Growing of lupines eludes reader


Dear Sun Spots: I have had no luck growing lupines in my garden or along the road where I live in Franklin County.

In the Rangeley area, there are many growing wild, and they are beautiful. Some construction company has seeded them successfully on the high banks of the highway between Strong, Phillips and elsewhere.

Could you please find out any information for me that could tell me what I should do to grow them? – No Name, No Town.

Sun Spots checked in with gardening columnist Jody Goodwin, who recommends you purchase Russell hybrid lupines at any nursery in whatever color they carry or you desire. Trying to dig up wild ones is usually not successful, Goodwin says, because they have a very long taproot and, more importantly, removing them deprives the rest if the world of enjoying them as they drive by. I’d have to agree. There is nothing sweeter than watching those wild flowers bloom along the Maine Turnpike and elsewhere. It’s a sight Sun Spots looks forward to annually, as she’s sure other drivers do, too.

Goodwin says that after planting them and after they bloom (which they will not do until next May), you need to leave the spent blossom on the plant. The lupine blossom will seed out and grow more lupines. Lupines do not tend to be long-lived but do seed out very successfully. Which means if you do not deadhead your lupines, you will most likely always have lupines, but they will not stay in the same place where you plant them.

Goodwin says lupines are like very independent people, seldom to be found in the same place all the time. They like lean soil and dry conditions, which is why they grow by the roadsides and in open fields so happily.

Dear Sun Spots: The AMVETS Ladies Auxiliary Post 6, Route 100, New Gloucester, will hold their annual flea market on July 28 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tables are available to rent for $15, so please start cleaning out your attics, cellars, garages, and come join us.

To reserve a table please call Joyce Wotherspoon at 926-4693 or Cheryl Greene at 998-2157. The cutoff date for reservations is July 24. – Pat Kiley, New Gloucester.

Dear Sun Spots: Some time ago there was a lady on Channel 6 saying how she had neuropathy and couldn’t feel her feet. She spoke of how she ended up going to a doctor, and the doctor performed surgery on her feet. She now has feeling in her feet. I didn’t catch the doctor’s name or where she was from. I have a friend who has neuropathy, and maybe this information can help him. – No Name, Auburn.

Sun Spots located an article on Channel 6’s Web site, in which plastic surgeon Dr. Virginia Hung is quoted. Sun Spots believes this is the doctor you are seeking. Hung is quoted as saying there is hope for patients with diabetic neuropathy, through a surgical procedure to decompress the nerves. She describes the surgery as decompressing the nerves in three locations that brings back feeling to about 80 percent of the affected area. You can locate Dr. Hung through her offices at 611 Main St., Winchester, MA 01890, 781-721-0500.

Dear Sun Spots: WGN Chicago is on Channel 307 on DIRECTV. I found this information by going to and entering WGN in the search box. I also confirmed this by checking 307 on my directv-equipped television. I enjoy hearing news from the Midwest and often check out their movies. On the other hand, New England Cable News is unfamiliar to me. – No Name, No Town.

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