News Feature

Blue Hill
Originally published in The Weekly Packet, November 7, 2013
Blue Hill Garden Club talks invasive plants

Blue Hill garden club members

From left, Roxanne Donahey, vice president of the Blue Hill Garden Club, Heather McCargo, speaker, and Leslie Scanlan of Sedgwick examine a plant to be identified.

Photo courtesy of Nicole Lawton

On October 24, Heather McCargo, plant specialist, landscape designer and former plant propagator for the New England Wildflower Society, spoke to the Blue Hill Garden Club and local residents about damage caused to Maine fields and forests by the introduction of certain plants “from away.” Because they have no local predators, some imported varieties become invasive, and threaten local species, according to a press release. An example is imported bittersweet, with its heavy crops of beautiful berries, which has smothered fields and woodland margins across Maine. The same holds true for native trees, where, among others, imported maple trees are crowding out the local species.

McCargo talked about many invasive plants, and during a slideshow of about 60 Maine native plants, suggested a host of alternatives for both sun and shade which she described as just as showy in the garden and landscape. Maine native plants are reliably hardy, well-adapted, and will attract birds, bees, and butterflies, as well, she said. McCargo fielded questions from the audience following her lecture.

Men and women interested in educational gardening programs like this one are welcome to join the Blue Hill Garden Club. The only requirement is an interest in plants, gardens and landscapes. Visit bluehill gardenclub.com or call 374-2003 for membership information.