A Boothbay Harbor man’s flowers had the sweet smell of success at the Maine Organic Farmers’ and Growers’ Association Fair. Doug Peck, a professional gardener, earned 13 blue ribbons during the annual fair Sept. 21-23 in Unity.
Peck has attended for nine years, but never entered his work until this year. Three years ago, he considered entering his dahlias and zinnias, but didn’t. Last year, he was close, but poor weather resulted in a less than satisfactory crop. But this year, everything was in bloom.
Peck has over 15 years' experience as a gardener in Maine and Massachusetts. He is a fan of organic growing and eating organically produced foods. He attends the MOFGA fair each year and had the same thought in recent years as he viewed the flower entrants. “I saw the flowers every year and thought I should enter and finally, this year I did."
His victory had nothing to do with beginner’s luck. He is a professional gardener. Peck is the full-time gardener at Newagen Seaside Inn, Linekin Bay Inn, Russell House Bed and Breakfast, and Boothbay Chiropractic. For years, he also has had his own gardening business. His passion for flowers and years of experience have resulted in his gardening expertise.
Peck enjoys watching a small plant mature. His mother and grandfather were avid amateur gardeners. He learned the basics from them as a young boy. Peck began his career as a gardener at two Massachusetts greenhouses before moving to Maine. He moved to Boothbay Harbor and began working at Boothbay Region Greenhouse. His work caught the eye of Newagen Seaside Inn co-owner Corinne Larson.
“I was working at the greenhouse and operating my own business when she asked me to work for her,” he said. “It’s a great job for a gardener because what a wonderful pallet it is for growing flowers.”
Peck cares for the grounds and the vegetable and herb gardens and cuts flowers for the restaurant. He credits his success to persistence. He said you don’t need a green thumb to become a top gardener. “Don’t give up and keep trying is what I tell people. There are plants I still have trouble growing. Mother Nature has a lot to do with it. You can’t control the rain or sunshine. So keep at it.”