PORTLAND—What gardener has not admired a beautiful landscape and thought, “I could do that in my yard if someone would just show me how!” Maine Board of Pesticides Control has done just that for ecologically-minded gardeners with its two-and-a-half acre YardScaping demonstration site at Back Cove inPortland.
Dozens of landscape designers, Master Gardeners, and other volunteers came together to create a model landscape with urban, suburban, and rural gardens along the footpath that borders Portland’s Back Cove, adjacent to Preble Street soccer fields.
Over the past five years, Portlanders and others visitors who use the trails there have witnessed a transformation of an unused field, made available by the City ofPortland, into a model landscape planted with more than 2,000 specially-selected trees, shrubs, and perennials. The native plants that make up the gardens can be used around one’s own home to help gardeners and landscapers reduce their reliance on fertilizers, pesticides, and irrigation water.
The Back Cove YardScaping project is the centerpiece of an exhibit sponsored by the Maine Board of Pesticides Control at the Portland Flower Show on March 8 to 11, 2012, at the Portland Company Marine Complex on thePortlandwaterfront. Visit the YardScaping booth on the ground floor to see the garden designs, meet the creators, and take away lists of perennials, grasses, shrubs, and trees that thrive in the Maine landscape.
Gary Fish, Coordinator of the Maine YardScaping Partnership, will be staffing the YardScaping booth, along with other YardScaping volunteers. He says, “Millions of pounds of fertilizers and pesticides are applied toMainelawns each year. Many of these products have been shown to pose risks to kids, pets, and our waters.” YardScaping volunteers can advise Flower Show visitors on how to create and maintain a beautiful and healthy yard or find environmentally-responsible lawn care service providers.
For more information about YardScaping, go to yardscaping.org.