Women’s Civic League of North East Eleventh Annual Secret Garden Tour

The Women’s Civic League of North East announces its Eleventh Annual Secret Garden Tour on Saturday, June 9. The event takes place, rain or shine, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm and features eight gardens in and around the town of North East, Maryland. A self-driving tour showcases the gardens which included a charming town garden and waterfront properties with views of the North East and Elk Rivers. Highlights include meticulous landscaping, water gardens, whimsical statuary, mature wooded areas, and late-spring floral containers.

This annual garden event, sponsored exclusively by Nowland Construction Services, is the major fund-raiser for the Civic League. The League, established in 1951, is celebrating over 65 years promoting literacy in North East, particularly supporting the North East Branch Library. Tickets are $15.00 in advance and may be purchased at North East Town Hall, Kathy’s Corner Shop, and The Silver Buckle on Main Street. Tickets are available for $20.00 on the day of the tour only at St. Mary Anne’s Parish House, 315 South Main Street, North East. Tickets include a map and driving directions.

For further information visit the website wclnortheast.org/upcoming-events/.

The Humane Gardener Author to Speak June 1 at Adkins Arboretum

Hailed as “a passionate and well-researched rallying cry” and as “a palatable and beautifully produced message that…gardeners need to hear,” the best-selling book The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife is an eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species. Join the author, Nancy Lawson, Fri., June 1 at Adkins Arboretum to learn how and why to welcome wildlife to your backyard.

A longtime columnist for All Animals magazine, Lawson is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animal-friendly, environmentally sensitive landscaping methods. Her book fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with the creatures that share our world. Through engaging anecdotes, inspired advice, profiles of gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces.

The talk begins at 1 p.m. and is $15 for Arboretum members, $20 for non-members. 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.

Seeking Beauty with the Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage by Craig Fuller

The 81st Annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage came to Talbot County this past weekend allowing hundreds of people to tour homes and historic sites. These tours in our county and throughout Maryland support the mission of the House and Garden Pilgrimage dedicated to historic preservation and restoration.

My part in all of this was small, but I’ve reflected on what I observed for the past couple days.

One of the homes on the tour belongs to good friends who live just a few houses from us. So, I helped transport those who came to tour the house by driving a golf cart. As hours passed, I met people going into Owls’ Nest on Canterbury Drive in Easton. Then, I saw them coming out.

They entered this beautiful home with great expectations. They came out with expectations seemingly exceeded.

In my three or four minutes with these hundreds of visitors, I found one common theme – they were searching for beauty. The wonderful thing is, they found it.

For the better part of a day, people could seek out the beauty of homes and gardens and find satisfaction. There was a smile on every face and anticipation that as wondrous as the experience just realized had been, the next stop might hold something even more beautiful.

I asked each group in my golf cart if they enjoyed their visit. They never just said “yes.” It went more like, “who couldn’t have a great time in the midst of so much beauty?” Or, “I just can’t believe how perfect everything was in that home.”

People of all ages participated. A number of people dedicated themselves for a day of walking in beautiful places who actually had great difficulty walking.

I’m pretty sure not one home on the tour had the 24/7 cable news shows running. And, I’m certain not one visitor missed the opportunity to hear the latest “Breaking News” tidbit breathlessly delivered. These folks had something more important they were seeking, at least for a day; they wanted to see beautiful things.

Events like this do not happen without great organizers, wonderful volunteers and, of course, those who open their homes to hundreds of unknown visitors. While the organizers will probably find ways to thank those who made a donation to tour the locations in Talbot County, it is we who should thank them for giving so many the opportunity to seek out the beauty in our neighborhoods.

There are Pilgrimages remaining in Cecil County and St. Mary’s County. For more information about these and the Maryland House and Garden program, visit their site. To learn more about their work in Talbot County, click here

Environmental Concern Holds 18th Annual Spring Native Plant Sale

More and more homeowners are planting rain gardens, butterfly gardens and stormwater management gardens. Home gardeners are reaping the benefits by reconnecting with nature and bringing the practice of planting native into their own backyards.

The 18th Annual Spring Plant Sale at Environmental Concern’s Campus in St. Michaels is the perfect place to get inspired, and to pick up native plants grown in EC’s nursery. This year’s sale takes place on Mother’s Day weekend, Friday, May 11th and Saturday, May 12th   from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Garden lovers will find new species, and the popular favorites that have made this event an annual tradition for Eastern Shore gardeners for nearly 2 decades. Growing more than 100 species of shrubs and herbaceous plants for over 46 years, Environmental Concern hosts one of the largest native plant sales on the Eastern Shore.

In addition to the plant sale, EC will host workshops that will inspire and educate customers. “Milkweeds for Monarchs” will be held from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. each day. Participants will learn about the Monarch butterfly, and the dependence of the Monarch caterpillars on native milkweed for survival. Recommendations for plant selection and habitat creation techniques will encourage even first time gardeners to dig in, and get wet and muddy – and don’t forget to shop for the perfect Mother’s day plant. Our experts will be on hand to help you with your plant selection.

There will be a large selection of flowering herbaceous perennials and hardy shrubs. Highlights include colorful red columbines (Aquilegia canadensis) with red and yellow showy, drooping, bell-like flowers, and the Joe pye weed (Eupatorium dubium) which is very attractive to beneficial pollinators. Additional offerings include the Swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius), Blue flag iris (Iris versicolor), and the Northern sea oat (Chasmanthium latifolium), known for its interesting flat foliage and unique seed heads.

Visit Environmental Concern’s Nursery in historic St. Michaels at 201 Boundary Lane. Watch for signs along St. Michaels Road. For more information, call 410-745-9620.

Environmental Concern is a 501(c)3 public not-for-profit organization. All proceeds from the plant sale will help fund EC’s mission to improve water quality and enhance native habitat in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.

Adkins Arboretum’s Forest Fair is Sat., May 19

Hear ye, hear ye! All are invited to revel in a day of forest fun when Adkins Arboretum celebrates its inaugural Forest Fair (with a Medieval Flair), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., May 19.

Adventurers of all ages can embark on a forest quest, visit Robin Hood’s hideout and join in medieval games. Entertainment includes falconry and beekeeping demonstrations, ballads, dance, and performances by Shore Shakespeare. Archery and swordplay will add to the fun. The truly stout-hearted may visit the apothecary for a lesson on natural remedies or forage with a local peasant.

Medieval costumes are encouraged, and imaginations are a must. Forest Fair is $10 for ages 6 and over and free for ages 5 and under. 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.

QA’s County Master Gardeners Plant Sale and 20th Anniversary Celebration

Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners are busy getting ready for their 5th Annual Plant Sale and 20th Anniversary Celebration slated for Saturday, May 12th at the University of Maryland Extension-Queen Anne’s County Office (505 Railroad Ave, Centreville, MD 21617) from 9-noon, rain or shine.

Master Gardener Jane Chambers helps a gardener pick out the perfect plant at our 2017 plant sale.

In addition to mingling with a group of passionate and knowledgeable gardeners, you can buy plants, introduce the kids to pollinator friendly gardening, or ask those questions about your landscape you’ve been wondering about all spring. Master Gardeners are volunteers who are trained by the University of Maryland Extension and will help you select the perfect plant for your garden. Maybe you’ve been longing to have some herbs by the kitchen door, or to grow that perfect heirloom tomato, or try a new variety of eggplant but don’t know how or where to find the plant. You are welcome to request advice about flowers, fruits, vegetable beds and plants that can beautify your yard and provide friendly habitat for wildlife like songbirds, butterflies, bees, and humming birds at our ‘Ask A Master Gardener Plant Clinic.’ While you’re there selecting the perfect plants stop by the Bay-Wise table and learn about turning your garden into a Bay-Wise friendly landscape. And don’t forget to pick out the perfect present for the mom in your life.

For further information please 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 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.

“For the Love of Nature” with Jim Brighton on May 9

Photo by Chris Polk

The Garden Club of the Eastern Shore presents a lecture on “For the Love of Nature” with Jim Brighton. The event will take place on May 9, 11:15 am at Christ Church Parish House, Etherton Hall, Willow St., St. Michaels. Admission is free. It is open to the public and seating is limited.

Jim Brighton’s love of nature led him and web developer Bill Hubick to create the Maryland BioDiversity Project, an online listing and cataloging of eventually all the plant and animal species in Maryland. Maryland Biodiversity Project (MBP) is a non-profit organization focused on cataloging all the living things of Maryland. Their goal is to promote education and conservation by helping to build a vibrant nature study community.

“It is not enough to say that our environment is important. We must act accordingly…..we must all accept the responsibility and act. Action is what will make the difference.”
Jim Brighton upon acceptance of Chesapeake Champion award. Quote from The Talbot Spy.


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.

Adkins Arboretum Announces Spring Open House, Native Plant Sale

Adkins Arboretum, offering the Chesapeake gardener the largest selection of native plants for more than 20 years, announces its Spring Open House & Native Plant Sale weekendApril 27–29. The sale benefits the Arboretum’s education programs and affords the public an opportunity to learn about the Delmarva’s native plants and their connection to a healthy Chesapeake Bay.

Plants for sale include a large variety of native perennials, ferns, vines, grasses and flowering trees and shrubs for spring planting. Native flowers and trees provide food and habitat for wildlife and make colorful additions to home landscapes, whether in a perennial border, a woodland garden or a restoration project. Native honeysuckle entices hummingbirds, while tall spikes of purplish flowers grace blue wild indigo. Milkweed provides critical energy for Monarch butterflies on their winter migration to Mexico, and native azaleas present a veritable rainbow of colorful blooms.

Columbine adds color to the spring garden and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

The Open House weekend kicks off on Fri., April 27 with shopping hours beginning at 10 a.m. Chris Pax, lead designer for the Arboretum’s Native Landscape Design Center, will offer Featured Native Plants, a free program to help identify ideal plants for specific spots in your landscape, at 3 p.m. The public is invited from 4 to 6 p.m. for light fare, music, a cash wine and beer bar, a silent auction and shopping in a fun and festive atmosphere.

Plant sales continue Sat., April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun., April 29 from noon to 4 p.m. Presale orders may be placed at adkinsarboretum.org through April 8. Simply place your order, and your plants will be ready for pick-up during the Open House weekend. Following the Open House, plants will be for sale at the Visitor’s Center throughout the growing season.

The Arboretum is a participating nursery in the Marylanders Plant Trees native tree discount program. For any native tree valued at $50 or more, shoppers will receive a $25 discount. Some of the special larger trees available for this discount include maple, birch, dogwood and holly.

The Arboretum gift shop will be open during the Open House weekend and will offer books and nature-inspired gifts for gardeners. Members, including those who join during the Open House, receive a 10% discount on plant, gift shop and book purchases. Members at the Contributor ($100) level and above receive a 20% discount on plants.

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.

A Talk about “Garden Smart, Garden Easy” on March 23

On Friday, March 23, Tracy Wootten will give a talk about “Garden Smart, Garden Easy – Making Gardening Accessible and Enjoyable for All.” During the many years that Tracy has been working with Master Gardeners, she has collected tips and tricks that can make gardening enjoyable for everyone – even those of us with time or physical limitations.  Not only will Tracy share these fantastic ideas during her talk, she will also bring many tools for demonstration. Attendees will have a change to try out the tools after the talk.

Tracy is the Horticulture Agent for University of Delaware Cooperative Extension in the Sussex County. Tracy has been with the University of Delaware Extension for 28 years. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Delaware. Tracy is responsible for homeowner and commercial horticulture education and helps coordinate the Sussex County Master Gardener program. In addition, Tracy serves as an advisor for the Delaware Nursery and Landscape Association, and provides business risk management programming for Women in Agriculture.

The program is organized by the University of Maryland Extension and will be held at 10:00am at the Kent County Public Library, 408 High Street, Chestertown, MD 21620. This event is free of charge. For more information, please contact Sabine Harvey, 410-778-1661 or sharvey1@umd.edu. For more information about the “Garden Smart, Garden Easy” program, please visit http://extension.udel.edu/lawngarden/garden-smart/

The University of Maryland, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources programs are open to all 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.