Timeless Treasures – Houses and Gardens of Talbot County

‘Timeless Treasures’ is the theme for the 2018 Talbot County House and Garden Tour, which will take place on Saturday, May 12th, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., rain or shine.  This year’s tour consists of six extraordinary waterfront properties dating as far back as the early 1700’s.  Sponsored by the Talbot County Garden Club, the tour is part of the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage (MHGP).

Halcyon (Photo Credit – Laura Carney)

Talbot County enjoys more than 600 miles of waterfront and visitors of this year’s tour will explore unique waterfront properties around the County while traveling through history.  The tour will begin in the beautiful gardens of the Talbot County Historical Society and the tour’s information headquarters will be open at the Praeger Family Auditorium located at 17 S. Washington St. in Easton from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day.  From there you can plan your journey through the timeless treasures of Talbot County.  The first two homes are located off of Oxford Road.  Two Coves is situated on over 2 acres of land, with a unique 270-degree view of LeGates Cove.  The home was originally built in 1965 with substantial renovations being completed inside and out since 2011.  Owl’s Nest, which is situated on 13.5 acres overlooking Trippe Creek, was originally built in 1972 on property that once served as the nursery for Canterbury Manor, a 1,000-acre estate which dates back to the 1600’s.  The home has also undergone substantial renovation and redesign.  The next two homes are located down St Michaels Rd.  Halcyon on the Tred Avon River is a venerable property that has gone through substantial renovation since its origin in the mid-19th century.  Today, this gorgeous home is a perfect complement to the extraordinary graceful grounds with lovely outbuildings, an infinity swimming pool and extraordinary outdoor sculptures.  Auburn is situated on 132 acres of farm and woodlands with a mile of waterfront on Shipshead Creek and the Tred Avon River.  The oldest part of the house dates back to the 1700s.  The tour then heads down Goldsborough Neck.  A long driveway leads into Tamarind, overlooking Goldsborough Creek.  Our tour features two of their fabulous guest houses – ‘Heron House’ and ‘The Cottage’ – which exemplify very different architectural styles and interior design.   The tour completes with the historic home, Myrtle Grove. The oldest portion of the home was built between 1724 and 1734.  The home has undergone renovation over the years but the main house continues to adorn many of its original decorative features throughout. In the living room, a window behind the 1888 Steinway grand piano contains the engraved signature of Robert E. Lee.  The gardens have been preserved with all their natural Talbot County beauty as well.  All the homes are truly timeless treasures.

Tour participants are sure to be enchanted with the timeless beauty of all of the unique homes featured on this year’s tour.  Tickets will be $35 in advance at the Maryland House & Garden Pilgrimage web site at http://www.mhgp.org/tickets  or in person at Bountiful and Garden Treasures in Easton. Tickets will also be available for purchase on the day of the tour at all locations for $40. Credit cards will only be accepted for online purchases.

Eat Sprout will be providing locally sourced, organic boxed lunches for $15 at the Prager Family Auditorium located at 17 S. Washington St. in Easton.  They may be purchased online in advance at www.eatsprout.com/gardenclub or the day of the tour at the Praeger Family Auditorium.

For more information please contact the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage at www.mhgp.org  or contact Laura Carney at 410-310-3307 or at laurahcarney@gmail.com

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.

Photographer Matthew Benson will be Speaking on The Photographic Garden

The Talbot County Garden Club welcomes Matthew Benson to speak at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton MD on March 28, 2018, at 1:00 p.m.   The one-hour event is free and open to the public.  It will be followed by a brief Q and A and book signing.

With an emphasis on creative technique and technical literacy, The Photographic Garden is a comprehensive introduction to creating powerful, beautiful, dynamic images in the garden.   Professional photographer Matthew Benson helps you foster a deeper understanding of design and aesthetics and encourages you to develop your own visual sensibility – through hundreds of his own thought-provoking garden images.

Matthew Benson’s photography is in the permanent collection of the International Center for Photography, New York, as well as numerous private and gallery collections.  His work has been awarded both DESI and Society of Publication Designers Awards and appears regularly in magazines, books, catalogs and folios. He is on the National Speakers Tour for the Garden Clubs of America, and lectures widely on Garden and Landscape Photography.   Raised and educated in Europe, with a Masters’ Degree from Columbia University, he is a trans-Atlantic sailor and certified alpine ski instructor. Architecture, design, and biodynamic organic farming are ongoing interests as is the restoration of Stonegate Farm, the 1860s Carpenter Gothic farm and studio in New York’s Hudson Valley.  For more information, please visit his website at http://www.matthewbenson.com.

This event will be held at the Talbot County Free Library at 100 West Dover St in Easton MD and is free and open to the public.  Doors open at 12:45.

Karl Gercens III to present Garden Design Inspiration from around the Globe

Please join the Talbot County Garden Club on January 23rd at 1:30 PM as conservatory horticulturist, Karl Gercens III, whisks us through a few of the 2,500 gardens he has visited in 28 countries since his full-time employment at Longwood Gardens 20 years ago.   Highlights include ideas on using native plants versus exotic ornamentals as well as what to do in the tiny spaces we call gardens these days!  You’ll get tips on pathway design and garden art as well as a few lessons on ‘thinking outside the box’.  This is a presentation you’ll not want to miss!!

Karl Gercens joins us from Longwood Gardens, where he oversees many of the changing displays in the Longwood conservatories. His notoriety for using a pallet of colored foliage trees, shrubs, and perennials continues to funnel the exciting content of his professional lectures given nationwide and his horticultural classes offered at Longwood Gardens. When Karl is not gardening, lecturing, or consulting his horticultural passion extends worldwide with frequent visits to public and private gardens in all 50 states and more than 20 countries! While at those locations, he often takes vibrant and vivid digital photography which he catalogues to share his experiences with others.

This event will be held at the Talbot County Free Library and is free and open to the public.

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.

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.

Celebrate the Season with Floral Designer Ellen Frost

The Talbot County Garden Club welcomes floral designer Ellen Frost on October 24th at 1:30 p.m. at the Talbot County Free Library. This event is free and open to the public.

Come celebrate the beauty and splendor of autumn as Ellen demonstrates using locally grown flowers and foliage to create a naturally beautiful arrangement while speaking about using locally grown flowers.

Ellen Frost is the founder and owner of Local Color Flowers, a design studio in Baltimore, Maryland. Local Color Flowers sources all of its flowers, foliage, branches and plants from farms within 100 miles of Baltimore. She is committed to the responsible use of resources, supporting the local economy and promoting neighboring farms – providing her clients an environmentally and socially conscious alternative when purchasing flowers.   Ms Frost has an MBA from Loyola University and is a Baltimore Master Gardener. She is a national leader in the Local Flowers movement and is an active member of the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers.

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.

Talbot County Garden Club Upcoming Lectures and Events

The Talbot County Garden Club announces its public events for fall 2017 through winter 2018:

October 24, 2017, 1:30 p.m., Talbot County Free Library:  “Autumn Splendor: Floral Design with Ellen Frost”Come celebrate the beauty and splendor of autumn as Ellen Frost demonstrates using locally grown flowers and foliage to create a naturally beautiful arrangement.   Ellen is the founder and owner of Local Color Flowers, a design studio in Baltimore, Maryland. This event is free and open to the public.  For more information, please email Dede Hoopes at dorothyhoopes@gmail.com.

January 23, 2018, 1:30 p.m., Talbot County Free Library:  “Garden Design Inspiration from all Corners of the Globe” Join conservatory horticulturist, Karl Gercens III, as he whisks us through a few of the 2,500 gardens he has visited in 28 countries since his full-time employment at Longwood Gardens 20 years ago! This event is free and open to the public. For more information, please email Dede Hoopes at dorothyhoopes@gmail.com.

February 27, 2018, 1:30 p.m., Talbot County Free Library:  “Bay-Wise Gardening in Talbot County” Perhaps you have seen the blue Bay Wise signs in local gardens and wondered what they signified. Come learn about the Bay Wise program conducted by the Maryland Master Gardener program.  Through the use of beautiful garden photography, presenters will share local gardens that are certified Bay Wise and discuss their journey to become certified. For more information, please email Dede Hoopes at dorothyhoopes@gmail.com.

March 28, 2018, 1:30 p.m., Talbot County Free Library:  “The Photographic Garden – Mastering the Art of Digital Garden Photography” With an emphasis on creative technique and technical literacy, world renowned photographer Matthew Benson will share a comprehensive introduction to creating powerful, beautiful, dynamic images in the garden. For more information, please email Dede Hoopes at dorothyhoopes@gmail.com.

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.

Talbot County Garden Club was ‘Putting on the Glitz’

The Talbot County Garden Club held its biannual Symposium on April 18, 2017, at the Milestone in Easton, MD.  It was a sell out event with 245 attendees, 32 patrons and 14 sponsors.  The majority of the attendees were from Talbot County and the surrounding areas, but quite a few travelled in just for the event.

Chris Olsen (Photo Credit: Marsie Hawkinson)

The all day affair titled Putting on the Glitz featured three nationally acclaimed guest speakers who spoke on an array of topics ranging from Landscape design to Style to Floral Artistry.  The day kicked off with Chris Olsen – Master Designer from Little Rock, Arkansas.  Chris shared amazing ways to take your landscape from “Drab to Fab”, emphasizing color, shape and size in the landscape.  Bettie Bearden Pardee – lecturer and garden connoisseur from Newport, Rhode Island, followed Chris.  Bettie took everyone through the beautiful mansions and gardens of Newport, Rhode Island, sharing excerpts from her book “Living Newport”.  The final speaker of the day was Paige Canfield – owner / designer of Sumner B. Designs in Washington DC.  Paige’s presentation was chock full of bits of information on floral design which she demonstrated through a handful stunning arrangements.  Between speakers, attendees were treated to a farm to table lunch, and they were able to shop on “Roseo Drive”, a marketplace consisting of 14 vendors selling items including home décor, pottery, jewelry, and other accessories.  It was truly a day of day full of style and entertaining, enjoyed by all.

The event is this year’s largest fundraiser for the Talbot County Garden Club.  The funds support the club’s projects throughout the community.

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.

Wow – The Talbot County Garden Club Turns 100

The Talbot County Garden Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Through its civic initiatives and thousands of volunteer hours, the Club has remained an integral part of the community and of Talbot County’s history. The Club’s accomplishments are wide ranging and have continued to enhance the beauty of the community around us.

In 1917, 10 men and women established the Talbot County Garden Club with the initial focus on developing new gardens in the community, restoring old ones and protecting the beauty of the Eastern Shore. Over the years, the mission has been broadened to incorporate the changing needs of the community and the conservation of natural resources but the original themes are still present in the heart and soul of each member.

In celebration, The Talbot County Garden Club will be displaying Centennial banners on Washington, Harrison, Goldsborough and Dover Streets in Easton. The banners will include photos of two of the Club’s various civic projects. The Club will also hold a member luncheon with various state and local leaders invited.

To capture the history of the Club and its accomplishments, The Talbot County Garden Club is publishing a book on their hundred years in Talbot County. The process of planning and writing the book provided us the opportunity to capture our history, especially the lesser known details. It is a vehicle by which we can share our history and accomplishments with our members and the community,” states Missy Warfield, Book Committee Chair and Editorial Director.

A little known fact was that one of the first major projects for the Talbot County Garden Club was the elimination of billboards along RT 50. The effort spanned fourteen years but ultimately resulted in the elimination of 21,000 signs and the unobstructed views while driving through our County. Beautification projects continue today. Most recently, the Club planted 13,000 daffodil bulbs in front of Moton Park along the RT 322 by-pass to commemorate its hundred-year history.

The Talbot County Garden Club has been attributed as the impetus for the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage. Over the last seventy-plus years, the Pilgrimage has grown to a nearly statewide event, with the gardens in Talbot County being among the most popular. Proceeds from the Pilgrimage have been used for projects throughout Talbot County including the design and building of the Talbot Historical Society Garden.

In addition to the Historical Society Garden, Talbot County Garden Club has also contributed to many other projects around the County over the years. Created by the Club, the Fountain Garden at Five Corners and the Frances Plate Memorial Children’s Garden at Idlewild Park continue to be maintained by members of the Club. Through all the efforts, The Talbot County Garden Club has been recognized by several national organizations for its work in beautifying Talbot County.

The Talbot County Garden Club’s mission today is 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 the community and encouraging the conservation of natural resources. With over one hundred active and associate members, the Club is well posed to continue its tradition of partnering with the community to enhance the beauty of the landscape around Talbot County for years to come.