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Waves of color; summer in full bloom at the Mercadante-Mooney Garden

Posted July 04, 2013, at 6:32 a.m.
Last modified July 05, 2013, at 10:47 a.m.

Friday, July 19, 2013 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Location: Mercadante-Mooney Garden, 70 Waldo Avenue, Belfast, ME

For more information: Diane Allmayer-Beck; 207-338-3105; belfastgardenclub.org

BELFAST, Maine — Summer has arrived in the garden of Dominic Mercadante and Joe Mooney, 70 Waldo Avenue, Belfast. This lovely garden will be featured 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, July 19, as part of Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days series.

Tickets can be purchased at the garden for a donation of $4 for the day, or $15 for a five-garden pass. Proceeds will benefit the Belfast Garden Club’s civic beautification projects.

Dominic and Joe’s garden was started in 1999 when they purchased their quintessential 1800’s farmhouse on Waldo Avenue. They are only the 3rd family to live in the home, which had no landscaping to speak of at the start. Both Mercadante and Mooney have farming or gardening in their families and come with green thumbs naturally. “It’s in our blood, there’s no denying it,” Joe chuckles. Over the years the couple has gradually replaced lawn with extensive flowerbeds, incorporating family heirloom plants and gifts from neighbors to make their street-side flower garden. Their first step was to make the driveway shorter and to install a garden at the end that could be admired from the porch, “We didn’t want to look at the parked cars,” Dominic remembers. “We went to the greenhouse to buy only annuals,” Joe laughs, “That didn’t last long. We got carried away…” Star shaped Balloon flowers, tall garden phlox, herbs and some annuals created the desired cheerful ambiance, but soon perennials and shrubs of all shapes and colors lead to a much larger garden project.

Along the drive leading to the entrance of the home, daylilies, magenta Rose Campion, yellow, red and white roses, Russian creeping cypress and tall white hydrangea follow along the rock wall for a grand and friendly entrance. As the beds expanded, rocks, asphalt and coal ash, among other treasures, were dug out of the earth as the sod was removed. Spilling along the front of the house to the ornamented front door spiky purple spiderwort, white and peachy pink astilbe, ferns and pale green anemone will be in bloom. Long beds of hostas, verbina, oriental lilies, twenty flowering dahlias and the unusual yellow sunbursts of Inula, lead the visitor to amble to the spacious back yard. The rear of the property was quite wet when Joe and Dominic began their project. Improvement to drainage ditches has really helped make the ground suitable for raised vegetable beds and high bush blueberries. The field beyond is full of summer wildflowers; a new foil of purple willow and swamp maples, all of which are happy with damp feet and give a lovely show of color throughout the year.

When a band of daisies grew in a patch of earth overturned by some roadwork along the Waldo Avenue edge of the property, Dominic used the opportunity to install a long carpet of color at the sidewalk’s edge. Waves of blooms including corn poppies, rudbeckia, echinacea, and coreopsis weave together with a delicious variety of height and shape. Passersby on the sidewalk often stop to admire the garden and chat with Joe and Dominic when they are out, a pleasant side effect for the two. “We’ve noticed more gardens on our street recently, and are happy if we are encouraging people to make the neighborhood look nice,” they smile.

Directions to 70 Waldo Avenue, Belfast: From Main Street in Belfast turn onto Waldo Ave (Rt 7/137) opposite Camden National Bank. Heading north watch for John Street on your right. The driveway will be just past John Street on your left.

The next Belfast Garden Club Open Garden Day will be Friday, July 26, at the Jim Rose Garden, 2 Trout Brook Lane, Searsport.

For 8 consecutive years, Belfast Garden Club has presented Open Garden Days, a Friday garden tour series, which will feature 11 gardens in the Belfast area this year. From backyard experimental plantings and ornate Master Gardens, to cooperative gardens and vegetable plots visitors can expect to see brilliant blooms, unique and rare plants, sculpture, exquisite views and ponds. Several gardens will feature special presentations by the gardeners, and at least two will have farm stands to peruse! While many of this year’s gardens are new to the tour, several of past years’ favorites are returning to Open Garden Days so that viewers will be able to see what changes have taken place! Proceeds from the 2013 Open Garden Days will benefit the Club’s civic beautification projects.

For more information about Belfast Garden Club’s Open Garden Days call Diane Allmayer-Beck at 338-3105, email belfastgardenclub@gmail.com, or

visit www.belfastgardenclub.org .

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