Chilly And Drizzly

Erythronium sibiricum

It has continued to be rather chilly and drizzly here in the northeast. Customers are coming to the nursery and commenting on how squishy their gardens are and for some this means a slight halt to any spring planting. There is certainly some wet areas in our own gardens, but we are still enjoying the blooms of early varieties. The coolness is helping to preserve their blooms and we are delighted by the extended show they are offering.
I’ll post some photos and move along to the outdoor activities that are calling, it’s 5:30 a.m and there’s a full day ahead, best get started! We are still potting up plants for the sales area, continuing to label any new varieties of plants (some real beauties!), sowing seeds in the garden and tending the seedlings in the greenhouse.

Trillium cuneatum

Peony ‘Little Red Gem’

What’s happening in your garden at the moment? Do you feel stalled by the weather? Is it squishy underfoot? What’s blooming?
In a strange way, I actually appreciate that the weather and conditions are present to ‘rein’ me in. I am reminded to work along and beside the natural world I am so privileged to bear witness to. I can engage with it but on her terms and at her pace. When I am impatient, the earth gently waggles her finger at me and says ” I’ll get there when I get there, stop hurrying me”. Thank you dear buds and blooms and shoots and seeds, thank you for reminding me to be still, to wait, to work with and not against. A good blessing for the day!

Allium tricoccum

Sanguinaria canadensis


A Day Away from Fernwood: Our Gulf Hagas Hike

Recently, we spent a day away from Fernwood and traveled to one of our favorite hiking destinations, Gulf Hagas.  For those who have never been, Gulf Hagas is located in Brownville in the Katahdin Iron Works region.  The river, the hiking trail (part of the Appalachian) and the spectacular falls are well worth the trip. We had a great outing, spent with family and friends and of course, we engaged in a bit of botanizing.

Hobble Bush

Hobble Bush

Included in the many plants we saw that day were Small Solomon Seal(Polygonatum biflorum), Hobble Bush(Viburnum lantanoides), Shinleaf(Pyrola elliptica),Creeping Snowberry(Gaultheria hispidula), Twin Flower(Linnaea borealis), Pipsssewa(Chimaphila umbellata), Rosey Twisted Stalk(Streptopus lanceolatus v. roseus),Painted Trillium(Trillium undulatum), Goldthread(Coptis groenlandica),and Bunchberry(Cornus canadensis).

It’s rewarding to see such beautiful specimens flourishing in the wild. These plants exist and often thrive within their natural habitat without the help of well-meaning gardeners. This is one reason we’ve dedicated so much of our time and energy to propagating native plants. They are well adapted to our climate and soil conditions. If properly sited, native plants will thrive with a minimal amount of effort on our part, especially when compared to most other garden plants. Consider this the next time you have a spot or section of your garden that most plants fail in. A native may be the answer.

We try to make sure we get up to Gulf Hagas at least once a year, and each time we are richly rewarded by the sights and sounds of this beautiful, historical place (Katahdin Iron Works being the only 19th century iron works operation in Maine).  The kids love it, too, as you can see from this video of our son, the daredevil.