April 24, 2011

Maine Gardener: Wishin' and open

Planning and dreaming each night for a good growing season? All ya gotta do is get to Open Greenhouse and Garden Day.

By Tom Atwell tatwell@mainetoday.com
Staff Writer

Greenhouses and garden centers all across Maine will be opening their doors Saturday in hopes of getting the season off to a good start.

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Mark McGarity waters plants in one of the greenhouses.

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The geranium greenhouse at Broadway Gardens in South Portland, which plans discounts and giveaways for Open Greenhouse and Garden Day.

Photos by John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


ATWOODS GREENHOUSE, 173 Atwood Hill, New Portland; 628-4251

BLUE SEAL FEEDS & NEEDS, 876 Stillwater Ave., Bangor; 947-6326

BROADWAY GARDENS, 1640 Broadway, South Portland; broadwaygardensgreenhouses.com

CEDAR LANE GREENHOUSES, 4 Cedar Lane, Meddybemps; 454-3983

COUNTRY JUNCTION GREENHOUSE, 1204 Main Road, Bradford; 327-1398, countryjunctionmaine.com

ELLIS' GREENHOUSE, 218 Old Town Road, Hudson, 327-4674; ellisforestry.com

ENTWOOD BONSAI NURSERY, 262 South Horseback Road, Burnham; 948-3244, entwoodbonsai.com

ESTABROOK'S, 337 East Main St., Yarmouth; 846-4398, estabrooksonline.com

ESTABROOK'S COLOR SPOT, 571 U.S. Route 1, Scarborough; 396-5301; 97 York St., Kennebunk; 985-3772, estabrooksonline.com/colorspot

THE FIELD OF DREAMS, 440 Stickney Hill Road, Brownville; 965-8399

FIELDSTONE GARDENS, 55 Quaker Lane, Vassalboro; 923-3836, fieldstonegardens.com

FOREST'S EDGE GARDEN, 296 Main Road S., Hampden; 433-0755, forestsedgegarden.com

FOSS FARM, Route 222, Stetson; 296-3443, fossfarm.com

GREENCARE PLANTSCAPES, 1779 Hammond St., Hermon; 848-5453, greencareplants.com

HALFMOON GARDENS, 54 Greenhouse Lane, Thorndike; 568-3738, halfmoongarden.com

HOBOKEN GARDENS, 310 Commercial St., Rockport; 236-3023, hobokengardens.com

HUTCHING'S GREENHOUSE, 445 Riverside Drive, Eddington; 989-2705

IRIS CREEK GREENHOUSE, 267 Littlefield Road, Newburgh; 234-2115, iriscreekgreenhouse.com

LEDGEWOOD GARDEN, 563 Johnson Mill Road, Orrington; 825-4707

LONGFELLOW'S GREENHOUSE, 81 Puddledock Road, Manchester; 622-5965

MOOSE CROSSING GARDEN CENTER, 3033 Atlantic Highway, Waldoboro; moosecrossinggardencenter.com

NEWLAND NURSERY, 124 Bangor Road, Ellsworth; 667-7333, newlandnursery.com

O'DONAL'S NURSERIES, 6 County Road, Gorham; 839-4262, odonalsnurseries.com

ORIENT GARDENS, 45 Maxell Settlement Road, Orient; 448-7266

PEDDLER'S WAGON, 162 Ellsworth Road, Blue Hill; 374-2145

PLAINVIEW FARM, 529 Mountfort Road, North Yarmouth; 829-5004, plainviewfarm.com

PORTER'S FARM & GREENHOUSE, 334 Enfield Road, Lincoln; 794-8306

RIDEOUT GARDENS, 264 Main Road, Eddington; 843-7462

RISBARA'S GREENHOUSE, 26 Randolph St., Portland; 797-0066, risbarasgreenhouse.com

ROBIN'S FLOWER POT, 387 Webster Road, Farmington; 778-5937, robinsflowerpot.com

ROCKWALL GARDENS, 552 Water St., Guilford; 564-3322, rockwallgardens.net

ROCKYHILL LANDSCAPING & NURSERY, 55 Cemetery Road, Wilton; 645-5381, rockyhillinc.com

SPRAGUE'S NURSERY, 1664 Union St., Bangor; 942-1394, spraguesnursery.com

STEEPLEBUSH FARM HERBS, 102 Staples Road, Limington; 637-2776, steeplebush.com

SUNNYSIDE GARDENS, 500 North Parish Road, Turner; 225-3998

THROUGH THE GARDEN GATE, 438 Exeter Road, Corinna; 341-0191

WISWELL FARM, 109 River Road, Orrington; 989-7546

WOOLEY RIDGE GREENHOUSE, 348 Betts Road, Orrington, 825-3438

Mary Lou Hoskins of Greencare Plantscape in Hermon came up with the idea of an event for garden centers that would be similar to Maine Maple Sunday -- one that wold create a little bit of excitement, let people have some fun and bring in a bit of business for the garden centers.

"I think we have about 38 (participants) this year," Hoskins said, "up from 31 last year. We have a few more in southern Maine this year, and a few more up north."

Hoskins organized the event in 2010 through the Mid-Maine Greenhouse Growers Association, so most of the participants have been from central Maine. More information about the event is available at plants4maine.com, the association's website.

The response last year was good enough to try again.

"It was kind of mixed," Hoskins said. "A lot depends on where in the state they were."

Hoskins' operation in Hermon had one of its busiest May 1sts ever last year. Risbara's in Portland reported an excellent day, which led to its best May ever. But for some, especially along the coast where there are a lot of summer homes, there was little activity.

"For us, the day was people out buying stuff and looking around, getting ready for the season," Hoskins said. "This year, we are going to let people plant their own patio planter, just something so they can get their hands dirty."

Broadway Gardens in South Portland did not take part last year, mostly because Jody DeKubber, Broadway's manager, didn't hear about it in time. But he is glad to be taking part this year.

"It just gives our customers a chance to see what is coming in that's new for the season," DeKubber said. "We have a lot of pansies and some other plants in bloom, so people can check things out."

DeKubber is not planning any hands-on activities, but Broadway Gardens will be giving away four $50 gift certificates and a Jonathan Green four-step lawn program kit. In addition, the center is offering a 20 percent discount on all pottery for people who want to get their patio plantings ready.

Following on the success it had last year, Risbara's is offering three lectures during the day. At 11 a.m., owners Peter and Claudia Risbara will give a demonstration for children on planting seeds of flowers and vegetables and transplanting these plants to their own container to take home. Then they will give tips on weeding and harvesting.

At 1 p.m., John Flanders will give a talk and demonstration on pruning trees and shrubs. And at 2 p.m., Stefanie Bateman will show the proper way to plant window boxes and patio containers, starting with the soil and continuing to compatible plants for sun and shade.

Donna Palmer of Plainview Farm in North Yarmouth said her husband, Steve, will be leading a tour -- or tours if there is enough interest -- through their woodland garden. But they are requesting that people sign up at the website (plainviewfarm.com) or call 829-5004, because the narrow paths will only allow so many people at a time.

"We'll have a special launching," Palmer said. "So many people say they miss the old-fashioned cardboard six-packs, and we have done about 100 varieties in that size priced at $3.99. Sometimes they will be a four-pack, depending on the size of the plants, but four plants for four bucks is still a good deal."

Estabrook's is taking part in all three of its locations in Yarmouth, Scarborough and Kennebunk, and Tom Estabrook promises some exciting events at all three spots.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Trees and shrubs, ready for planting, at Broadway Gardens.

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Ryan Carleton works in a greenhouse at Broadway Gardens.

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“Martha Washington” geraniums.

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