Belfast Garden Club host Open Gardens in August

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 6:44 PM EDT
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NORTHPORT, Maine (WABI) - Belfast Garden Club is hosting open garden days during the month of August.

The first one took place Friday in Northport.

The 50 acre property in Northport was once a deer Farm.

Now, it’s an open garden with various plants including native milkweed.

Susan Conard owns the gardens at Piper Stream Farm.

“I retired and came to this wonderful 50 acres that we bought. I decided I wanted a big garden,” Conard said.

Conard’s garden is part of the Belfast Garden Club.

People can visit the property at scheduled times to learn more about it.

Conard says she wanted to have something blooming all year, part of the reason why her garden is certified as pollinator friendly.

“It’s important to have areas where pollinators can thrive. There are big declines in insect populations globally,” she said.

Insects like the monarch butterflies which were recently declared endangered. Conard says they are important for the ecosystem.

“They like my garden because there are lots of nectar plants, and they only lay their eggs on one type of plant and that’s milkweed, and there are three different species of milkweed in my garden,” she said.

The Brown sisters from Belfast grew up helping their father with his gardens. They visit open gardens like Conard’s to bond as sisters while honoring the memories of their father.

“When he was in World War II, he, of course, was stationed overseas, and his mother died when he was overseas, and by the time he got home, her gardens were all overgrown, and, you know, pretty weedy, so he brought them back to life and wanted to keep them well maintained, I think in her honor,” Joanne Desjardins said.

Conard says she hopes more people learn about the importance of having a garden.

“Almost all of our food crops require pollination. They require insects to take the pollen from one flower to another flower or from a part of one flower to a different part of that flower,” Conard said.

“And it’s also important for the people. Without the insects, we are not going to get food, and we are all going to die off the planet, so its pretty critical. People don’t really realize that they are part of the ecosystem, so it’s important,” Marilyn Brown said.

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