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Open Garden Days

Ecologically sound garden doesn’t skimp on charm

Aug 04, 2019
Peter Millard and Emily Wesson’s eco-friendly home and gardens, on display Aug. 9, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 29 Wight St., Belfast.

Belfast — Belfast Garden Club’s Aug. 9 Open Garden Day features lush vegetable beds and perennial and herb gardens that showcase the benefits of sustainable gardening practices.

The gardens, at 29 Wight St., will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. A $5 donation helps the Belfast Garden Club fund public gardens and contribute toward a Unity College scholarship.

Before Peter Millard and Emily Wesson bought their property, the city used it as a materials transfer station, and it was covered with pieces of asphalt and invasive plants. With partial self-sufficiency and downsizing in mind, the couple designed gardens to feed body and soul and built a super-insulated, solar-powered, wood-heated house.

They began “softening” the land for gardening by removing debris and covering weeds with cardboard, topped with layers of mulched leaves, compost, and seaweed. A rain catchment system now runs drip irrigation, minimizing use of city water, and solar energy powers an electric fence to discourage animals.

Millard and Wesson show that it’s practical as well as a joy to create a landscape composed of healthy and beautiful flower and vegetable beds, shrubs, and trees using ecological approaches to gardening.

Tickets are available onsite or in advance at Aubuchon Hardware, Left Bank Books, or The Good Table in Belfast. Proceeds from fundraising support the Belfast Garden Club's work in the community.

The club plants and maintains 10 public gardens and provides annual support to an innovative gardening program at Troy Howard Middle School, scholarships to Unity College, and subsidies for children's summer camp experiences at the Tanglewood 4-H camp in Lincolnville.



A portion of the Millard-Wesson gardens on tour Aug. 9 in Belfast Garden Club's annual Open Garden Days.
Vegetables and herbs thrive on a portion of reclaimed land on Wight Street, Belfast. The flower and vegetable gardens of Peter Millard and Emily Wesson are on display Aug. 9.
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