roadside Memorials,
Community Gardens
John Moore

John Moore is a member of a generation of American painters who have revitalized realism through such variations as super realism and photo realism. His paintings have an elegiac connection to the urban and industrial landscape that includes ordinary scenes and locations from daily life. The works he will be discussing reflect his interest in gardens that enhance the built environment and humanize the urban experience.

His works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art among others. He has taught at Temple University, the University of California, Berkeley, Boston University and the University of Pennsylvania.


March 20, 2018
The Products and Plants That Make Gardening Easier
Presented by Hammond Buck

A welcome back to Hammond Buck of Plants Unlimited who will discuss raised beds, weed control and simple to grow plants. His suggestions will include some cultivars that are deer resistant, require simple maintenance and tantalize your gardening hopes for 2018 with some new hybrids. His specialty, luxurious grasses, will be featured as his own garden in South Thomaston abounds with them. Once established, these require little care. What about clover in place of blue grass for lawns? And shrubs that need minor pruning.  Then there are specialty tools that aid in your work.

Following his graduation from Cornell University, Buck began Plants Unlimited in 1978. His company with many knowledgeable staff includes a huge variety of trees, shrubs, plants and garden accoutrements. He generously donates to our yearly Green Thumb Plant Sale. He was past President of the Maine Landscaping and Nursery Association and a former Board Member of the Garden Centers of America. Plants Unlimited is a member of the Independent Garden Centers of Maine.


March 27, 2018, 6:30 PM
Creating a Medicinal Herb Garden
Deb Soule

Enjoy a beautiful slide show talk about creating a Medicinal Herb Garden. Long time herbalist, organic and biodynamic gardener, Deb Soule will include information about growing, harvesting and using some of her favorite medicinal herbs.

Deb is the author of The Woman’s Handbook of Healing Herbs and How to Move Like a Gardener. In the fall of 1985, with her first mail order catalog and a small selection of herbal extracts and teas, Deb launched Avena Botanicals at the Common Ground Fair in Windsor, Maine. Avena Botanicals has grown and today offers an herbal apothecary, a Biodynamic Medicinal Herb Farm, Shop, Classroom and Clinic.

In 2005, People, Places and Plants magazine named Deb as one of the 50 most influential gardeners in the Northeast

April 24, 2018
Ready, Set, GROW!
Presented by Sharon Turner

Sharon Turner’s talk will be an amalgamation of organic growing methods for beautiful, healthy,  and productive gardens that can be started in early spring. Guests will learn the principles of no-till, weed-free “lasagna” style gardening that will include soil types and testing, composting, mulching, organic pest and weed control, and effective garden layout and design. Her lecture will also address incorporating native plants to attract birds and beneficial insects.

Turner is a certified Master Gardener, consultant, educator, and designer based in Washington, ME. She specializes in heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable and flower seedlings, as well as native perennials, shrubs, and trees. She grows for FedCo seeds.


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