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Contents:
  1. Night of Illumination October 18
  2. Go native! You’ll be glad you did
  3. Native Plants for Your Maine Garden
  4. Native Plants for Your Maine Garden : Maureen Heffernan :

Shady landscapes are easy to care for since they require minimal weeding and watering.

In addition they support a host of interesting woodland birds, pollinating insects and small animals, and are lovely places to be on hot days. Clearly, cool shade is something that we will all be needing more of them in the coming years.

Night of Illumination October 18

Every human inhabited landscape has at least some shade due to the structures around us. Even on a treeless lot, the north, east, and west sides of buildings are without direct sunlight all or part of the day. Deciduous or evergreen trees, and woodland edges also create shaded habitat. Unfortunately these environments are often overlooked in our developed landscapes, yet they provide a great opportunity to increase the diversity of woodland flora.


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Trees are key players in moderating the global climate. They reduce surface temperature by capturing the energy in sunlight and converting it to growth of biomass rather than heat. They capture rainwater and help it absorb into the soil, reducing flooding.

Go native! You’ll be glad you did

Native trees are biodiversity magnets because they host a variety of fauna in their canopy, bark, and roots. For these reasons, we should all look for opportunities to plant trees and create more shade in our urban, commercial, and suburban landscapes. In Maine we are part of the transition zone between the Eastern deciduous forest to the South and the boreal forest to the North.

Canopy trees include deciduous oak, maple, birch, beech, bass, and ash, and coniferous evergreens of hemlock, spruce, fir, and pines. It is in the ground layer of the woodland understory where the most botanical biodiversity resides. Wildflowers, ferns, small shrubs, understory trees, and juvenile canopy trees all make a rich tapestry that is beautiful as well as biologically dynamic. Many of these plants are easy to grow and will thrive in shady locations in our urban and suburban landscapes.

Wild Seed Blog

Sweet pepperbush Clethra alnifolia. The forest serves as a model to help you design and choose plants for your shady site. Analyzing light levels, adding layers of vegetation, and creating woodland soils are the three key concepts that you must address on your site.

Native Plants for Your Maine Garden

You can add natives to your existing plantings or create a purely native habitat garden. Either way, you will be supporting a diversity of pollinators and birds with these wildlife friendly natives of the woodland understory. Thinking about how the plants of the forest have adapted to life in the shade will help you choose how to include them in your landscape.

Plants that grow under deciduous trees receive more direct and indirect sunlight than plants growing on north facing slopes or under evergreen trees.

Native Plants for Your Maine Garden : Maureen Heffernan :

From the time they lose their leaves in the fall through mid to late spring when the trees leaf out, deciduous trees let light through to the forest floor. Many woodland wildflowers bloom in the spring to take advantage of this early season light. Other understory plants manage to capture enough light even in locations with no direct sunlight.

These are the plants that can tolerate the immediate north side of a building which is usually in complete shade. This event is free and open to the public.


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We are also offering a native plant sale. You can buy plants that are recommended for their beauty and their importance to pollinators, birds and other wildlife, while also supporting Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. Click here for details. Saturday, April 13 9 a. Each speaker will speak for around 50 minutes, with short breaks in between. Speakers are listed in the order that they will speak.

This event is now filled to capacity. Email Julia McLeod at outreach hhltmaine. The underlying issue pertaining to the use of native plants has been the difficulty in propagating certain native plants.