Learn About Soil Health with Dr. Sara Via at Adkins Arboretum

Microbes in the soil have a huge impact on how plants grow and react to stress situations. It’s a wild world down there, and some of the interactions will surprise you! Learn about the importance of soil health on Wed., March 22 when Dr. Sara Via presents Life Underground: Healthy Soil, Healthy Plants, Healthy Planet at Adkins Arboretum.

Building and maintaining soil health is essential for food production, the conservation of forest and natural areas, and climate-resistant gardening, agriculture and forestry. Learn what healthy soil is, how to know if you have it, and how to build it if you don’t. A hands-on demonstration will follow Via’s talk.

The program runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m. and is $15 for members, $20 for non-members. Advance registration is requested at adkinsarboretum.org.

Via is a professor of biology and entomology at University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in the effects of climate change on agriculture and home gardening, biodiversity and human health. In association with University of Maryland Extension and Maryland Master Gardeners, she works with community groups, high schools and universities to increase awareness of the scientific reality of climate change and to motivate effective action to curb its rapid progression.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature, conservation and gardening. For more information, visit www.adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Cambridge Alert – Yard Make-over at No Cost by CBF’s Alan Girard

Residents of Cambridge, this spring you can win an unusual prize: a yard make-over at no cost. And in the process you can help clean up the waters around the city, and the Chesapeake Bay. Oh, and everybody gets a free ‘rain barrel.’

The whole idea is the brainchild of the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee. The group wants to encourage practical, low-cost activities that can improve water quality in the city.

The process is simple. Interested residents must first attend a workshop that’s happening at the Dorchester County Public Library in Cambridge, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, March 22. You will receive information about what possible changes could be made in your yard that treat polluted runoff.

For instance, “rain gardens” are a type of beautiful garden that also soaks up rain running off your property. This is helpful because this runoff often contains pollution from the air or the landscape. The pollution usually ends up in local creeks. You won’t make any commitments at the workshops, just learn about possibilities for a make-over.

If you’re still interested, next you will receive a free visit after the workshop from a professional landscaper who will look at your yard, talk to you, and come up with ideas such as rain gardens, native plants, pavement removal and other possible modifications best suited for your yard.

You’ll pay nothing for the make-over if you are selected. Only five properties will be chosen in the first year of the two-year program. In the second year, financial support drops from 100 percent to 90 percent as a way to encourage early participation.

Both homeowners and renters are eligible to enroll. Those of limited means are particularly encouraged to step forward as the project is intended, in part, to respond to needs in underserved communities. A community survey accessible online here will further help reveal how much people know about water quality and ways to improve it. All survey respondents are eligible to enter to win a $40 Jimmie & Sooks Raw Bar and Grill gift card.

Pre-registration is required to attend the workshop on March 22nd. Each workshop participant will receive a free rain barrel and instructions on how to install it. For more information and to register, contact Hilary Gibson at 410-543-1999 or hgibson@cbf.org.

Fertilizers, soil, oil, grease and other contaminants run off private property when it rains. Until now, cities such as Cambridge have been left with the responsibility to deal with this problem. It’s difficult and expensive, especially to manage runoff from private property.

The work in Cambridge seeks to treat runoff before it becomes the city’s responsibility. Recognizing the burden of treating runoff once it reaches the city’s drainage system, the Cambridge Clean Water Advisory Committee of private and public partners stepped in to try to demonstrate how runoff volumes and contaminants can be reduced before that point. Funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation was awarded to pilot a program that offers homeowners and renters incentives to install native plantings, swales and other practices that naturally filter runoff on private property – minimizing runoff volumes and pollutants for the city to handle later.

Alan Girard is the director of the Maryland Eastern Shore Office of the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Adkins Arboretum’s 2017 Juried Art Show on View through March 31

Playful, beautiful, zesty and often reverent, the artworks in Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Adkins Arboretum’s eighteenth annual Juried Art Show, speak about the remarkable variety of ways we look at nature on the Eastern Shore. On view in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center through March 31, this show also brings together a remarkable variety of mediums, including acrylic, oil, pastel, charcoal, collage, photography, monoprint, etching, ceramics, stained glass, metal sculpture and dried plant materials.

P.BillinFrye.Chives

“Chives,” by Washington, D.C., artist Paige Billin-Frye

The show was juried by Katherine Markoski, Ph.D., Director of the Kohl Gallery and Lecturer in Art History at Washington College. Both she and the artists will be on hand for a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 11 to talk with visitors about the work in the show.

From entries submitted by artists from Maryland, Virginia, New York and Washington, D.C., Markoski chose 31 works for this show.

I was thinking in terms of the strength of the work and how compelling the interpretation of the subject was,” she said. “It was interesting to me to include a range of media that demonstrates the many different ways that you could come at this particular topic.”

Markoski awarded the annual first-prize Leon Andrus Award, named in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, to “Chives,” a large, close-up photograph of a chive blossom printed in soft, subtle shades of brown on Japanese kitikata paper by Washington artist Paige Billin-Frye.

“It’s like a meditation,” Markoski said. “I think it’s compelling how the delicacy of the paper it’s printed on underscores the delicacy of the image. The way it’s presented has an incredible amount to do with its strength. It’s almost a portrait, in a sense, and creates a direct conversation with this single flower that’s part of the natural world.”

Second prize was awarded to Easton artist Diane DuBois Mullaly’s “Sun Stream,” a tiny oil painting of a rising sun spilling its light over meadow flowers.

“There’s something optimistic about it,” Markoski explained. “You feel the sun pulsating. It feels like light, even as it’s definitely paint. I think it packs a strong punch for its size. It feels to me like there’s no way another scale would have been effective.”

Sun Stream

“Sun Stream,” by Easton artist Diane DuBois Mullaly

In keeping with her interest in showcasing a variety of mediums and approaches, Markoski chose a large wall sculpture and a colorful digital photograph to receive Honorable Mention awards.

The sculpture “Eclipse,” by Baltimore artist Marcia Wolfson Ray, is a virtual explosion of charred and broken pieces of pine whose jagged, curving forms are just barely contained within a series of 15 open “boxes” constructed from dried plants and hung in a grid.

Markoski said, “I like the way this rigid framing powerfully underscores the unruliness of the individual units themselves.”

Of the photograph, which Chestertown artist Richard Hall took by zooming in on the swirls of bright blue water and green algae flowing through the grasses in the Arboretum’s wetland, Markoski said, “The painterly quality of it is striking. It’s an interesting metaphor for the intermixing of materials in our waterways. You could read it as a potential source of beauty but also a harbinger of terrible things to come, so it makes you think, what’s the nature of that particular flow? I think this one is conceptually rich in terms of the questions it might elicit.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through March 31 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum is the region’s resource for native plants and education programs about nature, ecology and wildlife conservation gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Become a Master Gardener

master gardenerRegistration is now open for the 2017 Kent and Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener training. For anyone who would like to learn more about the environment, about gardening (both ornamental and vegetable) and who is interested in being involved in their community, this is the class to take.

The 9-week course will be held on Thursday evenings (5:30-8:30pm) and Saturday mornings (9am until noon) at Chesapeake College. Classes start on February 16th and end on April 15th.

The training covers topics such as ecology, botany, soils, propagation, pest and disease management, pruning, composting, growing fruits and vegetables, ornamental plants, weeds, alternatives to turf grass, invasive species, wetlands, wildlife, landscape design for the health of the Chesapeake Bay and much more. All classes are taught by professionals or professors from the University of Maryland. The cost of the program is $200 which includes handouts and the Maryland Master Gardener Handbook.

Upon completion of the course, trainees are asked to fulfil 40 hours of volunteer work in order to become a Master Gardener. “This may seem like a bit of a daunting task,” says Master Gardener Sabine Harvey. “However, we have so many projects lined up, that it is usually pretty easy to gather those 40 hours.” As an example, trainees can help at plant clinics, special event such the annual seed swap or tomato tasting event, they can help maintain demonstration gardens, work with schools or get involved in the Bay-wise program. In addition, current Master Gardeners will happily serve as mentors for the newly minted trainees.

For more information about the Maryland Master Gardener Program in general, please visit: http://extension.umd.edu/mastergardener/about-maryland-master-gardener-program

To register for the upcoming training please visit: http://extension.umd.edu/kent-county/horticulturegardening/become-master-gardener or contact Sabine Harvey, Horticulture Program Assistant, sharvey1@umd.edu, 410-778-1661

The University of Maryland is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Equal Access Programs.

Adkins Arboretum Offers Landscape Design Workshop Feb. 4

Register for Adkins Arboretum’s Landscape Design Workshop on Sat., Feb. 4, and learn how to transform your property into an attractive landscape with year-round interest and beauty.

Offered again by popular demand, this all-day workshop addresses typical challenges of homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay region. Three experienced landscape designers will lead this intensive planning session. Come with your challenges and dreams, and leave with a landscape plan, ideas and confidence to transform your home landscape for your enjoyment and pride.

landscapeWorkshop leaders are Meredith Watters, Jennifer Connoley and Michael Jensen. All three have more than 25 years’ experience in landscape design.

The workshop begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 3:30 p.m. The fee is $105 for Arboretum members, $130 for non-members and $165 for member couples. Advance registration is required. Register online at adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum is the region’s resource for native plants and education programs about nature, ecology and wildlife conservation gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Garden Club of the Eastern Shore Scholarship Applications

Graduating seniors attending high school in Talbot County and expecting to major in horticulture, landscape architecture or design, botany, environmental science, agriculture or a related field may be eligible for a scholarship of up to $4,500.00 from the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore (GCES). Scholarship applications are available from guidance counselors in all Talbot County high schools. They may also be obtained by calling Dorothy Whitcomb at 410-770-9035. Applications are due back to the guidance counselors’ offices by the close of school on April 3, 2017.

The GCES Scholarship is merit based. Outstanding academic achievement along with volunteer or work experience, which shows a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence, will be considered when evaluating applications.

GCES President Samantha McCall says: “The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore has awarded 14 scholarships to Talbot County students since 1999. We are commitment to helping talented young people achieve their educational goals and are proud of previous recipients who have gone on to become teachers, researchers, landscape architects and designers, and environmental educators. They are all making important contributions both here on the Shore and in other parts of the country.”

The GCES is focused on promoting environmentally sound landscape practices and providing educational programs for the community that explore conservation practices and environmental issues. In addition to awarding its scholarship for the past 15 years, GCES spearheaded the restoration of Easton’s Thompson Park, which along with the garden at the Academy Art Museum, it also maintains.

For information about GCES programs or to make a contribution to the scholarship fund, please call Dorothy Whitcomb at 410-770-9035.

Adkins Arboretum Offers 2017 Botanical Art Series

Adkins Arboretum has announced a series of botanical art programs taught by artists Lee D’Zmura and Kelly Sverduk. Ranging from drawing to painting to working with colored pencil, the series engages beginning to experienced artists in capturing the natural world. Programs include:

Botanical Art: Watercolor I
Fri., Jan. 20 and 27, Feb. 3 and 10, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Watercolor is the traditional medium used in creating botanical art. This program taught by Kelly Sverduk will focus on introducing basic watercolor techniques and color mixing using a limited palette. Class exercises and projects will provide participants with a fundamental understanding and mastery of those techniques.

Botanical Art: Watercolor II
Fri., March 3, 10, 17 and 24, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Kelly Sverduk will walk students through the process of completing a botanical painting using the techniques introduced in previous classes. Students will prepare a graphite study and then transform the drawing into a watercolor painting. Emphasis will be placed on composition, color mixing and watercolor.

Advanced Graphite
Fri., April 14, 21 and 28, 9:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
Join Lee D’Zmura to improve your drawing skills. Working with your choice of subject, you’ll compete a botanical piece in pencil. Each class with include new techniques and individual critiques.

Advanced Painting Workshop: Paw Paw Flower
Fri., May 19 and 26, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Paint a branch and bloom from one of the Arboretum’s paw paw trees in this workshop taught by Kelly Sverduk. Instruction will focus on drawing, watercolor work and detail work of flower and leaves.

Butterflies and Insects Workshop
Fri., Sept. 8, 9:30 a.m.–3 p.m.
This program taught by Lee D’Zmura introduces the techniques used to document a preserved butterfly or insect specimen. Each participant will receive an insect, draft a detailed drawing of that insect and complete the colored pencil study on Mylar film.

Paw Paw Fruit Workshop
Fri., Sept. 29, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
Discover and paint a native fruit found on the Arboretum grounds. Join Kelly Sverduk to create a small botanical watercolor painting of this interesting and little-known fruit.

Advanced Painting Workshop: Host Plant
Fri. and Sat, Oct. 6 and 7, 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m.
This course taught by Kelly Sverduk will focus on the relationship between native pollinators and their host plants. Participants will create detailed drawings of their chosen subjects and then bring those drawings to life in watercolor.

D’Zmura is an award-winning botanical artist whose experience as a landscape architect enriches her watercolors. She received her certificate in botanical art from the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration. Her work is in collections throughout the country. She maintains a studio in St. Michaels, where she draws inspiration from her neighbors’ gardens and from the Eastern Shore’s native wildflowers.

Sverduk specializes in watercolor and is passionate about making and teaching art. With a background in both art and natural sciences, she finds the field of botanical illustration to be a perfect combination of her interests. She holds a BA in studio art from Messiah College and a certificate in botanical art form the Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration. She lives with her family in Greenwood, Del.

Program fees vary, and advance registration is required. Register at adkinsarboretum.org or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Ruth Rogers Clausen to Speak on “Successful Gardening in Deer Country”

ruth-rogersThe Talbot County Garden Club welcomes local author Ruth Rogers Clausen to speak at the Easton Library on January 24, 2017, at 1:00 p.m. Ruth will speak on “Successful Gardening in Deer Country”. The event is free and open to the public.

Local author Ruth Rogers Clausen, 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants, will share how choosing plants carefully can help ward off the hungry deer in your garden. Although deer are known to be finicky eaters, a healthy adult buck or doe needs to consume 5-10 pounds of food (4,000-6,000 calories per day). Although this may not sound like a lot, think of how many tender new shoots, twigs and leaves it takes to satisfy a deer daily and since deer often browse in groups of 2-7, that’s a lot of ornamental garden plants and shrubs!  Nothing’s foolproof, but Ruth will share how choosing plants carefully can help ward off the hungry deer in your garden.

Ruth has been described by the author of the Womanswork blog as one of the most experienced horticulturalist she knows. Ruth grew up in Wales and studies horticulture at Studley College in England. She has made many notable contributions to her profession as an author, an editor of gardening magazines and a lecturer, advisor and judge for botanical gardens and flower shows across the country and around the world.  Ruth writes for the Womanswork blog and newsletter (www.womanswork.com) and now gardens here in Easton where she grows an eclectic range of plants.  Ruth has written many books, most recently Essential Perennials (co-authored with Thomas Christopher) and 50 Beautiful Deer Resistant Plants which will be available for purchase at the program.

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources.  Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the Children’s Garden and Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities.  There are currently a total of 101 active, associate and honorary members.

Talbot County Garden Club’s ‘Putting on the Glitz’

The Talbot County Garden Club has started planning for its biennial spring symposium, scheduled for April 18, 2017.  The all day affair titled Putting on the Glitz features three guest speakers, lunch, vendor/suppliers and a chance to connect with gardeners around the region.

garden-clubPhoto: TCGC Symposium Planning Committee from left to right: Ann Ashby, Pat Lewers, Nancy Thompson, Kim Eckert, Dede Hoopes, Sue Carney, Nancy Hickey, Rita Osgood, Martha Horner, Maxine Millar, Pam Keeton,Mary Louise Maechling, Chloe Pitard (photo by Marsie Hawkinson) Not shown: Fran Bergere, Bobbie Brittingham, Rebecca Gaffney, Shirley Gooch, Christie Hamilton, Carol Harrison, Caroline Benson, Laura Carney, Lauren Little, Marsie Hawkinson, Anastasia Wrightson

Featured speakers this year are:

Bettie Bearden Pardee, lecturer, garden connoisseur, former magazine editor and television host/producer and author of “Living Newport”;

Paige R. Canfield, owner/designer of Sumner B. Designs presenting”Entertaining with Flowers”; and

Chris H. Olsen, nationally recognized Master Designer presenting “From Drab to Fab”.

All three speakers bring together the elements of style, design and entertaining into a full day affair Putting on the Glitz.

The planning committee is chaired by Kim Eckert.   Information related to ticket pricing and purchasing will be made available in early 2017.   Mark your calendars! 

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources.  Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the fountain and childrens’ gardens at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities.  There are currently a total of 101 active, associate and honorary members.

The Talbot County Garden Club Spreads Holiday Cheer throughout Easton

On December 6th, 2016, members of The Talbot County Garden Club and their guests joined together at the Easton Volunteer Fire Department to make wreaths and garland for locations around Easton. This has been a holiday tradition of the Talbot County Garden Club for over 30 years.

wreath-2

Members of the Talbot County Garden Club designing arrangements for Meals on Wheels (Photo Credit Patricia Reynolds)

In addition to the wreaths, the club members and their guests joined together to design holiday inspired table arrangements for Meals on Wheels. The Meals on Wheels project has blossomed over the years, to now 85 festive arrangements to brighten the holidays for their recipients.   This has become a very important addition to the wreath making activity and all the members look forward to contributing to the effort.

The wreaths and garland are located around town the Talbot County Courthouse, Easton Utilities, Talbot Bank, The Talbot County Free Library and the Easton Volunteer Fire Department.

About the Talbot County Garden Club

The Talbot County Garden Club was established in 1917 to enrich the natural beauty of the environment by sharing knowledge of gardening, fostering the art of flower arranging, maintaining civic projects, supporting projects that benefit Talbot County and encouraging the conservation of natural resources.  Noteworthy projects include maintaining the grounds of the Talbot Historical Society, Talbot Courthouse, Talbot Library, the Children’s Garden and Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities.  There are currently a total of 101 active, associate and honorary members.