Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Buy Plants when It’s Snowing!

If you love to get your hands dirty in the garden, winter can be a costly time of year. That’s because you can continue to shop for new garden plants even when a blanket of snow is covering your gardens.

I have discovered that buying plants online is very satisfying. First, you have unlimited online resources to choose from because most garden nurseries have a website. You can also visit the online plant auctions like the Lily Auction and the Hosta Library Auction. Whether it is a garden nursery or a specialty farm growing a particular type of plant, like hosta or daylilies, the variety of plants online is limitless.
Hosta Lakeside Love Affair (online purchase-New Hampshire Hosta)

It is easy to compare plants online. One of my favorite pastimes in winter is to research and compare “must have” plants. Collecting online photos of your favorite plants and placing them in a file to compare and contrast varieties helps me choose the best plants for my garden. I also compare multiple images of the same variety online to be sure the picture is truly representative of the plant.
Daylily Lock Ness Monster (online purchase-Partridge Hill Gardens)

Purchasing plants online saves time. Instead of driving from one garden center to another, I can simply search, buy and have the plants delivered when it is best for me to plant. In the spring, it feels a little like Christmas each time a package arrives at my front door.

Russian Comfrey (online purchase-Variegated Foliage Nursery)

You may have noticed that I did not suggest that purchasing plants online saves money. Online plant shopping is a little like being a kid in a candy shop. There are so many choices. If you love unique plants and are always searching for the new and unusual, you may have a tendency to buy more or buy more frequently.
Daylily Night Beacon (online purchase-Hallson Gardens)

Don’t hesitate to buy plants online. I have been buying plants online for more than six years and have been very pleased by the quality of the plants received and how quickly they acclimate to my garden. The next time you need a garden fix in winter, shop for your favorite “must have” plant online.

Friday, December 14, 2012

A Magical Children’s Garden

You do not have to be less than four feet tall to enjoy the Children’s Garden at the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay. This magical garden is a delight for all ages, with lots of whimsical features and touchy-feely activities.

What is so unique and fun about this particular garden is the unexpected. When you enter the garden, you are greeted by giant carved stone whales that send up a surprise spray of water every so often. This is a great place for kids to play on a hot summer’s day. And the adults can enjoy the nearby hanging rocking chairs and benefit from a little wet mist too.

The garden is an explosion of color and on one path you’ll see a rainbow of blooming flowers. This path takes you to an adorable picket cat fence surrounding a little cottage with grass growing on the roof. Next door kids can check out the story barn and pick out a book to read in the giant story teller’s chair. Nearby there is a cute little chicken coop filled with colorful hens.

For the high energy kids, a huge maze and a fun “stump jump” will keep them busy for hours. This is just a sampling of the interesting and interactive displays in this adorable garden. The next time you are in Maine, stop by the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens - you won’t be disappointed.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Maine Knows How to Garden

I recently visited the acclaimed Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine and I was not disappointed.  This fairly new botanical garden is exceptional.  The designers of this garden were very respectful of Maine and the environment.  They used lots of water, stone and natural plants to captured and stay true to the essence of the Maine coast line. Whether you visit the scented garden, children’s garden or walking trails, you will experience unexpected surprises and wows around every corner.  

Because pictures are worth a 1000 words, I will let my pictures give you an idea of what you can expect if you were to visit this garden in mid-August.

The children’s garden was the best, most child-friendly beautiful and fun garden I have ever seen in a botanical garden. However, you will have to wait for my separate blog post to see all the great features designed just for the kids.

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