Author Archives: bernardofeliciano

Spring is HERE!

Robert and Yota

Robert and Yota are back!

Yes!!! We started cleaning up the garden and gearing up for the season. Big THANK YOU to volunteers Robert DuBois and Sue Ham who started the spring clean-up and  gathering materials. This year we hope to

  • put in at least 2 if not 3 raised beds, all of them slightly unconventional– hugelkultur, spiral, tray height;
  • have a monthly volunteer gardener activity;
  • get more folks out enjoying the gardens;
  • put in universally accessible pathways.

Now for more pictures:

sue2

Sue cleaning up.

Robert hauling wood for hugelkultur bed

Sue1

Sue cutting back.

compost and bed materials

Compost pile and staging area

Bird feeder Activity

WINTER IN THE GARDEN
Bird Feeder Activity Day February 15, 2014
DIY bird feeder made out of toilet paper rolls and garden twine .

Hanging edible bird feeders.  Each was made with a birdseed/flour mixture and left to harden.
              
Volunteers making popcorn garland to hang in the trees and bushes.

Volunteer rolling the toilet paper roll in birdseed after covering with shortening.

Bernardo hanging an abstract bird feeder.

Bird feeders in the bushes.

Garden teepee covered with bird feeders.

Orange peel bird feeder.

Celebrate the Great Maine Outdoor weekend with us!

Bring your family to enjoy the outdoors and connect with nature this winter right here at the Topsham Public Library…



Saturday, February 14th-16th is the Great Maine Outdoor Weekend and we are hosting two events on Saturday the 15th:

  • From 9:15 on will be a hands-on exploration and identification of the trees along the library’s paths using a camera and the Trees of Maine guide.
  • Starting at 10:00am will be a DIY bird feeder activity, perfect to honor National Bird Feeding month.  Choose from several feeder options.  When you are through, head outside to hang them up throughout the library’s gardens and paths and have fun exploring. 


    We look forward to seeing you then!

    National Seed Swap Day

    Did you know that there is a National Seed Swap day?  There is!  It’s the last Saturday of January every year.  Check out this link to learn more:
    National Seed Swap Day

     

    Although the date has come and gone, it’s never too late to do a little seed swapping.  If you’re ready for some spring-time fun and would like to organize your own seed swapping party, you might like to check out this book:

    Seedswap: The Gardener’s Guide to Saving and Swapping Seeds by Josie Jeffery

    There are also some PDFs from the book that you can download:

    Seed Saving Techniques & Creating a Seed Bank

    If you do host a seed swapping party, we’d love to hear about it!


    Winter Garden Fun

    Are you finding yourself longing for green garden views during these cold and snowy Maine days?  There’s no reason why your garden can’t be a fun and inviting space during the winter months.  

    We’ve put together a collection of fun ideas to help overcome the winter doldrums.

    Build Snow Animals:  The National Wildlife Federation Kids has some ideas with easy instructions.  If you’d like to feed feathered friends at the same time, decorate your snow animal with berries, bird seed, and other bird delicacies.


    Snow Painting: Color some water with food coloring and use spray bottles or ketchup-type squirt bottles to decorate the snow.



     Create snow land art Andy Goldsworthy style

    Cover the garden with greenery snowflakes

    Enjoy!  If you try some of these ideas, stop by and let us know how it turned out…
     

    INVASIVES AT TPL

    This past Saturday, Bernardo and I spent more time trying to distinguish between American and Oriental Bittersweet than actually ridding the garden of it.  Needless to say, we left most of it in place but pulled some down off of of a small tree to prevent any future harm, and to provide an up-close photo for you viewers to help us identify.
     
     
    Oriental Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is an aggressive and invasive climbing deciduous woody vine.  The leaves are difficult to identify because they are extremely variable, so should not be relied upon for identification.  The leaves can be round to oblong in shape and appear as alternate, simple with bluntly toothed margins.  Oriental Bittersweet propagates by seed and produces greenish white flowers in the spring. In the autumn, red berries are enclosed in yellow capsules.  Oriental Bittersweet grows in thickets and can strangle trees and shrubs by entangling their stems.
    American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens L.) is native to Maine.  It is also a climbing deciduous woody vine but is not nearly as aggressive as Oriental Bittersweet.  American Bittersweet produces red berries but they are enclosed in orange capsules and appear only at the terminal ends of the stems, whereas on Oriental Bittersweet, berries and flowers can be found all along the stem at leaf axils.

     

    Horseweed

    HORSEWEED
    I spent a little over an hour on Saturday pulling just one type of weed from the birdsong garden.  The weather was beautiful and there was a pleasant wind which made weeding less a chore.  This is a common weed known as Horseweed and can grow in almost any area of your garden. The weed can grow as tall as 2 meters, well taller than myself, and reproduces by seed.  The seeds germinate in late summer or early spring.

    The good thing about these weeds is that they have extremely shallow root systems 
    and you can pull them out quite easily.  
    Below, find additional photos of the Garden
    The Birdsong Garden

    The new Teepee
    A view from the new Teepee

    Ornamental Grasses flowing in the wind