Old-Fashioned Herbs for Ornamental Gardens

Ruth Clausen will discuss old-fashioned herbs essential for the ornamental garden at the Jan. 11 meeting of the Chesapeake Bay Herb Society at Christ Church Parish Hall, Easton.

The Medieval definition of “herbs” includes any plants that were useful to mankind.  This goes far beyond those we call “herbs” today, those we use mainly in the kitchen or as medicinals.  This illustrated talk discusses plants we cherish today although we may not use them as our forebears once did. Stories and legends will be included along with cultural and design tips.

Ruth Rogers Clausen was trained in horticulture at Studley College in England, and received her MS in Botany from Kent State University, Ohio. Since 1976 she has freelanced as a teacher, lecturer and author in the U.S. and Canada. In 1989 she co-authored Perennials for American Gardens with the late Nicolas Ekstrom, which was awarded the Quill & Trowel award from the Garden Writers of America Association in 1990. She has written for The American Garden Guides: Perennial Gardening with The New York Botanical Garden published in 1994; Annual Gardening with Missouri Botanical Garden in 1995; Trees with Chicago Botanic Garden in 1996. And Dreamscaping was published by Hearst Books in 2001. Ruth has contributed articles to several of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Handbooks, and to horticultural trade and consumer magazines.  She consults on horticultural books and often serves as a judge at flower shows, including the Cincinnati Flower Show, the Capetown, South Africa Flower Show, and the Ellerslie New Zealand Flower Show.  She was Horticulture Editor for Country Living Gardener magazine for 7½ years. She also works as a sales representative for Womans work (womanswork.com), Radius Tools and Cobra Head.

Ruth serves on the Advisory Committee for the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden; she is also a Member of the Corporation for The New York Botanical Garden.  She is a member of the Advisory Council for the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at Christ Church Parish Hall, 111 S. Harrison Street, Easton.  .Meetings include a social period, an herbal potluck dinner, a short business meeting and a presentation on an herb-related topic.  The theme for January is herbs for the zodiac sign Capricorn (rosemary, tarragon, caraway and marjoram).

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) 310-8437 or visit www.ChesapeakeBayHerbSociety.org.

The Chesapeake Bay Herb Society Welcomed its 2018 Officers

The Chesapeake Bay Herb Society welcomed its 2018 officers at its holiday party in December. From left to right are: Marie Davis, vice president; Denis Gasper, president; Dana McGrath, treasurer; and Carol Jelich, secretary. The society usually meets the second Thursday of each month at Christ Church Parish Hall, 111 S. Harrison Street, Easton.

Photo courtesy of Ted Mueller

If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Carroll, 301-452-2813.

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 missywarfield@gmail.com.

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 adkinsarboretum.org 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: ctbenson30@gmail.com.  After the first of the year, ticket prices will be made available online for $35 at the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage web site at http://www.mhgp.org/tickets.

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 rjrhodes@umd.edu . 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 www.extension.umd.edu/baywise or see us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/QueenAnnesCountyMasterGardeners

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 www.ChesapeakeBayHerbSociety.org.