Plein Air Oil Paintings by Diane DuBois Mullaly at Adkins Arboretum

There’s something magnetic about Diane DuBois Mullaly’s tiny plein air oil paintings in her show Light and Life, on view in the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through Dec. 1. At only six inches square, their energy and color entice you to take a closer look. At the show’s reception, from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sat., Oct. 20, this Easton artist will explain why she came to the Arboretum again and again over the past year to paint its trees, meadows and wetlands in all kinds of light and weather.

Whether flooded with brilliant sunlight or glowing with the suffused light of an overcast day, these little paintings are all about the different qualities of light, color and texture she found. While many of them show wide vistas of autumn meadow grasses or paths winding into the forest, as Mullaly grew more and more familiar with the Arboretum’s landscapes, she also began to paint some of the things that make it special, including gourds hung up for nesting purple martins, the rainbow picket fence of the children’s garden, a tree decorated for last year’s Candlelit Caroling event and even one of the Arboretum’s goats.

Mullaly paints with a palette knife, troweling the paint on, sometimes scraping it back, sometimes adding more on top, until each painting hums with textures and layers of surprising color. Each one is a fleeting portrait of a specific place in the Arboretum at a specific time in a specific season. On another day—or even a few hours later—each scene would have been different.

“Filled with Life” is part of Light and Life, Diane DuBois Mullaly’s exhibit of plein air oil paintings.

The idea for this series of paintings grew from the Daily Painting movement, which began a dozen years ago when artist Duane Keiser began posting a new painting each day and offering it for sale online. Mullaly learned about the movement and was subsequently able to study with another of its leaders, Carol Marine. Marine’s book Daily Painting helped define the process as a practice of creating a small painting every day by working in a fresh, loose manner with the emphasis on spontaneity and experimentation.

“Part of the whole point is making it a daily habit,” Mullaly explained. “It takes away the ‘preciousness’ of each one so that if you fail, it’s fine because you’re going to do another one tomorrow. It’s a good way for artists to create an income, too.”

Daily painting practice can help an artist overcome procrastination and gain confidence. Painting so often also can lead to a steady stream of ideas and self-discovery.

A graduate of Tyler School of Art of Temple University and an award-winning plein air painter, Mullaly teaches workshops in Daily Painting at Easton’s Academy Art Museum. In addition, she recently completed Maryland Master Naturalist training at the Arboretum.

“With the Master Naturalist training, I was here a lot,” she noted. “I wanted to do that to figure out a way to connect art and science, and it was so interesting to learn everything that was taught.”

With this new perspective and her artist’s eye, Mullaly found a seemingly infinite variety of things to paint in the landscape she was coming to know so well. Many of her paintings were created outdoors, but when weather or her schedule didn’t allow, she worked in her studio using field studies, memory and photos for reference.

“It was just a joy to do this,” she said. “It’s amazing what I found here.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Dec. 1 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 offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Northern Caroline’s Native Gardens on Adkins Arboretum’s “Celebrating Natives” Tour

When summer’s flowers fade, fall offers the garden another chance to shine. Discover the beautiful colors of autumn and structural elements in the garden when Adkins Arboretum hosts its sixth annual “Celebrating Natives” Fall Garden Tour on Sat., Oct. 6.

Featuring gardens in northern Caroline County, the tour includes four private gardens, a private farm and Adkins Arboretum, which will offer a First Saturday guided walk. The tour gardens are currently in the process of design, either with Chris Pax, lead designer for the Arboretum’s Native Landscape Design Center, or through personal design to transform them to native sanctuary. Each property demonstrates a different phase of thoughtful and innovative design. Participants are advised to meet at the Arboretum and carpool for the 45-mile self-guided driving tour.

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., Oct. 6 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $25 in advance at adkinsarboretum.org or $30 the day of the tour at Adkins Arboretum, 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely. Check-in will begin at 9 a.m. Restrooms will be available at the Arboretum, and a list of local restaurants will be provided. Participants are advised to bring a reusable water bottle, as refill stations will be available at some of the gardens. For more information or to order tickets, 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 offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Awarded Grant from PNC Foundation for Nature Preschool Programs

Adkins Arboretum has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the PNC Foundation to continue making nature-based education more accessible to local children through its Acorn Academy Nature Preschool program.

“We love being able to offer free nature preschool classes to children who live in Caroline County,” said Adkins Assistant Director Jenny Houghton. “Preschool is the perfect age to encourage imaginative outdoor play, and thanks to PNC, we’ll be able to provide our littlest explorers with hands-on nature fun and give back to the community at the same time.”

Jenny Houghton, assistant director of Adkins Arboretum, leads a program for preschoolers and their families.

This is the third year that the Acorn Academy Nature Preschool at Adkins Arboretum has been awarded a grant from the PNC Foundation, which receives it principal funding from The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. During the first year, funding allowed the Arboretum to offer one session of nature preschool programs per season at no cost to residents of Caroline County. These popular programs for children ages 3 to 5 engage children with nature and serve as an introduction to the outdoors, wildlife and conservation while also providing school-readiness skills. Subsequent grants have allowed the Arboretum to expand its preschool offerings to two sessions per season.

Environmental education has been linked to improved academic achievement and encourages stewardship, pride and ownership. Adkins Arboretum’s Acorn Academy Nature Preschool puts students on the path toward cultivating a meaningful awareness of the human-environmental connection and instills basic tenets of critical thinking and investigation skills.

Ten-week fall Acorn Academy Nature Preschool programs are held on Tuesdays or Wednesdays from 10 to 11:15 a.m. beginning Sept. 11. Registration is underway at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.  Space is limited to 15 students per class.

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 adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

The PNC Foundation actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes arts and culture.

Adkins Arboretum Announces Fall Open House and Native Plant Sale

Enjoy fall in the garden! Adkins Arboretum will hold its annual Fall Open House and Native Plant Sale Fri. through Sun., Sept. 7–9 at the Arboretum in Ridgely, Md. The sale will be held at the Visitor’s Center.

The Arboretum offers the Chesapeake region’s largest selection of ornamental native trees, shrubs, perennials, ferns and grasses. Many native plants produce seeds, flowers and fruit in fall that attract migratory birds and butterflies. Brilliant orange butterfly weed and stunning red cardinal flower attract pollinators to the garden, while native asters add subtle shades of purple and blue. Redbud and dogwood dot the early-spring landscape with color, and shrubs such as aronia and beautyberry provide food and habitat for wildlife.

Fall is the best season for planting. Trees and shrubs planted in fall have a chance to set roots before the heat and stress of summer. The Arboretum participates in the Marylanders Plant Trees program, an initiative by the State of Maryland to encourage residents to plant native trees. The program offers a $25 coupon toward the purchase of native trees that retail for $50 or more.

Common milkweed (Asclepia syriaca) provides a subtle touch of color in the landscape and attracts bees, butterflies and other pollinators. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

The Open House begins on Fri., Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m., landscape designer and native plant enthusiast Chris Pax will offer Featured Native Plants, a free program to help shoppers identify the best plants for their landscape conditions. From 4 to 6 p.m., the public is invited for light fare, music, a cash wine and beer bar and shopping in a fun and festive atmosphere.

Plant sales continue Sat., Sept. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 1 p.m., Shane Brill will present Wild Food in Native and Novel Ecosystems, a program that blurs the lines between gardening and foraging and explores the edible potential of the Eastern Shore. The program is $15 for members and $20 for non-members. The sale concludes Sun., Sept. 9 from noon to 4 p.m. Following the Open House, plants will be sold through the fall at the Visitor’s Center.

Members receive a significant discount on plant purchases. Presale plant orders will be accepted at adkinsarboretum.org through Thurs., Aug. 16 and may be picked up anytime during the Open House weekend.

Proceeds from plants sold at the Fall Open House benefit the Arboretum’s education programs. For more information, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or visit adkinsarboretum.org.

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.

Welcome Fall at Adkins Arboretum’s Magic in the Meadow Gala

Celebrate autumn’s arrival and the splendor of nature at Adkins Arboretum’s Magic in the Meadow: An Equinox to Remember! Tickets are now available for this annual gala event on Sat., Sept. 22. Proceeds benefit the Arboretum’s education programs that promote the conservation and preservation of the Chesapeake Bay region’s native landscapes.

Guests gather near the meadow at Adkins Arboretum’s 2017 Magic in the Meadow gala.

Set against the Arboretum’s backdrop of forests, meadows, wetlands and streams, Magic in the Meadow will showcase the magic and elegance of nature. As twilight falls, guests will enjoy signature cocktails on the wetland bridge and explore the meadow and woodland paths by foot or by tram. Scrumptious hors d’oeuvres, hoop dance performances and a lesson by Baltimore artist Melissa Newman (performing as Mina Bear) and a tantalizing array of silent auction items will add to the evening’s allure. World-class jazz by the Peter Revell Band and a moonrise over golden meadow grasses will set the stage for dancing and an unforgettable autumnal equinox.

Tickets are $75 per person ($50 tax deductible) and may be reserved at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410.634.2847, ext. 0.

Magic in the Meadow is generously sponsored by Shore United Bank and Avery Hall Insurance Agency, Inc. Contact Kellen McCluskey at 410-634-2847, ext. 34 or at kmccluskey@adkinsarboretum.org for information about sponsorship opportunities.

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.

Adkins Arboretum to Host Beer Garden Aug. 25

The Simmons Family will play bluegrass tunes and other favorites when Adkins Arboretum hosts its inaugural Beer Garden.

Enjoy local beer, delectable seafood and toe-tapping music when Adkins Arboretum hosts its inaugural Beer Garden with Bull & Goat on Sat., Aug. 25.

Specializing in craft beer brewed with premium malts, hops and yeasts, Centreville’s Bull & Goat Brewery will serve beer and homemade root beer. Bay Shore Steam Pot, also based in Centreville, will serve fresh seafood, and the Simmons Family will play bluegrass tunes and other favorites. Siblings Mary, Dave and Jon Simmons are known for their tight harmonies and virtuoso guitar and fiddle playing.

The Beer Garden runs from 4 to 7 p.m. As the day cools down, guests can take a woodland walk or join in games. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for children ages 3 to 18 and free for children ages 2 and under. Beer and food are an additional fee.

Advance registration is appreciated. 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 offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Graduates Master Naturalist Class

In July, Adkins Arboretum graduated its 2018 class of Maryland Master Naturalist interns. Geared toward the study of the coastal plain, the program provides training for volunteers to learn and share knowledge of the natural world in Maryland and engages citizens as stewards of Maryland’s natural ecosystems and resources through science-based education and volunteer service in their communities. The Arboretum offers Master Naturalist training annually in partnership with Pickering Creek Audubon Center and Phillips Wharf Environmental Center.

Pictured are (front row, left to right) Marilyn Reedy, Diane DuBois Mullaly and Joyce Woodford. Back row, left to right, are Samantha Pitts (Pickering Creek program facilitator), June Middleton, Mimi Cozy, Robyn Affron (Adkins program facilitator) and Mark Cozy. Not pictured are Mary Fairbanks, Tom Hylden, Peter Tallie and Blake Steiner.

Individuals accepted into Master Naturalist training receive 60 hours of instruction, including hands-on outdoors experience. All classes are taught by experts in the subject. The curriculum includes sessions on Maryland’s natural history, flora and fauna, principles of ecology, human interaction with the landscape, and teaching and interpretation. Following training, participants serve in their communities as University of Maryland Extension volunteers.

Training sessions for the 2019 Master Naturalist class will be held monthly from October to July. The program fee is $250. For more information or to apply for the Master Naturalist program, contact Robyn Affron at 410-634-2847, ext. 25 or raffron@adkinsarboretum.org, or visit extension.umd.edu/masternaturalist.

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.

Terra Incognita, Photographs by Matthew Moore, on View at Adkins Arboretum

With their exquisite color and flawless clarity, Matthew Moore’s desert photographs are enticing, yet they speak of a strange mix of beauty and desolation. On view at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through Sept. 29, they capture the allure of the desert environment and the curious ways it is affected by human presence. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., Aug. 18 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Intrigued by a brief visit to the high desert south of Los Angeles, this Easton artist applied for a month-long artist residency through the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist-in-Residence program in Joshua Tree, Calif. Because of his teaching schedule as an Associate Professor of Photography and Chair of the Visual Arts Department at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, Md., he had to request that his residency be in the summer.

“Most people like to go there in the spring,” he said. “It was really hot, but I liked it. It’s dry heat, and it’s technically high desert, so it gets cold at night. What makes Joshua Desert kind of a weird place is that it’s where two deserts merge, so it’s where the terrain changes.”

Located at the intersection of the two distinct ecosystems of the Mohave Desert and the Colorado Desert, Joshua Tree National Park is home to rugged hills, wind-sculptured rocks and a wide variety of plant and animal species. Its beauty and remoteness have made it a haven for artists, hippies and religious zealots, and, in addition to his large landscape photographs, Moore has included tiny polaroid shots of some of the artists, swap meet vendors and eccentrics he met there. A further wrinkle is the nearby presence of a Marine Corps training ground for soldiers bound for Iraq.

Matthew Moore, “Coachella Valley,” pigment print, 24″ x 30″

Despite their stunning photographic beauty, Moore’s landscapes all have an uncomfortable edge to them. There’s something strange, desolate or dangerous in each of them.

In one photo, a broad plain studded with the singular silhouettes of bristling Joshua trees is punctuated by a fallen balloon glowing bright blue from a tangle of scrubby plants. In another, a crumbling pier juts out over the bizarre raspberry pink waters of a finger of the Salton Sea, a large inland saline lake formed by the floodwaters of a failed irrigation project. And in a third, under a sky of seemingly infinite blue, the warm russet glow of a wide desert landscape is interrupted by a battered metal drum that marks the border between the military training ground and the safety of the park.

Moore is fascinated with how the human presence insinuates itself into the landscape, no matter how remote. The shiny blue balloon was likely carried on the wind from a sweet sixteen party in the LA suburbs. In other photographs, he captures pure magic in the glow of distant city lights seen from the night-dark desert, but he also documents the scraggly remnants of half-deserted resort towns that tell of the harshness of this arid place.

Throughout the exhibit, there’s a sense of paradox. People are drawn to the desert’s stark beauty and its sense of boundlessness and freedom, yet in coming there, they sacrifice the comforts and safety of more conventional lifestyles, and their activities leave lasting scars.

Human activity is a given here in Maryland, where agriculture, forestry, towns and cities have permanently altered the landscape. The spare panorama of the desert is in sharp contrast to the complicated beauty of our lush, green environment, but both places are deeply affected by our human presence. Moore’s compelling images spark close consideration of our relationships with the landscapes that we live on and have come to love.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Sept. 29 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 offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Join Adkins Arboretum for Trip to Delaware Botanic Gardens and Rehoboth

Boasting 37 acres along Pepper Creek, a tributary of Indian River Bay, Delaware Botanic Gardens is situated in the sandy, verdant, gently rolling coastal plain. On Wed., Aug. 22, join in a unique opportunity to preview the garden before its official opening when Adkins Arboretum hosts a bus trip to DBG and Rehoboth Beach.

In the morning, DBG Director of Horticulture Gregg Tepper and legendary horticulturist and garden writer Ruth Clausen will lead a tour of the garden site. Situated on a rare hill, DBG’s existing 12-acre hardwood forest slopes down to a wetland marsh and more than 1,000 feet of waterfront along a broad, navigable tidal creek. The two-acre Meadow Garden, designed by internationally known Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, is the jewel in DBG’s crown. When completely planted, this garden will comprise 65,000 herbaceous perennials and grasses.

Photo Courtesy of Delaware Botanic Gardens

Following the tour, the bus will travel to Rehoboth for lunch and a beach walk or shopping.

The trip fee of $75 for members and $95 for non-members includes transportation, driver gratuity and the tour at DBG. The bus leaves Aurora Park Drive in Easton at 8 a.m. and the Route 50/404 westbound park and ride at 8:20 a.m. It will depart Rehoboth at 4:30 pm. and return to Easton at 6 p.m.

Advance registration is required 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, conservation and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Completes Wetland Enhancement Project

Adkins Arboretum staff and volunteers recently completed a wetland enhancement project with funding from Chesapeake Bay Trust’s Outreach and Restoration Grant Program, in partnership with the City of Baltimore, Baltimore City Department of Public Works, Charles County and Clean Water Howard. The enhancement project entailed removing 18,000 square feet of invasive plants; installing 17,000 square feet of native trees, shrubs, grasses, herbaceous perennials and ferns; and retrofitting a water control structure that allows staff to alter the water level within the wetland. In addition to increasing open-water habitat, this measure allows staff to control some invasive grasses that take root in the wetland through natural means of submersion and cutting back.

This year, volunteers and staff are working to monitor the wetland’s water quality and its flora and fauna. The Arboretum’s Wetland Wrangler volunteers meet every second and fourth Friday mornings to work in the wetland. So far, they have planted buttonbush, blue flag iris, swamp rose mallow and soft rush; removed the invasive reed canary grass; and have identified countless frogs, birds and aquatic macroinvertebrates.

The Arboretum extends special thanks to its volunteers and to volunteers from the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, the District 2 State Highway Administration Team, the Maryland Conservation Corps, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the Benedictine School, Centreville Middle School’s sixth graders and interns from Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center for their hard work in helping to enhance the wetland.

For more information, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or visit adkinsarboretum.org.

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.