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Browsing posts tagged with: peony

Peony Social Photos

Thursday, June 14th, 2012
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Many visitors enjoyed the gardens, the wildlife, Toots Ice Cream, listened to nice music by Flight 317, and, a lucky handful won a door prize heirloom peony plant presented by Sam Ladd, President of People’s United Bank  Southern Maine who generously sponsored this event.

Most of all, thanks to the Peony Circle of Friends, over 1,600 committed members, donors, and volunteers who have supported Maine Audubon for more than 20 years.

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The Peonies of Gilsland Farm

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012
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Each June, hundreds of people flock to Gilsland Farm, Maine Audubon’s headquarters in Falmouth, for the spectacular peony show. Professional and amateur photographers, along with peony aficionados and plant lovers, revel in the sprawling display of these gorgeous, showy blossoms framed by deep green foliage. Because the oriental blooms multiply slowly and by division only, it is a notable achievement that our peony beds are well established and continue to flourish after nearly a century. Escaped peonies also dot the landscape around the sanctuary.

The History of the Peonies

David Edward Moulton (1871-1951), a prominent attorney and founder of the Portland Water District, acquired the property that was to become Gilsland Farm in 1911. His love of horticulture led him to plant many varieties of trees, shrubs, and flowers on the property, but it was the peony that truly fascinated him. By 1928, he had collected more than 200 varieties planted over four acres—reputedly one of the most complete peony collections in the country. So famous were Moulton’s flowers that individual peony roots sold for as much as $250. The Portland paper called Gilsland Farm “a show garden of peonies—wonder place of Portland.” Moulton maintained a generous tradition for many years of giving a red peony flower to each graduate of Portland High School to wear on their graduation gowns. Alumni of Portland High School still make their way to Gilsland Farm to enjoy the peonies and to remember their special day. As a lasting tribute to her father, Ruth Moulton Freeman and her family presented Gilsland Farm to Maine Audubon on December 2, 1971. She dedicated the sixty-acre property beside the Presumpscot River “for the people of Falmouth and the people of Maine in recognition of David Moulton’s great love for his farm, and for the natural beauty and wildlife of the state of Maine.”

The Peonies Transformed Today

Though David Moulton’s fields of cultivated peonies no longer exist, and champion Jersey cattle are no longer seen grazing on what used to be a working farm, visitors to Gilsland Farm will find remnants of his collection blooming in the meadows and along the woodland edges in June. Each June, Maine Audubon recognizes members of our Peony Circle, those supporters who have given to Maine Audubon continuously for more than 20 years. They truly are a rootstock for growth! 

 

Peony Profile: Gary Roberts

Sunday, June 10th, 2012
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If you haven’t had the chance to meet him in person, you might recognize Gary Roberts’ name from its high frequency in the Habitat Activities Guide. This Registered Maine Guide has led countless trips for Maine Audubon over the years.

We caught up with this Peony Circle member to find out what drives his tireless passion for volunteerism.

How did you learn about Maine Audubon?
Maine Audubon (MA) has been a part of my life for such a long time that it’s difficult to remember when I first learned about it. But I definitely think it was in the late 70s that my wife and I discovered Gilsland Farm. We decided to become members to support the many excellent local programs that MA offered.

Why have you stuck with it for so long?
I believe in the advocacy work and environmental education that Maine Audubon does. MA has also provided me with a venue to be actively involved in one of my passions—natural history education.

Join Us in Honoring Our Long Term Supporters
  • Wednesday, June 13 2012, 6:30 – 8:00pm
  • Free ice cream courtesy of Toots Ice Cream in N. Yarmouth
  • Music by Flight 317 (acoustic teenage ensemble)
  • Craft book author Heidi Boyd—who will be on hand to help visitors create their own Peony Pixies
  • A drawing for select peony plants from Gilsland Farm’s renowned garden

More Event Details »

Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social Sponsored by:
People's United Bank

What’s your favorite benefit of Maine Audubon membership?
This is an interesting question, because I don’t really think about what I can get from Maine Audubon. I think more about what I can give in volunteering. What I get back is the opportunity to visit MA’s many sanctuaries and become friends with many like-minded people.

What volunteering have you done over the years?
I started volunteering in the early 80s and haven’t stopped. I started with Winter Ecology Walks, then programs at Scarborough Marsh and Mast Landing. Then I joined the Speakers’ Bureau and took the Maine Audubon programming to the public. When I was asked to lead an overnight program to Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay, I got hooked on being a trip leader. Soon I joined with MA volunteer George Libby and we started leading overnight and day trip programs across the state. In 2000, I was named Audubon Volunteer of the Year.

Any quotes come to mind to sum up your volunteer experience?
A friend gave me this quote, which I have adopted as part of my guiding philosophy: ‘It’s not the getting there that counts, but what you discover along the way. Enjoy the journey…’

 

Around the Farm

Thursday, June 7th, 2012
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As we prepare the final touches for next Wednesday’s Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social several things were apparent today at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center. Despite the torrential amounts of rain in the past week life is abundant, the peonies are in fine shape, and everything continues to move on.

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The Last Sunny Day …

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012
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Here at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center a few of the peonies in our formal garden reacted to the most recent full day of sun and decided to say hello! We expect a full show for the Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social. Join us in honoring long time supporters of Maine Audubon, Wednesday June 13 at 6:30pm

  • Free ice cream courtesy of Toots Ice Cream in N. Yarmouth
  • Music by Flight 317 (acoustic teenage ensemble playing americana grass)
  • Craft book author Heidi Boyd—who will be on hand to help visitors create their own Peony Pixies
  • A drawing for select peony plants from Gilsland Farm’s renowned garden

This free event is generously sponsored by People's United Bank

 

The Peonies are Threatening … to Burst!

Thursday, May 24th, 2012
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Our peonies are so close to opening up, the buds are bursting!

Don’t forget about our Peony Bloom & Ice Cream Social where we gather to celebrate our Peony Circle of Friends, over 1,600 committed members, donors, and volunteers who have supported Maine Audubon for more than 20 years. Wednesday Jun 13, 2012 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm at the Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth Maine.
Event details »

peony buds about to open

This free event is generously sponsored by People's United Bank