Sweet Maine Native

Picture 2962This little gem has been catching the eyes of customers while wandering through the nursery here at Fernwood. Linnaea borealis (commonly known as Twinflower) is a sweet little Maine native that often goes unnoticed in the woodland, except for when it is in flower. A small trailing ground cover with glossy evergreen leaves and dainty bell-shaped pink and white flowers, it surprises people with its sweet all-spicey fragrance. The nodding twin flowers are held on an erect stem about 3-4 inches above their (also twin) leaves. Sometimes the smallest and less obvious plants can be the most delightful ones to happen upon!Picture 2971

A Trip South

A quick trip south and this is what I came across while walking through the woodlands of Kentucky. So incredible to find these beauties in bloom throughout their native landscape. Back in Maine it will be a few more weeks before the ephemerals start blooming. Double dipping in plant delight! And of course, you can find most of these ( and more!) here at Fernwood Nursery!

Podophyllum pefltatum
Clayton virginica
Trillium cuneatum
Sanguinaria canadensis
Saxifrage virginiensis
Silene virginica

Soon! Soon Enough!

I have been a very delinquent blog poster for quite sometime now. It has been far easier in the last year to post a few photos and events and “what kind of things might be happening in the world of Fernwood” on Instagram. Here’s the link: https://www.instagram.com/fernwoodnursery/ We’re inviting you to visit us over there but if this site still functions as a platform for information ( directions, hours, classes) I will certainly be more diligent at keeping it updated. April will have us scurrying to be ready for another season here ( over 30 years this Fernwood gig, pretty amazing, huh?). The greenhouse is being cleared for starts and early propagation. If the weather takes on a consistent warming pattern, we’ll be uncovering the nursery very soon. Yipee!

The first week of May ( exact date to be announced) will be our target for opening this season. We have been putting a list of classes together and will list them here in the Classes And More page.

We look forward to visitors here at the nursery and will keep you posted as we near that time in May when the doors open.

Til then, be well and blessings…

Spring Delight

The gardens are greeting us each and every day with beauty and promise. I feel a great need to go out in the morning and travel inch by inch on my hands and knees, examining every little plant, every little shoot, every little flower. Look at this beauty, Erythronium dens-canis ‘Rose Queen’, makes you want to get down on the ground for a closer look, doesn’t it?

Opening This Season, Friday May 7th!

Happy Spring ! We are gearing up for another season and looking forward to sharing our many plant delights! The Hepaticas and Erythronium ‘Rose Queen’, Sanguinaria, and Corydalis are all in bloom and every day another woodland beauty greets us.

We hope you’ve all stayed well and happy throughout the winter months. It has been a rough go for the world at large and we here at Fernwood feel comforted by the natural world and our relationship to it. The woods and rivers and ocean ….and gardens! , an elixir for the body and soul.

So, Friday May 7th it is! Wednesday through Sunday, 9 to 5. We have been posting and writing a bit more on Instagram, please check us out there for additional info, https://www.instagram.com/fernwoodnursery/

The plants have no idea of the virus that looms over us. They are simply carrying on, pushing onward and upward. Their presence, the delight they bring, is helping to calm our souls, give us something other than hand washing and mask wearing ( we are doing both!) and ‘mission accomplished’ trips to the store from being, always, in the very forefront of our minds. The woodland landscape here at the nursery is filled with bird chatter and bee activity and new blooms and texture. A feast. A bounty. A world enchanted. Here are a few quick snaps of plants catching our eye at the moment…be well and safe dear friends!

Cypripedium parviflorum

Hydrastis canadense

This Fella…

We have had many good dogs here at the nursery. There was this one: Boreal who amazed us with his intelligence and his loyalty. There was good old Miller dog This Old Dog…. who was like a Buddha in blond fur. Really, really great dogs. We loved them dearly and miss their personalities and presence in our every day.
And, then, well, there’s Lucky. Lucky was the tiny little pup our daughter brought home curled up in a blanket. “Mom, we HAVE to keep him, he’s so cute and he needs us and I promise, promise, promise, you won’t have to do a thing, I’ll do everything!” When a kid tells you that, it’s never really the truth. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog or a goldfish, as a parent, you end up buying the food or scraping the algae off the side of the fish bowl.
Lucky is pretty much my dog now and has been for over 6 years. The daughter still adores him but doesn’t live at home anymore and I have to admit that I fell so head over heals in love with this dog that I thought of every reason why it would be best if he stayed here at the nursery…stability, room to roam ( which he does little of!), the move too traumatic ( this was embellished a bit by me), on and on I went. Lucky is silly and very affectionate and quite frankly sees himself as sort of “The Prince of Fernwood”. He does very little to scare off deer or even chipmunks and prefers comfort over combat. He has an internal clock inside his head that keeps him devoted to his routine. The routine encompasses meal times, finding the warmest coziest spot to lounge, and bedtime. He does love his walks in the woods and car rides and helping us as we move the sheep fence at the farm…as long as it’s not too cold, not too windy, not too wet, or the sheep get too close ( he’s embarrassed to admit that sheep intimidate him). He is goofy and snuggly and adores his family. He loves to be pampered and that is why I cart his ‘day bed’ out to the hoop house everyday where it gets super toasty and he can enjoy basking in warmth while he snoozes. Pathetic. Comfort is number one for this dog, he loves people, will follow children anywhere, and truly appreciates the life he lives.
I am lucky for Lucky. I am. I am.
So, if you visit the nursery, you may meet Lucky. You may meet him if the day does not involve inclement weather and if he is not stretched out catching the sun. If the variables of comfort are aligned and he is inspired to make the trek from hoop house to sales area, he may saunter ( and I do mean saunter) up to the nursery to say hello.
Now, this poem, by Kate Barnes…which Lucky approves of.

Why Do You Ask?

I can’t make
any story
about my life
tonight. The house
is like an overturned
wastebasket;
the radio
is predicting more snow.
I ask my dog
to tell me
a story, and he
never hesitates.
“Once upon
a time,” he says,
“a woman lived
with a simply
wonderful dog…” and
he stops talking.
Is that all?”
I ask him.
“yes,” he says,
“Why do you ask?
Isn’t it enough?”

Another Dusting

Hepatica nobilis

Delphinium tricorne

Another dusting of snow last night and more high winds added to the mix of variables this season. Oh my! We have our sights on opening Wednesday, May 6th ( please check the previous post for details regarding any accommodations or suggestions). Lots of the early ephemerals are in bloom and many other plants are emerging with great promise. As plant propagators and growers, we take on the role as escorts to all of these dear and beautiful plants, welcoming them back from their slumber and nurturing them as they awaken. Their tenacious come back regardless of conditions are an inspiration and a reminder of hope and best intentions. A nasty virus has a hold on the world, the high winds and late season snow has crumbled power lines and leveled chicken coops ( previous post), heavy rains flooded the basement, but the Allium tricoccum ( ramps) I propagated last season are up and ready and the bright cheery petals of Hepatica are peering out regardless of the weather. Tiny lettuce seeds barely larger than a grain of sand have germinated and are on their way to becoming a celebrated salad at our dinner table ( Thank you, lettuce seed!). We are all struggling with the uncertain conditions of the globe right now, and yet, this amazing natural world reminds me of promise and possibility. Who’s holding who’s hand? I am not sure I am the only escort ushering life forward. These plants we cherish are soothing our souls and keeping us grounded.
Be well friends and please be safe and kind to yourselves and to others and to our big green world. See you soon!

Opening Day Wednesday, May 6th!

Yes, we will be open here at Fernwood Nursery and soon! Our opening day is Wednesday, May 6th. Our regular seasonal hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 9 to 5 p.m. Due to the corona virus and to provide comfort and safety to our customers we will be altering a few of our normal ways of doing business.
Please read the list of accommodations we are implementing to help gardeners get the plants they want and to feel safe.
1. For the month of May ( and as long as needed and recommended) we will limit the number of visitors in the nursery to 5 at a time. This will allow ample space between shoppers ( a hefty 10 feet). We will help with parking and arranging the flow of visitors coming in and out of the nursery. We will have signage provided to help.

2. Please consider bringing your own boxes for taking plants home. We recommend wearing gloves and a face mask if it provides comfort and reassurance. There will be hand sanitizer at our check out counter, but feel free to bring your own as well.

3. Please maintain a 6 ft buffer ( this should not be a problem given the size of the nursery) with others.

4. We will still accept checks, cash, and credit for purchases. The check-out area will be set -up to minimize direct handling. We will have plenty of signage to help us and you navigate this area of our business.

5. If you prefer and know what plants you are wishing to purchase, we are happy to put your order together and have it boxed and ready for you to pick up. If you need consultation or suggestions with regard to particular plants or availability, please call and we will do everything to assist you by phone or email. We do not have an online list of our plants but we are more than happy to have lengthy discussions about the plants we grow and provide. (207)589-4726 and email us at fernwoodnursery@fairpoint.net

6. If you are feeling any concern about visiting the nursery during regular hours , you may call us to arrange a private visit. We will designate Mondays and Tuesdays ( normal closed days) to schedule a visit. We may also be able to arrange a few private visits after hours on regular business days. (207) 589-4726 leave message if we don’t answer and we will surely get back to you. Email us at fernwoodnursery@fairpoint

We appreciate our customers and want to continue providing the plants Fernwood Nursery is known for. We also appreciate your support and willingness to be flexible during these uncertain times. Gardening, as we all know, is good for the soul. The natural world is often our great healer… keep gardening, keep your hands in the soil, and absorb the beauty and power of plants!
As I so often do, and will now do again, I will leave off with a poem:


This is the time to be slow,
Lie low to the wall
Until the bitter weather passes.
Try, as best you can, not to let
The wire brush of doubt
Scrape from your heart
All sense of yourself
And your hesitant light.
If you remain generous,
Time will come good;
And you will find your feet
Again on fresh pastures of promise,
Where the air will be kind
And blushed with beginning.

by John O’Donohue

Resiliency

Our dear lovely chickens are getting used to their new digs until we build them a new coop. We are calling it the ‘chicken high rise’ and have been watching as they navigate walking a plank down to the ground. Our chickens are resilient, for sure!
Believe it or not, most of the snow has melted and the sun has been shining over the last two days. We have weathered the storm and lived to tell about it, ha!
So, now we are picking up the pieces and carrying on and throwing our shoulders into the work that needs to be done. I’ll end the post with a very fitting poem by Emily Dickinson called:

Hope Is The Thing With Feathers

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

And sweetest – in the Gale – is heard –
And sore must be the storm –
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm –

I’ve heard it in the chillest land –
And on the strangest Sea –
Yet – never – in Extremity,
It asked a crumb – of me.