Habitat House of the Week: Harbor Haven in St. Michaels

When I moved to St. Michaels, I rented a wee cottage on Locust Street in the Historic District. My morning routine included sitting on one of the benches in Muskrat Park at the harbor’s edge with my beloved sheltie, sipping my last cup of coffee and enjoying the view of the boats in the harbor and the parade of my neighbors with their dogs.

The three historic houses at the harbor edge along Green St. to the side of the park created a lovely streetscape. Little did I know then that I would be writing about one today. This house at the end of Green St. sits very close to the water which current setbacks no longer allow so the panoramic views are breathtaking. Offered for the first time, the original part of the house contains a vestibule and stair hall, living room, dining room, sunroom, kitchen, large pantry and mud room on the main floor with bedrooms and one bath on the second floor. An addition at the back of the house contains a ground floor bedroom, walk-in closet and bath with an additional bedroom and another bath upstairs.  

I loved the flow from the stair hall to the large living room, sunroom and dining room. All three rooms had windows with harbor views and the wrap-around windows in the sunroom easily made this room my favorite. The living room had arched doorway openings with trimwork and the built-in next to the fireplace had the same decorative treatment.

Even though the kitchen needs updating, the “bones” are good and the room is large enough to add a peninsula opposite the existing side wall of cabinets for more workspace.  I love butler pantries, and this one at one end of the kitchen has plenty of storage to obviate the need for additional upper cabinets to maintain the kitchen’s open feel.  If one is a gardener, the mud room and laundry off the kitchen leads directly outside.  As I write this the house is under contract and will soon start a new life with a lucky new owner.


For more information about this property, contact Elizabeth Foulds with Long and Foster Real Estate at 410-745-0283 (o), 410-924-1959 (c) or foulds@longand foster.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat: When Dreams and Land Development Meet by Robert Rauch

Land development comes in many different types and sizes. Large or small, every project starts with a dream. Those dreams are often complicated with unexpected reality, the reality that any type of land development is complicated and requires the support of many professional consultants. Here are three very different examples of land development.


George and Mary Livingston purchased a 20-acre waterfront lot on the Miles River to build their dream home. They thought that all they needed to do was to hire an architect to prepare the house plans and find a contractor to build the house. They quickly learned there was much more to the project and many other businesses and professional services were required to get approval to build their dream home.

James Henry and two of his friends and business associates love the Eastern Shore. They dreamed of owning a waterfront farm that they could use for hunting and fishing for their family and friends. They found the perfect, 200-acre farm with 2,000 feet of unprotected waterfront, 40 acres of marsh, 60 acres of woods and 100 acres of productive farm fields. An existing small historic farmhouse was well suited for a hunting lodge.

There was also deep water and they imagined building a dock and owning several boats. Unfortunately, the cost of the property was higher than they could justify for their personal recreation. The eroding shoreline also presented a future expense that they did not have the financial capabilities to complete. They decided that they should subdivide several lots from the farm to generate income to support the project. They believed that the only professional services they would need to create the lots and make the sales was an attorney, a surveyor, a contractor, and a realtor.

The Jumbo Land Company, a nationally recognized planned community developer, placed an option on four separate contiguous farms to create a 600-acre site for a 1,000 unit mixed use development. The developer hoped to be able to get the necessary permits and approvals to start construction in 2 years. Jumbo is an experienced developer and they assembled a team of local experts to get the desired approvals.


The Livingston’s discovered that a survey plat is needed to verify the legal status of the lot or parcel planned for their home. This plat is the basis for the creation of a site plan for the house and all related improvements. The plat must also show all environmentally regulate areas, including tidal and non-tidal wetlands, forest limits, easements, right of ways, and buffers. An environmental scientist must verify the wetland limits and confirm all regulated buffers, setbacks and environmental easements. The surveyor will confirm the location of any legal road, utility, pedestrian or other regulatory easements.

The site plan must show the location of the well and septic system. An environmental scientist that specializes in on-site water and wastewater systems must locate and test an approvable sewage reserve area properly sized for the proposed home. The proposed sewage reserve area must be tested and approved by the local Environmental Health Director. A well driller or qualified consultant must obtain a permit to construct a potable well. An approved stormwater management plan must be designed by a qualified civil engineer. A site and grading plan is required for the construction of all of the site improvements that include driveways, fencing, mounding, swales, landscape areas etc. A sediment and erosion control plan is required for the proposed improvements.

Additional design services are required for pools, out-buildings, docks, shore protection and clearing of wooded areas. If the lot is located in the Critical Area, Critical Area Commission approval may be required. Verification of the 100-year flood plain must be completed by a licensed surveyor. If the regulated floodplain line is determined not to be correct, a registered professional surveyor can prepare a Letter of Map Amendment for approval by FEMA. The acceptance of the new flood boundary can then be used for regulatory purposes and lending institution insurance administration. The Livingstons discovered that the entire purchase, design, permitting and approval process could take well over a year to complete. The construction of the house would take another year to be ready to occupy.

Mr. Henry and his associates will require all of the same professional services that the Livingston’s needed for the development of their single-family home. The scope of the services will however be more extensive due to the size of the property and the multiple lots expected to be developed. A lawyer will be required to represent the partners in the regulatory process required for the desired subdivision. The buyers want to reserve all of marshland for hunting waterfowl, thirty acres of woods for deer and small game hunting, and at least 50 acres of the farm field for goose and dove hunting. Rural Countryside zoning limits the size of subdivided lots to a minimum of 20 acres. The land that the buyers want to reserve for their use can be consolidated into a single lot or divided into six or fewer parcels. Four additional residential lots can be created from the residual 80 acres.

A qualified land planner with complete knowledge of local zoning and subdivision regulations should be employed to design the most efficient site plan and subdivision plan to meet the owner’s needs and create lots that are marketable for the highest return. Decisions related to water access, roads, and wildlife pond construction will require the services of a design engineer. Well and septic services will be required on all of the proposed lots, as well as the parcel that the buyers plan to retain. An environmental scientist will be required to determine if individual wells and septic systems or shared facilities are the best water and sewer option for the project. If the best option for water and sewer service is a shared septic system and well, approval from the Maryland Department of the Environment will be required for design and construction approvals.

An engineer will be required to design the collection, treatment and disposal system for the shared wastewater treatment system and treatment for the shared well. An experience lawyer is necessary for the preparation of community rights and responsibility agreements. This agreement will establish the rights and responsibilities associated with access to the water, maintenance and financial obligations associated with share utilities and shared roads for each lot owner.

The buyers should also employ the services of an architectural archaeologist and an architect experienced in historic restorations to determine what can be done to the historic farmhouse. The approval process for this type of project will require meetings with the county planning staff, Planning Commission, Technical Advisory Committee, and the County Commissioners. Environmental groups, and concerned residents can be expected to participate in the public approval process. Permitting and approval of the project took a great deal more time than expected. Testing for the septic approvals were delayed due to groundwater conditions and testing extended into a second year. The public process and mandatory meeting schedules, hearing requirements and appeals extended the time for the approval of the project to over three years.

The Jumbo Land Company is very experienced and typically prepared for the extensive purchase, design, permitting and approval process associated with a major mixed-use development. A qualified land planning firm with experience in designs for the targeted markets is a necessity. A professional consulting firm that offers engineering, surveying, and environmental science must verify the extents of the property and site development constraints that will limit the developable area for the project. Protected habitat must be identified and incorporated into the site design. Public water and sewer are required for this type of project. A qualified professional will be required to study the capacity of the existing utility systems and quantify the impacts of the proposed development. Conceptual designs, will include collection system and right of ways, pumping stations and well locations, water storage needs, electrical service requirements, and on-site and off-site transportation requirements.

Compliance and consistency with the Comprehensive Master Plan and the Master Water and Sewer Plan is required for review and approval of all aspects of the project. A qualified land development lawyer, the land planner and the engineering team must work together to obtain the required plan revisions to support the project. Stormwater management concept plans should be completed and incorporated into the concept development plan. The public approval process for this type of project is extensive and time consuming. A large investment must be made at-risk to simply prepare a concept suitable for public review and approval. Financing considerations should take into account the long approval process and at-risk investments. A consultant experienced with grant and loan funding can assist in assuring the financial feasibility of the project. Studies, designs, permitting, financing and the public approval process extended over five years. Appeals from opponents and uncooperative public bodies further delayed the start of the project. Fortunately the Jumbo Land Company was not unaccustomed to this type of project timing and was able to survive the delays and start the project.

The names and properties used in the examples are fictional and intended to illustrate typical development scenarios that might be encountered on the Eastern Shore. The description of services and processes related to each type of development are representative of many of the professional services a land developer requires.

Robert Rauch, P.E. is the President of RAUCH inc., a civil engineering, survey, architectural and construction management firm based in Easton, Md. Bob is a Registered Professional Engineer in Maryland, Delaware and Virginia. He serves on the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland, the Board of Directors for the University of Maryland Medical System, and The Board of Visitors of University of Maryland, A. J. Clark School of Engineering, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering. In 2016 RAUCH inc. was recognized as Talbot County’s Small Business of the Year. Bob was also recognized in 2017 as Talbot County’s Businessman of the Year.

Habitat Price Points: What $100,000 to $400,000 Buys You in Talbot County

This week’s feature is a property listed for $149,900 at 21657 Chicken Point Rd on Tilghman Island.

If you were seeking a starter home or a weekend getaway and didn’t mind phasing your renovations, this cottage might be the answer. The lot is on a quiet street and has a detached one-car garage. The one-story cottage has great curb appeal with its large shade tree and front screened porch. The cottage has an attic but to maximize the space you would need to modify the roof for greater headroom.

On one side of the ground floor is a bedroom, bath and a room at the rear currently used as another bedroom. On the other side is a living room, an eat-in “L” shaped kitchen and laundry/utility room. As an architect who loves renovation challenges, I couldn’t resist thinking “what if…?”

Switching the functions of some rooms would create better flow. Relocating the bath to the former laundry would give the bath a window and create a master suite at the rear. Making the kitchen a galley arrangement would create more room for cabinets and create a hall for direct access from the front of the house to the master suite. The former bath would become the laundry/utility room off this hall. The living room and dining rooms would now be at the front of the house.

The cottage has an attic but to maximize the space you would need to modify the roof for greater headroom for future bedrooms. With a little imagination and phased construction this cottage’s space plan would be transformed.

For more information about this property, contact Rondy Asltrom with Tilghman Island Realty, Inc. at 410-886-2400 (o), 410-829-3972 (c) or tilghmanil@aol.com , “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Upper Shore Master Gardener Programs to hold Basic Training

The Upper Shore Master Gardener Programs will hold an 8-week basic training course starting on Thursday, February 22nd, 2018 at Eastern Shore Higher Education Center on the Chesapeake College Campus in Queenstown, MD. This program is intended to train Master Gardeners as volunteer representatives for the University of Maryland Extension to extend our services and programs to the general public. Classes will begin on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday mornings 9 a.m. to noon ending on Saturday, April 21st. This class in held in conjunction with the University of Maryland Extension in Dorchester, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, and Kent Counties.

This well-rounded 40+ hour course includes classes on: ecology, botany, soils, plant diseases, insects – both pests and beneficial, weeds, and much more. This program emphasizes community involvement and outreach as well as environmental stewardship.  A $200.00 fee is charged to cover all costs including the Maryland Master Gardener Handbook.  This University of Maryland Extension Master Gardener volunteer training program is open to the public, 18 years of age and older and payment assistance is available based on need.

MG’s conducted a Bay-Wise Consult on MG Intern Elaine Studley’s home in Centreville, MD (L-R: Elaine Studley, Betty McAtee, Dawn Harris, and Liz Hammond)

The University of Maryland Master Gardener vision is a healthier world through environmental stewardship.  In keeping with this vision, University of Maryland Extension Master Gardeners volunteers work on a variety of projects in cooperation with local schools, help maintain various public gardens, volunteer at local Senior Centers and Assisted Living facilities working with therapeutic gardens and hands-on gardening programs, provide community education through free workshops and classes open to local residents, visit home and public gardens as part of our Bay-Wise certification program…and much more.

For further information, please visit http://extension.umd.edu/events/thu-2018-02-22-1730-upper-shore-master-gardener-basic-training or see us on Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/QueenAnnesCountyMasterGardeners. We are looking forward to working with a new, energetic class of horticulture enthusiasts!

For Queen Anne’s & Kent Counties contact: Rachel J. Rhodes, Master Gardener Coordinator at (410) 758-0166 or by email at rjrhodes@umd.edu.

For Talbot County: Mikaela Boley, Master Gardener Coordinator (410) 822-1244 or by email at mboley@umd.edu

For Dorchester County: Emily Zobel, Master Gardener Coordinator (410) 228-8800 or by email at ezobel@umd.edu

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.

Free Tree Seedlings Available for Eastern Shore Landowners

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is offering free tree plantings to help improve water quality in targeted Eastern Shore communities.

Kent and Queen Anne’s County landowners who have a creek, drainage ditch, stream or other waterway on or near their property are eligible for free tree seedlings through the department’s Backyard Buffer program.

Trees planted along waterways help improve water quality by absorbing excess nutrients, reducing sediment, lowering water temperatures and stabilizing stream banks.

Each “buffer in a bag” contains 25 bare-root, native tree seedlings suited for planting in moist soil conditions. The bundle will include five eastern redbud, five red osier dogwood, five river birch, two to three bald cypress, two to three eastern red cedar, two to three American sycamore and two to three willow oak. Loblolly pine will be bagged separately in quantities of 10 per bag. All seedlings are 1 year old and about 8 to 10 inches tall.

Tree protection tubes will again be available for purchase on orders in both counties through the Queen Anne’s County Forestry Board. The tree shelters will include a 4-foot tube, bird net, wooden stake and zip ties. Tree tubes provide a number of beneficial purposes including, blocking deer rubbing, discouraging animals from chewing on the seedlings, protecting the seedlings from frost damage,  providing markers to identify the trees when mowing, and functioning as small “greenhouses” promoting increased height growth.

Maryland Forest Service staff will provide information on tree growing and planting techniques and tips and other good native species choices at the time of pick up.

All requests must be received by March 22. Interested homeowners should call the Centreville office at 410-819-4120, or 410-819-4121 or email Brittany Hass at brittany.haas@maryland.gov to reserve their seedlings for an early April pick up. Quantities are limited so reservations will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learn to Attract Pollinators Feb. 14 with Horticulturist Ruth Clausen

Most people realize that our food supply would be compromised completely without bees, butterflies, wasps, bats and other pollinators whose very existence is threatened by climate change, decreasing habitat and pesticide use. The good news, however, is that gardens planted with native plants can help to slow the decline of these critical creatures. On Wed., Feb. 14, learn how to provide pollinator-friendly food and habitat when author and horticulturist Ruth Rogers Clausen presents Native Plants to Attract Butterflies, Bees & Other Pollinators.

A native of Wales, Clausen trained as a horticulturist in England and has lived and worked in the United States for many years. She has taught and lectured widely over her lengthy career and has served as an advisor and judge for botanical gardens and flower shows across the country and around the world. A former horticulture editor for Country Living Gardener, she has written several books, including Perennials for American Gardens, co-authored with the late Nicolas H. Ekstrom. Others include Dreamscaping and 50 Beautiful Deer-Resistant Plants. Clausen has received a Quill and Trowel Award from the Garden Writers Association and has written for the American Garden Guides series. She also has contributed to Country Gardens, Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s Handbooks and Reader’s Digest Books.

Presented by Adkins Arboretum in partnership with the Garden Club of the Eastern Shore, the talk will be held at the Talbot County Free Library’s Easton Branch beginning at 11:15 a.m. It is free and open to the public, though advance registration is appreciated at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 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.

Habitat House of the Week: Town Creek Charmer in Oxford

So many of Oxford’s landmark houses have interesting stories and I was quite intrigued to learn about the story this house tells. The building began its life as a schoolhouse in 1899, then was used as a sail loft by the Curtis brothers and in its final metamorphosis became a custom home in 2006. Tax credits from the Maryland Department of Historic Preservation were used and the project was recognized by the Historical Society of Talbot County as well as the DC chapter of the American Institute of Architects and Washingtonian magazine.

This charmer overlooking Town Creek in Oxford has a coastal cottage floor plan with the bedrooms on the first floor, living spaces on the second floor and the entire third floor was a bonus room. A screened porch on the second floor and the third floor deck were great outdoor rooms for water views. Three bedrooms with en-suite baths and the one-story guest house behind the main house easily accommodated family and friends.

I liked the simple cottage form of the house and its exterior color palette of light yellow siding and marine blue trim. I loved how the period charm of the interior stained woodwork, wood wainscot and hardwood floors had not been painted over or covered. The second floor open plan with furniture placement to define the kitchen, dining and sitting areas was a true “great” room. The baby grand, antique dining table and plenty of books made me feel right at home. The minimal overhead kitchen cabinets gave the cook optimal sight lines to be part of the activity. My favorite room was the second floor screened porch overlooking the water that could become a sleeping porch on cool nights.

The spacious master suite with its sleeping and sitting areas had French doors leading outside. The dressing table that was angled at the corner of the room with windows on either side was an inspired decorating touch. The master bath’s dual pedestal sinks and a clawfoot tub continued the historic theme.

For more information about this property, contact Cliff Meredith with Meredith Fine Properties at 410-822-6272 (o) 410-924-0082 (c), or mre@goeaston.net, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Spy House of the Week is an ongoing series that selects a different home each week. The Spy’s Habitat editor Jennifer Martella makes these selections based exclusively on her experience as a architect.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Habitat Choptank Board of Directors Creates Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund

From Left to Right: Nancy Andrew, Lolita Corsey, and Habitat Choptank Board President Charlie Bohn.

Volunteers, staff, homebuyers and community members met at Habitat Choptank homes for sale in Dorchester and Talbot counties to celebrate Nancy Andrew’s eight years of dedication and service to Habitat for Humanity Choptank and to wish her well in her future plans.

Charlie Bohn, President of the Board of Directors of Habitat Choptank, also announced the creation of an Endowment fund in her honor.  Bohn shared the purpose of The Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund is “to honor the legacy that Nancy leaves behind which is characterized by her profound appreciation for and encouragement of volunteers and staff.  Such an investment in those who do so much for our organization can only translate to a more effective and efficient delivery of Habitat’s programs and services, as well as lead to an increased satisfaction and enthusiasm on the part of staff and volunteers.”

Nancy Andrew was deeply moved by the tribute and shared her heartfelt thanks to those in attendance.  “At its core, Habitat is about a community of people coming together in common action: volunteers, home buyers, staff, donors and community partners. The relationships that we create in this effort are one of Habitat Choptank’s greatest resources.  While the Habitat mission is a simple notion of empowering people in need to build strength, stability and self- reliance through affordable home ownership, there are many moving parts that go into delivering on this. As we continue to expand our services, it’s critical that we invest in our people to make growth possible. It’s humbling that Habitat Choptank would put my name to a fund that will serve to support and nurture the people who make the mission so impactful.”

For those interested in contributing to the Nancy Andrew Team Development Fund, Endow Maryland tax credits are available and worth 25% of the contributed amount.  These tax credits are made possible through the Mid-Shore Community Foundation where Habitat Choptank will invest the funds.  Checks can still be made payable to Habitat Choptank, with Andrew Team Development Fund in the memo line, and mailed to PO Box 2366, Easton MD or dropped off at the organization’s main office which is located at 29350 Maple Avenue in Trappe.

Since 1992, Habitat Choptank has empowered 75 households from Talbot and Dorchester counties to build the stability, security and self-reliance that comes from buying a home with monthly mortgage that they can afford. Each home buyer contributed 300-400 hours of “sweat equity” in the building of those houses.  While selling its homes to mostly first time and even first generation home buyers, Habitat Choptank continues to maintain a less than 2% foreclosure rate with only one home foreclosed over the 25 year history. Currently, 12 buyers are working through Habitat’s multi-step program toward purchasing homes under construction in Cambridge, Hurlock and Easton.  For information about home ownership, to volunteer with Habitat Choptank or to make a donation, visit www.habitatchoptank.org or call 410-476-3204.

Habitat Price Points: What $701,000 to $1,000,000 Buys You in Talbot County

Last month the spy had a interview with the outgoing chair of shore Bancshares talking about his extraordinary tenure during the time of major financial destruction in the country and on the Eastern shore. At the conclusion of that interview, Chris noted that while he will remain on the board, that he would be succeeded in the chair position by Frank Mason

The spy thought it was important to catch up with Frank as well to talk about a new era that is starting for one of the largest financial institutions on the Eastern shore as it embarks on an extraordinary new pathway that combines a multitude of financial services for the residents of the Eastern shore

It will be reassuring to the thousands of United shore bank clients that Frank comes from a long-term Eastern shore family where his great-grandfather had also served on the board of Talbot Bank, the precursor to short United.

I only is Frank a native but he’s a graduate of Easton school and runs perhaps one of the more exotic businesses in Talbot County where he handles all North American businesses for a Japanese controlled instrument maker

For more information about this property, contact Traci Jordan with Exit Realty at 410-822-2152 (o) 410-310-8606 (c) or MDShoreRealEstate.@gmail.com, “Equal Housing Opportunity”.

Jennifer Martella has pursued her dual careers in architecture and real estate since she moved to the Eastern Shore in 2004. Her award winning work has ranged from revitalization projects to a collaboration with the Maya Lin Studio for the Children’s Defense Fund’s corporate retreat in her home state of Tennessee. Her passion for Italian food, wine and culture led her to Piazza Italian Market where she is the Director of Special Events, including weekly wine tastings and quarterly wine dinners.

Adkins Arboretum Bus Trip to Philadelphia Flower Show

Celebrate the life-sustaining interplay of horticulture and water when Adkins Arboretum hosts a bus trip to the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show on Mon., March 5. With the theme “Wonders of Water,” the Flower Show will showcase beauty and environmental issues through exhibits ranging from rain forests to rain gardens.

America’s leading floral and garden designers will create tropical jungles, temperate forests, native woodlands and arid landscapes, all highlighting the astounding plants that thrive in each environment—from exquisite orchids and flowering vines to luminescent desert blooms. Guests will enter the Flower Show under a canopy of exotic flowers to marvel at a modernistic multilevel bamboo waterfall. Inspired by the planet’s magnificent rain forests, the Entrance Garden will pay homage to these astonishing and varied ecosystems with towering trees and tiny mosses, creeping vines and wide-spreading ferns, withering leaves and a living roof of green, and colorful flowers in myriad textures. An ever-shifting rain curtain will guide visitors over a “suspended” rope bridge.

Gardeners of all skill levels will find water-wise concepts, including rain gardens and xeriscaping, plant-your-own experiences and ideas they can use in their own home environments, from small urban spaces to expansive landscapes. A new attraction, “America’s Backyard,” will offer smart ideas for outdoor living and conservation tips for the home garden. Guests can also create their own mini-water garden and interact with the delicate inhabitants of “Butterflies Live.” Special features will explore innovative ways green infrastructure is used to protect and conserve our water sources.

Tickets are $95 for Arboretum members, $120 for non-members and include transportation, driver gratuity and admission to the Flower Show. The bus departs from Aurora Park Drive in Easton at 9 a.m. with additional stops at the westbound Route 50/Route 404 Park and Ride at 9:20 a.m. and the Route 301/Route 291 Park and Ride in Millington at 9:45 a.m. Return time is approximately 8 p.m.

The nation’s largest and longest-running horticultural event, the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show features stunning displays by the world’s premier floral and landscape designers. Started in 1829 by the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, the show introduces diverse and sustainable plant varieties and garden and design concepts. It has been honored as the best event in the world by the International Festivals & Events Association, competing with such events as the Kentucky Derby Parade, Tournament of Roses Parade and Indianapolis 500 Festival. Proceeds from the Flower Show benefit the year-round programs of PHS that have become national models of urban greening.

Advance registration is required by Fri., Feb. 9. To register, visit 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.