Garden Club of the Eastern Shore Scholarship Applications Due April 3, 2018

Will Reick, the recipient of 2017 GCES Scholarship, is shown here with the Scholarship Committee member Lin Clineburg (left) & Scholarship Committee co-chair, Virginia Blatchley.

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 443-385-0486.  Applications are due back to the guidance counselors’ offices by the close of school on April 3, 2018.

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 Jill Meyerhoff says: “The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore has awarded 15 scholarships to Talbot County students since 1999. We are committed 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 443-385-0486.

Talbot County and Oxford Garden Clubs Donate Christmas Tree To Maryland Statehouse

The Talbot County and Oxford Garden Clubs contributed a decorated Christmas tree representing Talbot County to the Maryland Statehouse as part of an initiative by Governor and First Lady Hogan.  Garden clubs in each jurisdiction of Maryland were invited to contribute a decorated wreath or tree representing their county, which will be on display at the Statehouse through January 4, 2018.

From L-R: Trish Reynolds, Pam Keeton, Dorothy Williams, Ingrid Blanton, First Lady Yumi Hogan, and Ann Cooper. (Photo courtesy of the Executive Office of the Governor.)

The theme for the Talbot County tree was pollinators and it was decorated with bees, butterflies and hummingbirds, as well as the county flag and ribbon in the county’s colors.  The tree was constructed of chicken wire on a wood frame by Richard Rawlings, husband of OGC member Dorothy Williams, and covered with dried hydrangeas gathered from members’ gardens.  Committee members included Dorothy Williams, Trish Reynolds, Ingrid Blanton, Ann Cooper, Dede Hoopes, and Pam Keeton.

Ms. Hogan toured the trees and presented a certificate to each club and an engraved ornament personally designed by her to each volunteer.  This is the third year Talbot County has had a tree at the Statehouse.

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.

About the Oxford Garden Club

The Oxford Garden Club was established in 2003 to promote the knowledge of gardening and flower design, to participate in civic projects in order to conserve and beautify the community, and to actively support all forms of conservation.

Garden Club 100th Anniversary Book Now Available

This year the Talbot County Garden Club celebrated its 100th anniversary and has published a book “Talbot County Garden Club, 1917 – 2017”.  The limited edition is now available for sale to the public.

In a decade-by-decade walk down memory lane, the book covers the early years when men and women interested in gardening and in preserving the beauty of Talbot County started the Club. It delves into the changes in Talbot County during the 1950s when the Bay Bridge opened and allowed many newcomers to enjoy the Eastern Shore.

With help from research resources at the Maryland Room of the Talbot County Free Library and the Archives of the Talbot Historical Society, each chapter tells the story of a dedicated group of volunteer women who, to this day, design, plant and maintain picturesque public gardens in Easton.  Among those gardens are the Fountain Garden at Idlewild Park, the Memorial Children’s Garden at Idlewild Park, the Talbot County Courthouse and the Talbot County Free Library in Easton.

One chapter tells the story of the Club’s involvement in the historic Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage, from the first tour in 1934.  Another describes the challenges and changes carefully made to enhance the gardens at the Talbot Historical Society.

The hardcover book is now available for purchase at $40 (plus $3.50 postage and handling), tax included, from the Talbot County Garden Club, P.O. Box 1524, Easton, MD 21601 or you may prefer to pick up one at Tharp Antiques, the shop of the Talbot Historical Society on South Washington Street, Easton.  Both are 501c3 charitable organizations.

Filled with pictures, the book might be the perfect gift for friends who garden or those who have visited Easton and complimented the many public gardens.  Share flowering gardens, beautiful floral arrangements and Talbot County history with friends this season.  Give a Talbot County Garden Club 100th Anniversary coffee table book as a cherished memento.

For more information, please contact the project chair, Missy Warfield

Adkins Arboretum’s Candlelit Caroling Celebration on December 9

Ring in the holiday season with an evening of music, light and merriment when Adkins Arboretum hosts its annual Candlelit Caroling Celebration on Sat., Dec. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m.

At the Visitor’s Center, enjoy seasonal live music in the gallery by Chestertown performers Dovetail and Nevin Dawson, along with hors d’oeuvres and a cash wine bar. Take a candlelit walk along the woodland paths, stopping along the way to sing carols and roast marshmallows over a roaring bonfire. Join Delmarva Stargazers in the meadow to view the winter sky, and top off the evening with a winter tram ride to see light displays around the meadow. Wildlife tree decorating and a gingerbread playhouse will be of special interest to children.

Tickets for adults are $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Children ages 3–18 are $10, and children 2 and under are free. This event tends to sell out; please register by Tues., Dec. 5.

To reserve tickets for the Candlelit Caroling Celebration, visit or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Mid-Shore Gardens: The Satisfaction of Co-Design

The Adkins Arboretum hit on something quite popular when their Native Landscape Design Center started offered co-designing programs. Amateur gardeners looking for help with their projects, but also wanting to fully participate in the design process, are paired with professional landscape designers to accomplish this goal.

And that’s what Mid-Shore resident Chip Heartfield decided to do for his home in St. Michaels and began parting with designer Christina Pax, who heads up Annapolis Native Landscape Design. 

We caught with both of them recently at the Bullitt House to talk about this horticultural match and how both the home gardener and the professional designer both benefit from this new way to create something unique for Eastern Shore homes and their surroundings.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Adkins Native Landscape Design Center please go here

Talbot County Garden Club Begins Preparations for Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage

It is that time of year again!   The Talbot County Garden Club has begun planning for the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage scheduled for Saturday, May 12, 2018.

This year’s biennial tour through Talbot County is extraordinary featuring six wonderful homes in Easton MD.  They are ‘Myrtle Grove’ on Goldsborough Neck, ‘Heron House & The Cottage’ on Villa Road, ‘Auburn’ in Travelers Rest, ‘Halcyon’ on Hopkins Neck, ‘Two Coves’ on Legates Cove Rd off Cedar Pt., and ‘Owls Nest’ on Canterbury Drive.  The tour will begin in the beautiful gardens of the Talbot Historical Society and Eat Sprout will be providing locally sourced, organic boxed lunches for sale which can be purchased in advance.

Talbot County Garden Club 2018 Pilgrimmage Co-Chairs Laura Carney and Karen Parker (Photo Credit Dede Hoopes)

The Talbot County co-chairs are Laura Carney and Karen Parker. They are heading up a committee of more than 15 women working on everything from parking to tickets and food but many more volunteers will be participating to make the event one to remember.

Tickets will be $35 in advance and $40 at the door.  However, for a limited time, the Talbot County Garden Club is offering ‘Tour Bells’ for $30.   ‘Tour Bells’ are gift certificates good for one tour in any of the counties on tour in the next year.  They make a great holiday gift so make sure to put them on your list!   They may be purchased by emailing:  After the first of the year, ticket prices will be made available online for $35 at the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage web site at

Other counties in the tour include Prince George’s County (Saturday, April 21st, 2018), Anne Arundel County (Saturday, April 28th, 2018), Cecil County (Sunday, May 20th, 2018) and St. Mary’s County (Saturday, May 26th, 2018).

Mark the date on your calendar now for May 12th, 2018!   It will be an exceptional tour!

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 County Courthouse, Talbot County Free Library, the fountain and children’s gardens at Idlewild Park and numerous other gardens and activities.  There are currently a total of 101 active, associate and honorary members.

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners Conduct Bay-Wise Landscape Consultations

The Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners’ Bay-Wise team has been busy conducting fall Bay-Wise landscape consultations in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties. On October 4th, a team of Bay-Wise trained Master Gardeners conducted a consultation of the Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center (CBEC) in Grasonville. CBEC is a 510 acre wildlife preserve that showcases pristine wildlife habitat and is a true model of environmental sustainability on our beautiful Eastern Shore. Its programming and stewardship ethics reach a diverse audience through their restoration-based environmental educational outreach programs.

On October 23rd, another team of Bay-Wise trained Master Gardeners conducted a consultation of Wilmer Park in Chestertown along with Kees de Mooy, Zoning Administrator with the Town of Chestertown. Wilmer Park encompasses nearly seven acres of Municipal Park along the Chester River. It was dedicated in the 1970’s and includes: a living shoreline and water trail, a wetland restoration area, numerous native trees, two rain gardens, the Lelia Hynson Pavilion, a gazebo, and the recently dedicated Broad Reach sculpture and playscape.

The month capped off with a final team of Bay-Wise trained Master Gardeners conducting a consultation of Galilee Community Garden at Harbor View in Chester on October 24th. A year ago, Galilee Community Garden started as an empty field. Today, the community garden has 15 raised beds and four specialty beds, including an herb garden and a pollinator garden to encourage bees and butterflies. Master Gardener and dedicated Galilee Community Garden volunteer, Nancy O’Conner, spearheaded the community garden in 2016 putting the dream into reality in 2017.

Bay-Wise Certification at Deerfield Farm, Jenny Rhodes pictured.

Additionally, Bay-Wise consultations and certifications have taken place at numerous private properties throughout Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties this fall, including our first farm certification. Deerfield Farm located in Centreville is a 12 acre farm that has thoughtfully incorporated a wide variety of native plants with all of their foundation and buffer plantings. Deerfield Farm was the first poultry farm in Maryland to receive a Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program Certification through the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts. This program was established to acknowledge those farmers who are good stewards of their natural resources and to encourage and reward farmers to put more conservation best management practices (BMPs) on the land.

To schedule a Bay-Wise consultation call or email the University of Maryland Extension Queen Anne’s County Master Gardener Coordinator, Rachel Rhodes, at 410-758-0166 or . Master Gardeners, are volunteers who are trained by the University of Maryland Extension and will come to your home or business to evaluate your property. They can answer landscape and gardening questions and offer advice on sound environmental practices. This is a free service sponsored through the University of Maryland’s Extension office. A consultation usually takes about one to two hours, depending on the size and complexity of your yard. Consultations focus on practices of healthy lawn maintenance, storm water management, insect and disease control, composting waste, and selecting native plants and trees that enhance your property with minimum upkeep.  You are welcome to request advice about flower, fruit, and vegetable beds that beautify your yard and provide friendly habitat for wildlife like songbirds, butterflies, bees, and humming birds.  Complimentary Bay-Wise signs are given to homeowners and businesses that demonstrate sound Bay-Wise practices. For further information on the Bay-Wise Program and other environmentally sound practices, please visit or see us on Facebook @

University of Maryland Extension programs are open to all people and will not discriminate against anyone because of race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, religion, ancestry, or national origin, marital status, genetic information, or political affiliation, or gender identity and expression.

CBHS to Hear About Power to Vote With Your Fork

Cleo Braver of Cottingham Farm will speak about her experiences with organic farming and the power of consumers to effect change at the Nov. 2 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Herb Society at Christ Church Parish Hall, Easton.

Braver was an environmental lawyer in Baltimore in her first life and has always been an environmental advocate.  After moving to their farm, she and her husband slowly came to realize that their farm—planted in conventional feed corn and feed soy and sprayed heavily with synthetic nutrients, pesticides and herbicides—had a negative impact on the health of the soil, the Bay, animals and people.  Unable to find a farmer willing to grow food for people organically, they started to do it themselves in 2009.  At their year-round farm stand they sell nutrient-dense organic vegetables and herbs, as well as pastured heritage pork and eggs.

Braver will discuss concerns with food production, concerns with food, how organic crops and pastured animal production can be a solution, organic/regenerative crop production principles, meat production principles, and the power to vote with your fork.

The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Christ Church Parish Hall, 111 S. Harrison Street, Easton.  November’s meeting is a week earlier since the church will be participating in the Waterfowl Festival the following week.  Meetings include an herbal potluck dinner, a short business meeting and a presentation on an herb-related topic.  The theme for November is herbs for the zodiac sign Scorpio (basil, sage and coriander).

CBHS was formed in 2002 to share knowledge of herbs with the local community.  The group maintains the herb garden at Pickering Creek Audubon Center.

For more information, call (410) 827-5434 or visit

Chesapeake Harvest Offers Fall and Winter Food Safety Training


Chesapeake Harvest, a project of the Easton Economic Development Corporation, is offering free and low-cost food safety training programs and technical assistance this fall and winter. GAP food safety educator and Chesapeake Harvest consultant, Lindsay Gilmour, will lead the workshops.

Available programming will kick off with a meeting for interested regional growers on November 1, 2017. Part one: Is Harmonized GAP certification for me? – A food safety Q & A. Part two: What are the steps to certification? This free session will be followed by monthly opportunities for farmers to schedule one-on-one trainings that offer individualized instruction particular to their farm’s needs.

Attendees at a GAP Training Workshop, co-hosted by Arnold Farms, Chesapeake Harvest and the Wallace Center/Winrock International, take part in a risk assessment demonstration at Arnold Farms in Chestertown.

Anna Wicks, Food Safety Manager for Lazy Boy Farm in Middletown, Delaware, which received USDA GAP certification this summer, remarks, “Without the help from Lindsay, we would still be lost and probably would not have completed an audit this year. Not only did Chesapeake Harvest help with informing us with what requirements we were to adhere to, but they also followed up with us. Chesapeake Harvest is an overall great company and service to individuals and farmers alike.”

Class Schedule:

Chesapeake Harvest Fall Meeting
Exploring Food Safety and Wholesaling – A Facilitated Discussion
FREE – Registration required. November 1, 2017; 3:30 – 5:30 PM
Talbot County Agricultural Center, Soil Conservation Conference Room
28577 Mary’s Ct #3, Easton, MD 21601

Individualized USDA GAP Consultations
$25 – Space is Limited. Registration required.
Call Chesapeake Harvest to schedule an appointment time and farm location.

November 13 or 14, 2017           February 12 or 13, 2018
December 13 or 14, 2017           March 12 or 13, 2018
January 15 or 16, 2018

Navigating the Food Safety Landscape
Do I need Harmonized GAP? What are the Steps to get there?
FREE – Registration required. Dec. 4 & 5, 2017; 4:30 – 5:30 PM
These sessions immediately precede a Delmarva Farmers Union ‘Farmers Chat’
Monday, December 4 – Ocean Pines Library
Tuesday, December 5 – Lewes Public Library

For all training opportunities, registration is required. Call 410.690.7348, email or visit To register online for the free classes, participants can also use the Event tab on the Chesapeake Harvest Facebook page.

About Chesapeake Harvest:
Chesapeake Harvest, a project of the Easton Economic Development Corporation, is working to build a vibrant local food economy on the Eastern Shore producing healthy food bursting with flavor. Chesapeake Harvest is committed to sourcing local, clean, and diverse ingredients that fuel the growth of a regional Chesapeake Cuisine. Chesapeake Harvest seeks out farmers who show their commitment to regenerative agricultural practices that protect the future of the Chesapeake Bay. Chesapeake Harvest gives preference to those who share our belief that sustainability is not a fixed point but a pathway of continuous improvement.

About the EEDC:
Easton Economic Development Corporation was launched in 2013 to drive economic vitality, smart redevelopment, and business creation in the historic Town of Easton, Maryland to foster a healthy quality of life for all generations. The EEDC works toward managing Easton’s continued growth as a diverse and healthy “smart town,” leading innovation where the land and water meet.

Discover Oxford’s Native Gardens on Adkins Arboretum’s Annual “Celebrating Natives” Tour

The fall garden is a study in contrasts. Fiery color competes with the subtle structure of stems that have shed their flowers. Tall grasses turn golden in sunlight, while berries and fruits hang low on vines and branches to tantalize wildlife. On Sat., Nov. 4, discover the colors and textures of the fall garden when Adkins Arboretum brings its fifth annual “Celebrating Natives” Garden Tour to the Oxford area.

The self-guided driving tour features five private gardens and two public areas in and around Oxford, each demonstrating varying commitments to native plantings and uses of sustainable practices such as rain barrels and composting. The gardens range from Preservation Green—an in-town research center for horticultural studies—to a 3.5-acre “sanctuary” garden that takes found objects to a new level, to stands of pines mingled with organic vegetable beds and native perennials on Island Creek. Explore the new Oxford Conservation Park, an 86-acre parcel planted with more than 5,000 native plants and 800-plus native trees and shrubs to provide habitat for wildlife and appeal to local pollinators. Hop on the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry, established in 1683 and the nation’s oldest privately owned ferry operation, to explore a rambling 5-acre freeform garden on Plaindealing Creek near the mouth of the Tred Avon River.

The first garden tour of its kind on the Eastern Shore, “Celebrating Natives” focuses on sustainable approaches to Eastern Shore gardening and exemplifies the Arboretum’s mission of teaching about and showing by example the importance of using native plants in restoring balance to the ecosystem and fostering community relationships. Native plants are those that grew and thrived on the Eastern Shore before the introduction of European settlers. Because these plants have adapted naturally to the region’s ecology of climate, insects and wildlife, they are a better choice than non-native plants. The tour not only highlights the beauty of the gardens but emphasizes their importance in a biodiverse landscape.

“Celebrating Natives” will take place rain or shine on Sat., Nov. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance at or $30 the day of the tour at the Oxford Community Center200 Oxford Rd. Check-in will begin at 10 a.m. at the Community Center. Refreshments and restrooms will also be available there. A list of local restaurants will be provided. For more information or to order tickets, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.