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The Hawthorn

The Hawthorn
Summer 2017

Thanks For Another Exciting,
Successful Kitchen Tour
Perfect weather, eight beautiful homes, and 16 talented chefs were the won-
derful ingredients for another exciting, successful Kitchen Tour on August 9.
The Kitchen Tour is Merryspring's biggest fundraiser of the year and helps sup-
port our educational programs and 66 acres of gardens, trails, and woodlands
that are open to the public every day of the year. More than 550 people attended the 2017 Tour, helping to raise more than
$20,000 for Merryspring. In fact, since it began in 1995, the Kitchen Tour has raised more than $350,000 for our Nature Center.
However, we could not put on this annual event without the cooperation and generosity of our wonderful hosts, local chefs, spon-
sors, supporters, and 80-plus volunteers.
We owe a special thank you to our hosts — Mimi Bornstein, David Harvey, Bonnie Gibbons, Susan and Pete Fitzgerald, Jay Braatz
and Eric Buck, Shelley and Elliott Thompson, Sarah Rheault, and Paula Warnock — for opening their homes and showing off their
beautiful kitchens.
A round of thanks also to the talented chefs and staff from Blue Sky Cantina, DFC (Damn Fine Curry), Graffam Bros. Seafood,
Heiwa Tofu, In Good Company, Laugh Loud Smile Big, Laura Cabot Catering, Maine Street Meats, Market Basket, MSAD #28,
Nina June, Red Barn Baking Co., Rhumb Line, State of Maine Cheese, Uncle Willy's Candy Shoppe, and Youngtown Inn for provid-
ing all of those tasty treats enjoyed by everyone on the Tour.
Thanks also to EBS Style Solutions for sponsoring the Kitchen Tour again this year; to the 30-plus businesses and craftspeople who
added their financial support; and to Francine Bistro, Once A Tree, Stonewall Kitchen, and Surroundings for donating gift certifi-
cates as raffle prizes.
Finally, all of the following volunteers, staff, and trustees who donated their time on or before August 9 should be recognized for
helping to make this year's Kitchen Tour such a wonderful success: Richard Ailes, Ray Andresen, Wendy Andresen, Paula
Armentrout, Meg Barclay, Lena Bengtsson, Ann Bex, Barbara Bitner, Callie Black, Margaret Boyajian, Helen Burlingame, Virginia
Campbell, Scott Carlson, Erica Crane, Sue Crane, Trudy Crane, Jo Sesmond, Kethy Deupree, Sandie Dunn, Julianee Edmondson,
Laura Evans, Joanne Fagerburg, Arlene Faulkner, Amy Faunce, Kevin Frewert, Susan Frewert, Theola Gelerman, Carol Goodridge,
Toni Goodridge, Charlie Graham, Dorothea Graham, Naida Harris, Tom Hopps, Mary Joe Hughes, Martha Jones, Mary Keller,
Cathy Kinsella, Kathie Kull, Stevie Kumble, Jim Kunkel, Edie Kyle, Terry Lewis, Ed Libby, Kristen Lindquist, Colleen Lowe, Ruth
Lowry, Michael Matthews, Stephanie Matthews, Lanita Medina, Barb Melchiskey, Steve Melchiskey, Deb Milliken, Dennis
Milliken, Shawn Moran, Eileen Morelli, Judith Moses, Kathleen Mundell, Gail Palmer, Rosemary Peacock, Karin Rector, Sarah
Rheault, Diana Rigg, Carol Rohl, Lucy Ross, Susan Shaw, Julie Speno, Matt Speno, Brenda Squibb, Sharon Staz, Marsha
Steinglass, Alicia Stevenson, Judith Sullivan, Judith Tarbox, Brian Trask, Marilyn Trask, Mary Vartabedian, Zelia Walker, Mary
Waltz, Cathy Ward, Marjorie Wester, Tracy Wheeler, Abby Whittington, Brett Willard, Bart Wood, and Priscilla Wood.

Volunteer Party Set for September 29
Whether you are a current Merryspring volunteer, have volunteered in the past, or are inter-
ested in volunteering in the future, you are invited to attend Merryspring’s annual Volunteer
Party on Friday, September 29 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Ross Center. Come enjoy the re-
freshments, learn about upcoming volunteer opportunities, and share some camaraderie with
your fellow volunteers.
Page 2 The Hawthorn Summer 2017

Merryspring President’s Letter Inside this issue:
Nature Center Summer Comes to an End Kitchen Tour 1
Volunteer Party 1
P.O. Box 893, Camden, ME 04843 By Ray Andresen
Tel: (207) 236-2239 President’s Message 2
Fax: (207) 230-0663 As you can see on these pages, we have had an exciting,
Bay Chamber Concert 2
Email: eventful summer at Merryspring. Our annual Kitchen Tour (page 1) is just one of the highlights. A free Bay Garden Buzz 3
Mission Statement Chamber concert (below) and a special Business After Events Calendar 4
Merryspring’s mission is to practice, Hours (page 7) were two memorable “firsts” for the Na-
Birding Course 5
teach, and advocate sound principles ture Center. Our Summer Ecology Camps (page 6) once
of ecology, conservation, and horti- again were a hit with young children, and our cultivated Volunteer Opportunities 5
culture in order to protect our gardens (page 3) continued to attract visitors of the walk- Summer Ecology Camps 6
natural environment and to provide ing and winged variety.
natural landscapes and cultivated Business After Hours 7
areas for public enjoyment. Two projects that have been happening “out in the
Arboretum Signs 7
Hours of Operation woods” this summer are just as important, and I encour-
age you to go take a look. We now have beautiful new Perimeter Trail 7
The park is open free of charge from
dawn to dusk every day of the year. signs to help identify specimen trees in the Kitty Todd Merryspring Reservations 8
Our offices and library are open Arboretum (page 7) and a new bog walk and other im-
Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. provements on the Perimeter Trail (page 7). How to Leave a Lasting
to 2 p.m., or by appointment.
Looking ahead, we have an interesting schedule of Tues- Legacy at Merryspring
Membership Levels day Talks (page 4) coming up in September and October, Merryspring has a permanent
Individual $35—49
$35—49 our annual Fairy Festival (page 4) in early September, and Endowment Fund to ensure that future
a new three-week Birding Course (page 5) starting at the generations will continue to enjoy the
Family $50—99
wonders of nature being exhibited and
Friend $100– 249
$100– 249
end of September.
taught at your Nature Center. If you
Donor $250—499
$250—499 So, as summer comes to a close, I hope you will come would like to make a bequest that will
Steward $500—999
$500—999 back to Merryspring frequently this fall to participate in increase this fund, please consult your
our nature education programs, take a tour of the gar- financial and legal advisors on what
Conservator $1,000—2,499
dens while they’re still in flower, go for a birdwalk, or just method would be in your best interest
Partner $2,500—4,999
$2,500—4,999 and would fulfill your wishes. For more
take a hike on our woodland trails.
Patron $5,000 or
$5,000 or more
more information, please call (207) 236-2239
or email
Keeping in Touch
You can sign up for our eUpdates at to receive the
latest news on programs and events.
Or you can visit Merryspring’s Face-
book page, where you can check on
upcoming events. Please go to

Board of Trustees
Ray Andresen, President
Sarah Rheault, Vice President
Scott Carlson, Secretary
Kristen Lindquist
Dennis Milliken
Karin Rector
Susan Shaw
Barton Wood
Toni Goodridge, Managing Director
Brett Willard, Program Director Bay Chamber’s Odeon Adult Orchestra conducted by Deirdre McClure played a mix of classical
Denise DeSpirito, Garden Manager and popular compositions during a free concert in Merryspring’s Hexagon in June.
©2017—All Rights Reserved The Odeon Program offers musicians the opportunity to perform in a variety of concert settings
that are open to the public. We hope to have them back next year!
The Hawthorn Summer 2017 Page 3

Our Gardens Are Buzzing With Visitors
By Denise DeSpirito, Garden Manager

Lots of beautiful blooms from the pinks of cosmos to the yellows of
marigolds have been showing themselves in the garden this summer,
and it is buzzing with lots of visitors, human and pollinator alike! In fact,
we have spotted quite a few beloved monarch butterflies on our Torch
Tithonia plants, which always makes us smile.

At this point in the season, we are deadheading and keeping most of
the weeds at bay, but letting some others proliferate, like milkweed—
another food source for monarchs and other pollinators. We are also
spending time on some neglected edges of the garden, like the Herb Coneflower with painted lady butterfly
Garden and the far back beds that host a variety of interesting plants
like Plume Poppy (Macleaya cordata) and Monkshood (Aconitum napellus).

The Herb Garden was first created in 1984, and the original maps show a diverse range of
herbal plantings containing various themed garden beds from a dye garden to a Shake-
speare garden. While some of the original plants remain, these gardens have shifted over
time to contain fewer thematic plants, so future plans include revitalizing this area and
replacing some of the original plantings. If you'd like to support this effort, please let us
know if you would like to volunteer your time and gardening talents, make a financial
contribution, or donate some perennial herbs. Please contact us for a specific list or what
herbs are needed.

Even though there is still more weeks of summer coming, we are already beginning to
think about next year's garden—planning and plotting where things will go, what needs to
be dug up and divided, what seeds should be saved.

This year we are excited to be growing out two types of heirloom beans for seed saving as
a follow up to the project we did last year for Fedco growing Beedy's Camden Kale.These
heirloom beans are unique veggies that we want to help save from disappearing. One of
the varieties we have growing is Octazora Pole Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris).

This bean became a Quaker heirloom, but likely originated from the Lenape or Susquehan-
nock Native Americans. The Lenape territory ranged through parts of Connecticut, the
lower Hudson Valley, New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania.
The Susquehannock held a large portion of what is today called the "mid-Atlantic states
region." This bean is considered a "3 Sisters Bean" as it can climb corn when interplanted,
but will not pull corn down with its weight. It is good as a "shell" bean or a dry bean.
Grecian foxglove
Our second variety is Mrs. Moody's Long Sicilian Bean (likely Vigna
unguiculata.) We think this bean was brought to Sicily from Africa via
the Moors 1000 years ago. This species of bean includes "crowder" or
"zipper" peas, as well as "long beans" like Mrs. Moody's. It was given
to seed saver Camille Sears (Sicilian on her mother's side) by an eld-
erly Sicilian woman with the surname Moody. It is enjoyed sauteed in
its "green" bean stage. After we collect these bean seeds, they will be
passed on to a larger grower to grow the seed stock even more.

Be sure to take some time to smell the flowers this fall and let us
know your favorites (or your questions) by sending an email to

Heirloom beans being grown for seed saving.
Page 4 The Hawthorn Summer 2017

2017 Summer Events Calendar
Summer Tuesday Talks are sponsored by: The First
*All talks begin at noon and are free for Merryspring Members, $5 for non-members.

AUGUST August 18 Herbal Tea Party with Brett Willard—a free family program 10:00—11:00 a.m.
August 22 Tending the Perennial Garden—Maintenance with John Fromer *
August 29 Fuzzy Udder Creamery and Goat Farming with Jessie Dowling *
SEPTEMBER September 5 Backyard Herbalism with Denise DeSpirito *
September 9 Fall Fairy Festival (see below)
September 12 Tending the Perennial Garden—Irrigation with John Fromer *
September 14 Worm Bin Workshop & Harvest with Jock Robie—free to all 6:00 p.m.
September 16 Mushrooming Workshop with Greg Marley 9:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m. $70/$60
September 19 Buffer Zones with Sharon Turner *
September 26 Native Groundcovers; Lawn Alternatives with Hildy Ellis *
September 29 Volunteer Party 4:30—6:30 p.m.
September 29 Birding By Habitat with Shelley Spanswick (see opposite)
OCTOBER October 3 Tending the Perennial Garden in Fall with John Fromer *
October 6 Birding By Habitat with Shelley Spanswick (see opposite)
October 10 Shellfish Ecology & Aquaculture with Dana Morse *
October 13 Birding By Habitat with Shelley Spanswick (see opposite)
October 14 Fire Cider Workshop with Melanie Schofield 10:00 a.m.—12 p.m. $20/$15
October 17 Natural Indigo Dyeing with Amelia Poole *
NOVEMBER November 4 Fall Pruning with Travis Hamilton 10:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m. $10/$5

L-R: Tom Seymour points out a wild edible during an April foraging workshop; John Fromer demonstrates perennial garden maintenance in July;
Lucas St. Clair talks on Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in February, all part of our year-round education at Merryspring.

Free Fall Fairy Festival Coming Up Soon
Families are invited to Merryspring’s Fall Fairy Festival on Saturday, September 9,
from 1:00—3:00 p.m. Children can make a variety of fairy-inspired crafts as well as
build fairy houses in the woods. Author Liza Gardner Walsh will be on hand to sign
copies of her books, Fairy House Handbook and Fairy Garden Handbook. Enter a raf-
fle for a signed copy of either book. The festival is free to all.
The Hawthorn Summer 2017 Page 5

Merryspring Teams Up With ACE
To Offer 3-Week Birding Course
By Brett Willard, Program Director
We’re excited to announce that we’re teaming up with Five
Town CSD Adult & Community Education (ACE) to offer a
3-week birding course this fall. Based out of Camden Hills Re-
gional High School, ACE is an award-winning program that
offers an incredible variety of low-cost, accessible adult educa-
tion courses to over 2,000 people every year. Many ACE in-
structors have given Tuesday Talks at Merryspring, and we’re
pleased to finally be an official, off-site classroom for adult
education classes.
This new program, “Birding by Habitat,” will run on Friday
mornings from 9 to 11, starting on September 29 and con-
tinuing on the mornings of October 6 and 13. The class costs Birdwatchers at Merryspring
$35 for all three sessions. Guests can register by contacting
Five Town CSD ACE at or calling 236-7800 (ext. 5). Keep an eye out for the ACE Fall Offerings catalog re-
leased near Labor Day for more information.
Early autumn is a great time to get outside and look for migrating birds. However, many bird species are in non-breeding plumage
in the fall and do not sing their recognizable, territorial spring songs. This new class, taught by local bird enthusiast and wildlife
rehabilitator Shelley Spanswick, is designed to teach novices ways to locate and identify birds in a variety of habitats during the fall
migration season.
While anchored at Merryspring, the class will take participants around the Midcoast area to three very different habitats. Along the
way, Shelley will teach attendees how to look for signs of birds across varying ecosystems. The course is an outdoor, field class. In
case of rainy days, the class will be held indoors at Merryspring. Guests should dress appropriately for the weather and provide
their own binoculars. Arrangements may be made for those without binoculars.
You may recognize Shelley Spanswick as a Merryspring friend and volunteer who co-leads our seasonal Owl Prowl walks with The
Riley School. A graduate of Unity College, she began her career as an intern and volunteer at Avian Haven, continued on at The
Raptor Trust in Millington, N.J., and after five and a half years returned to Avian Haven until 2013. She currently interns with
Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Her experience working with many bird species gives her a unique perspective for birding. walks.

Volunteer Opportunities
Merryspring can always use more volunteers. If you have some free
time to help with our gardens, our trails, our educational programs,
or our fundraising events, please call 236-2239 or stop by the office
to find out how and when you can help.
Right now we are looking for volunteers to help with the following:
 Fairy Festival
 Trail Maintenance
 Invasive Removal
 Holiday Craft Fair
 Winter Wassail
 Filling Potholes
 Winterizing Gardens
Clockwise from top left: Volunteers helping at the Spring Plant
For more information, please contact Program Director Brett
Sale; another working in the greenhouse; and volunteers from
Willard at or call 236-2239.
Coastal Opportunities removing Norway maple saplings in the
Duff Memorial Garden.
Page 6 The Hawthorn Summer 2017

Summer Ecology Camps Equal Two Weeks of Fun and Learning
For the fourth summer in a row, Merryspring continued our partnership with Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District to
offer two weeks of Summer Ecology Camps for young children. This year’s camps held in June and July were a great success, with
many new activities and some surprises.

Our Summer Ecology Camps were split into two sessions—Little Sprouts for children 4 to 6, and Eco-Explorers for older students
ages 7 to 9. New this year was the use of our newly-refurbished Rose Cottage. The Cottage, thanks to some generous donations
from Merryspring members, proved to be an ideal outdoor classroom space, complete with a new roof, new windows, child-sized
table and chairs, and murals painted by students from The Riley School.

During the course of both Eco Explorers and Little Sprouts, campers planted the children’s garden, played learning games, went on
nature walks, and drew in their nature journals. We examined animal bones and furs, went bird watching, looked through micro-
scopes, built fairy houses, and caught bugs. Some of the new activities for this year were making natural clay sculptures, flying a
giant solar balloon, dissecting owl pellets, and hosting a visit from Elise Huff of the Coastal Children’s Museum that featured a
touch tank filled with fascinating ocean creatures.

We had a total of 17 children over both weeks. The combination of this great group of excited and curious students, two weeks of
beautiful weather, and innovative new programs definitely made the 2017 Summer Ecology Camps a big hit.

“We’re proud of the partnership we’ve built with Merryspring.” says Rebecca Jacobs, Education Coordinator for KLSWCD and camp
co-counselor. “Summer Ecology Camps prove to be a successful program and we look forward to working with Merryspring again
on future projects.”
The Hawthorn Summer 2017 Page 7

Business After Hours
Held at Merryspring
More than 90 members of the local busi-
ness community came to Merryspring on
July 12 to “schmooze” under a big tent
The owner of “Maine Alpaca Experi-
ence” tells about her new business. during the Chamber of Commerce’s
monthly Business After Hours program.
Co-sponsored by Merryspring and Allen
Insurance and Financial, this special event
helped introduce the Nature Center to Bart Wood and Mallory Arsenault offer refreshments.
many first-time visitors as well as re-
introduce it to several who haven't been
here in years.
Participants were able to tour the gardens,
hear about some of Merryspring’s pro-
gram offerings, and meet members of the
Merryspring staff and board of trustees.
Merryspring president Ray Andresen
welcomes the BAH attendees.

New Signs For Tree Specimens in Arboretum
The Kitty Todd Arboretum is one of the most ecologically diverse parts of Merry-
spring, and now 35 new signs help visitors discover and appreciate that diversity.
These signs mark different tree species across the Arboretum. On them guests will
find photos of each specimen tree’s bark, leaves, and buds, as well as a short de-
scription of the tree. The captions on each sign were written using notes from Mer-
ryspring’s past records, with each offering a unique take on its respective tree—
including role in the ecosystem, distinguishing characteristics, and use by humans.
The new signs make the Arboretum a better place to learn about Maine’s native trees. Since being installed in June, these new
panels have already proven useful to park visitors through summer camps, free family programs, and school field trips.
The signs are part of the ongoing restoration project of the Arboretum funded in part by a Maine State Forest Service Project Can-
opy grant. The project began last summer with trailwork done by the Maine Conservation Corps. This year the signs were added.
Future plans for the Arboretum include a new entry kiosk, updated map, and a companion pamphlet and trail guide.

Perimeter Trail Improved by MCC Crew
For many years, the northern edge of the Perimeter Trail at Merryspring
has remained one of the park’s hardest sections of trail to traverse. Now,
thanks to the hard work of the Maine Conservation Corps, this leg of trail
is more easily accessible with bog walks and a wider corridor.
In late July a crew of five MCC members spent a week working to improve
the trail. Led by Senior Leader Liz Thibault, the group moved stones, felled
trees, removed brush, and constructed bog bridges. Over the course of
four days, the crew cleared and improved over 500 feet of trail. The result
is a trail that is easier to navigate, mitigates the effect of foot traffic on
erosion of the hill side, and is more attractive to visitors.
We encourage guests to check out the new section of trail. We also thank the Maine Conservation Corps for their help on this
project, and we look forward to recruiting their help on future trail projects.
P.O. Box 893
Camden, ME 04843

Reserve Merryspring for Your Event
Remember to think of Merryspring when you or your friends
are planning a wedding, memorial service, meeting, or party.
Conveniently located near Route 1 in Camden and Rockport,
Merryspring offers a secluded, quiet location for your event.
Stunning gardens and an outdoor hexagon are perfect for
small ceremonies. A well-tended lawn bordered by flower
beds filled with spectacular color from June through Septem-
ber will accommodate a tent for up to 200 guests. And the
meeting room inside the Ross Center can accommodate up
to 50 people.