Hancock and Washington Counties Master Gardener Volunteers News – May 2022

Table of Contents


Upcoming Dates to Remember!

May 21:   MGV Plant Sale & Outdoor Open House

May 30:   Memorial day – Office Closed

June 27:  FLASH in the Pans Steel Drum Band Fundraiser

Plant Sale Information, Saturday May 21, 2022 from 8:30 am through 11:30 am

  • Over 1,100 of your favorite perennials, including Maine natives!
  • fun children’s activities
  • “Ask a Master Gardener” info table
  • Raffle to win 1 yard of organic compost
  • Seafood Compost will be available for sale!  Bring your own 5 gallon buckets.

Here are a few examples:


Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata)  a great Host plant for Monarchs
Lobelias Cardinal Flower  (L. cardinalis) that hummingbirds love
Great Blue Lobelia ( L. siphilitica) attracts native bees
Monardas Bee Balm red (M. didyma) and Wild Bergamot (M. fistulosa) attract many different species of bees


Globe Thistle (Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Glow’) a magnet for many bees and butterflies
Catmint (Nepeta racemosa) long flowering, attracts a wide variety of pollinators
Wood Sage (Salvia x sylvestris) long flowering, attracts a wide variety of pollinators including hummingbirds 

This is a list of our Plant Inventory, Check back regularly for an updated list.
2022 Master Gardener Volunteers Plant Sale INVENTORY (Google Doc)


MGV Profile
Holly Bixby, MGV class of 18′Holly Bixby, Master Gardener Volunteer, pulling a wheelbarrow

My Mother was a wonderful gardener and many of her ancestors were gardeners, landscape planners and horticulturists. As I too have grown to love gardening I wish I had paid more attention to that heritage years ago. The first vegetable garden I had was after college. A college classmate and I started a garden at her parents’ home in Maryland. We were free to do what we wanted so we went all out. It was a lot of fun and a surprising success since it was the initiation for both of us to growing our own food. As I moved around in my younger years I had a garden when I could – they always seemed to be experiments. Since I moved to Blue Hill some 32 years ago I have had a vegetable garden every summer. I had very knowledgeable gardening friends close by who gave me lots of expert advice those first several years. Nevertheless, my gardening always felt like it was a lot of trial and error. Working full time and trying to enjoy other activities (like sailing) contributed to that. I’ve improved somewhat over the years and gardening continues to be fun, rewarding and fulfilling.

Colors at rock wall

I love to grow plants. I continue to be astonished the way a tiny seed will grow to become a nourishing vegetable or a beautiful flowering plant, shrub or tree. Working the soil and nurturing plants I find very relaxing and rewarding, even weeding. Sometimes I’m successful and sometimes I’m not so successful but gardening to me is always worth the work. I’m definitely more adventuresome now than I used to be: planting new things, making changes, moving perennials and trimming my fruit trees. I pay more attention to when a plant does well, trying to follow the mantra: right place, right plant. My compost pile decomposes more quickly now, the deer don’t chew on my fruit trees as much and I don’t mow my lawn as frequently or all at once. I try to like all the dandelions!

I started volunteering at the Native Gardens of Blue Hill when it began at Mainescape. It was the first location but not the permanent one. I wanted to learn about native plants and perennials and thought that was a good way to start. I had had a stone wall rebuilt many years ago which

More colors at rock wall

made space for a perennials but was not thinking ‘native plants’ at the time. Some natives were planted but many were not. Now I am working on swapping out non-natives for more native and pollinator plants. NGBH secured a permanent location at the Bagaduce Music Lending Library in 2015 and it was while volunteering there that I met a Master Gardener who told me about the program. She highly recommended it. The fall before I retired I wanted to find a volunteer activity to keep me busy and chose gardening. I didn’t have extensive volunteer time to add to the application so I was very happy to be accepted into the program. The class and education gained was/is exceptional. The challenge now is to try to remember as much as possible and continue to apply what I have learned to my own garden!

My volunteering has focused on the Hoop House at the Cooperative Extension office and the Native Gardens of Blue Hill. I will continue to volunteer at those projects for this summer. I have been able to contribute to the Loaves and Fishes food pantry over the years (since it was close to my office while I was working) and now I donate the extra food I have to the Magic Food Bus in Blue Hill.

MG Project Profile
St Dunstan’s Creation Garden – Ellsworth

Master Gardener Volunteer, Dan DeLong, displays a sign titled, "Preserving Biodiversity in the Urban Landscape"
Dan DeLong Displays Sign – Preserving Biodiversity in the Urban Landscape

Did you know that one of the MGV projects is a garden designed by Marjorie and Reeser? The St. Dunstan’s Creation Garden, surrounding St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Ellsworth, is such a place. Marjorie and Reeser wanted to develop a demonstration garden based on the principles in their book, “The Life in Your Garden: Gardening for Biodiversity.”  Dan DeLong (MGV 2003) suggested the grounds surrounding St. Dunstan’s because the site is easily accessible to the community and is near the schools. Dan was helped in implementing the plans by the Ellsworth Garden Club, specifically members Anita Findlen, and Mary Blackstone (MGV’s), and Marie Greenier.  These four were assisted by other garden club members. Together they envisioned a garden of native plants, chosen to promote biodiversity, which would serve as a place of respite and as a demonstration garden for school groups and individuals.

The first plants were leftovers from the MGV plant sale in 2018 and from the Ellsworth Garden Club sale the same year.  Funds for fertilizer, irrigation, and additional plants were donated by St. Dunstan’s church, by the Ellsworth Garden Club, and by individuals. An interpretive sign was created with funds donated by the Garden Clubs of America. The ongoing budget is provided by the church, the Ellsworth Garden Club, and generous individuals.

St Dunstans' Church Gardens

In 2019, additional beds were added and now the garden is 70% planted out. The group left the area surrounding the entrance to the church for last. That area will be planted out this year. There are also plans to add more trees. There will be handouts this year for self-guided tours and there is hope that student field trips will be allowed as the pandemic eases. The church has held outdoor services in the garden and hopes to do so again.

The garden is maintained by MGV’s and by members of the Ellsworth Garden Club, aided by Marjorie, Reeser at Tuesday morning work sessions (8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.). This core group is hoping for more Master Gardener Volunteers to join them. And they are hoping that many MGV’s will visit the garden this year.

Save the Date!

Flash in Pans Logo

Flash in the Pans Steel Drum Band – To Benefit the MGV Program

MONDAY JUNE 27, 7:30 – 9 PM,

Plan to bring your family and friends to this fun evening of live, exciting steel drum music outdoors at the Blue Hill Town Park! 50% of the proceeds (from admission donations) will support our Master Gardener Volunteer projects.
Our Master Gardener Volunteers Advisory Committee is planning some extra flair for the event… one thing we know is that some of our MGVs will be dancing to the music dressed as fruits, vegetables and pollinating insects.  There will be a children’s activity, and a possible raffle for a wicked fancy dinner.
Would you like to help with the planning or at the event itself?  Please email Marjorie (marjorie.peronto@maine.edu) if you’d like to earn  volunteer hours while having an ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS TIME!

Shout out to all MGVs!

Know an MGV who’s done or is doing something intriguing or inspiring? Send in their name to MGVnewsletterinput@gmail.com; someone on the Newsletter team can follow up for a future newsletter spot.  We know there are so many neat stories out there or MGVs finding ways to apply our training and experience.

Please be reminded to REPORT your Master Gardener Volunteer hours monthly
Volunteer Hours are due NOW  – REPORT HERE

This month’s newsletter sent by Sue includes articles from our new “Communicate with MGV’s” task force.  We’d like the next edition to feature your suggestions and articles about gardeners and gardens.  Please contact us at MGVnewsletterinput@gmail.com with your ideas as we work on ways for us to stay in touch with all our gardening friends while following virus-safe guidelines.

Thank you from
Holly, Jane, Wendy, Linda, Mary D., Mary H., and Rita