The Asticou Azalea Garden in Northeast Harbor is getting new fencing to keep the deer out. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Gardens are dormant, but Preserve’s work goes on



MOUNT DESERT — The flowers aren’t blooming, the plants aren’t growing and the visitors are mostly gone.

But that doesn’t mean there is no activity in the winter months at the properties of the Land & Garden Preserve.

A new fencing system to keep deer out has been installed around the Asticou Azalea Garden.

“After 28 years of service, the deer fence system protecting the north end of the garden was in quite a state of disrepair,” Mary Roper, the garden’s manager, wrote in the Preserve’s winter e-newsletter.

“This [new] durable metal fencing is expected to last many years and includes a tensioned top wire to deflect branches in the winter months.”

Work also has been going on at Thuya Garden.

“We have installed a French drain under the turf just above…the long bed that doesn’t have an apple tree in it,” wrote Thuya Property Manager Rick LeDuc.

“We are hoping that this drain will alleviate the chronic problems we have had with that bed, where subsurface water rises and keeps the soil wet, even when it hasn’t recently rained. Not many plants like their feet wet all the time.”

Land & Garden Preserve CEO Rodney Eason said winter is when the staff is “literally and proverbially sowing the seeds for next summer.”

“In the greenhouses, our team members are growing woody plants, building up stock and sourcing the new plants for next summer’s displays.”

Outdoors, Easton said, crews have been “clearing culverts for proper drainage and making sure carriage roads and trails are accessible for winter hiking, snow shoeing, cross-country skiing and dog walking.”

Winter also is a time for planning projects for the next summer season and beyond.

“[This year] we will start constructing retaining walls, stone staircases and steps along several of our trails,” said Tate Buschell, the Preserve’s natural lands director. “First up is the heavily trafficked trail loop around Little Long Pond including the David and Neva Trail and the Jordan Stream Path.”

In addition to the properties mentioned above, the Land & Garden Preserve owns and maintains the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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