BELFAST― Paula Smith of 54 Salmond Street, Belfast, will open her bee, butterfly and hummingbird garden to the public Friday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine. The event is sponsored by the Belfast Garden Club and a $5 donation is requested to sustain club operations.
The Smiths did not start landscaping in earnest until 2019, after an extremely wet season in 2018. One of the early challenges they faced was that their wet lot was overgrown with invasive knotweed. “It's a work in progress,” Paula Smith said.
The garden now is a mix of perennials, raised vegetable beds, and a few baby fruit trees. Berries such as blueberries and raspberries can be found, along with purple cone flowers, Joe Pye weed, balloon flowers, phlox, anise hyssop, and bayberry bushes, to name a few.
The Smiths keep bees, so they try to keep most of the plantings bee-friendly. “It’s a hobby that is good for nature,” she said. The addition of a small vernal pond provides the bees with water and keeps the overall yard dryer. “Bees drink a lot of water,” Paula said. “We are trying to make it easy for them.”
There is also a stone patio with a sitting area and fire pit. A post-and-beam, three-season porch was added last spring. “I'm trying to develop a little nature oasis in the city,” Paula said, “a baby ecosystem here in Belfast.”
The Belfast Garden Club has promoted public gardens and stimulated the knowledge and love of gardening for more than 90 years. Proceeds from the club’s fundraising support local public gardens and several scholarship funds. FMI, visit BelfastGardenClub.org.