Find Unique Gifts, Pamper your Spirit and Have a Ball in Caroline County!

Have you ever said....

The malls are crazy in December!
Those super-stores are a pain - and so huge!
I just don't know what to get {so and so} this season - she's so hard to buy for!
I want to buy local this year and support the Mid Shore community!
To heck with Christmas crazy - I just want to have FUN!

Well, fret no more - because here's the solution! Get thee to these two open houses in Caroline County - have a blast, pamper yourself, and get original (and most welcome) gifts for everyone on your list! 

Saturday, December 1st 10am-6pm: Go to Outstanding Dreams Farm [24480 Pinetown Rd Preston,MD] to play with an alpaca, chat with Phil and Vickie Liske, and lose yourself in the luxurious warmth of alpaca knitwear - it's amazing! Their alpaca store has a large assortment of gifts and sundries - all of the finest quality - and many homemade. Alpaca wool gloves will certainly feel good this snowy winter! If you can't make the open house you can still enjoy the store and many gift offerings - give them a call!

Sunday, December 9  1-4pm: Visit Cindy Draper & Associates [311 Franklin St Denton, MD] for their Holiday Open House! This is THE place to go for massages, reiki, acupuncture, foot reflexology and more. Just walking into the Denton historic home is enough to lower your blood pressure a few points. Who wouldn't love a gift certificate for a full body massage ($60)?  The open house will feature many types of gifts, including essential oil products, photographs, afghans, teas, jewelry and more. Don't miss it!


Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Md., will sponsor its fourteenth annual Art Competition, to exhibit in February and March 2013. The theme of the competition—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore—celebrates the Arboretum’s mission of conservation. The Leon Andrus Award, in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, will be presented to the competition’s winner. A second-place award will also be given.

The competition is open to all original two- and three-dimensional fine arts, including outdoor sculpture and installations. The show will be juried by Alex Castro, lecturer in art and Architect, Exhibition and Book Designer in Residence at Washington College, Chestertown. Castro recently initiated a studio art course in environmental art at the college.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 7, 2013. Digital images of up to three pieces of art by each artist may be sent toart@adkinsarboretum.org. Submissions should include title, medium, dimensions (maximum of 6 feet in any direction, excluding outdoor sculpture), and artist’s name and address. Works should reflect or interpret broadly the show’s theme of wild nature and landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain region.

The artists of work selected will be contacted by Jan. 18 to submit the original art ready to hang by Feb. 1. The exhibit will open Feb. 4 and will run through March 29, 2013 with a reception on Sat., Feb. 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. There is no fee for the competition, but artists are responsible for all shipping expenses. Selected artists may be considered for future exhibits at the Arboretum.

For more information, visit http://www.adkinsarboretum.org/programs_events/art.html, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or send e-mail to info@adkinsarboretum.org.


If ever there was art that communicates the exuberance of nature, Katherine K. Allen’s work is it. On view at Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through Nov. 30, her captivating exhibit of botanical works, titled Dance of the Seasons, teems with the energy of life. On Sat., Oct. 27 from 3 to 5 p.m., there will be a reception with the opportunity to talk with Allen about her unusual way of making art.

Allen delights in experimenting. In her sunny studio in a forest clearing near Easton, she paints, stitches by hand and by machine, collages, and screen-prints ink on top of plants so that when she lifts them away, their silhouettes remain, preserving the details of their leaves, stems and seedheads with photographic crispness. Over the past eight years or so, she has been developing this unique method of creating botanical artworks that are as inventive as they are energetic and colorful.

While earning her BFA from the University of Arizona and MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Allen studied a wide variety of art mediums. She went on to work as a sculptor, then moved on to art quilts, before focusing on creating botanical art on fabric.

She explained, “I took everything in art school, and now this represents the snowball effect of it all coming together.”

Small brushstrokes in pastel shades of yellow, salmon pink, lilac and blue dance around the tall grasses that fan across the surface of “Tangible Light.” Within the silhouettes of the plants, splashes of bright color show through from an earthy green-brown layer underneath. It’s as if both the plants and the air are pulsing with activity.


With its forests, thickets, marshes, rivers and creeks, the Eastern Shore’s natural landscape provided a passageway to freedom along the Underground Railroad for hundreds, and possibly thousands, of slaves, including abolitionists Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman. Designated as a “Place to Visit” on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway, Adkins Arboretum reflects the conditions through which slaves traveled en route to freedom, and serves as a dramatic vista to experience the little-known relationship between nature and the Underground Railroad.

With grant support from Maryland Humanities Council and Maryland Heritage Area Authority, the Arboretum will produce a stimulating, educational and thought-provoking interpretive project that explores the role of nature for those in pursuit of freedom via the Underground Railroad. The two awards, totaling $28,000, will expand the Arboretum’s capacity to tell the story and experience of the Underground Railroad and make a significant contribution to the development of the Underground Railroad Scenic Byway.

Notes on the River - Team Efforts

By Tim Junkin

Just last month, Drew Koslow, our Choptank Riverkeeper, working in collaboration with landowners Ann and Bill Collier, managed the installation of three agridrain structures on  Collier’s Morgan Farm, located in northern Caroline County near the town of Henderson.  These structures are designed to reduce nitrogen loads entering our streams and rivers. 

The Colliers grow corn, soybeans, and wheat, and raise broilers in two poultry barns on their 600 acre farm.  Their crop fields drain into ditches, some of which are normally dry, but carry surface runoff into nearby PDA’s, that drain to the Tuckahoe River during rain events.  The agridrain structures serve as little dams in the ditch, with a series of flashboards that allow the Colliers to regulate the water levels upstream of the structures.  The water retained in the ditch facilitates a biological process whereby nitrate that is dissolved in the water is converted to harmless nitrogen gas—a process termed denitrification.  Such devices have been shown to reduce nitrate levels in ditches by up to sixty percent. As an incidental benefit, they also raise the water table during dry weather, providing moisture to the roots of established crops.

Bill and Ann Collier are leaders in conservation initiatives in our community and longstanding members of the Choptank Tributary Strategy Team.  Some time ago Bill urged Midshore Riverkeepers to become more active in assisting farmers in the development of innovative pollution reduction measures, and offered to collaborate in the effort.  Drew Koslow located and, through MRC, secured a $48,000 grant from the Chesapeake Fund to implement this project.  He helped manage the project and will test the water coming out of the ditch for several years to evaluate the results.  The actual funding was provided by Pepco Holdings and administered by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and Forest Trends.  John Shepard and Caroline County’s Soil Conservation District surveyed and designed the project.  It became a team effort.


The villains of Dangerous Beauty are some of the familiar plants that make the Eastern Shore so beautiful in spring. In this show of watercolors and drawings of invasive plants, now on view at Adkins Arboretum, you will see the pretty white blossoms of Bradford pear trees, elegant purple wisteria blossoms that so often grace porch trellises, and the orange daylilies that brighten our roadsides. But as botanical artists Lee D’Zmura and Tina Brown will tell you, there’s something wrong here.

On view through July 27, with a reception on Sat., June 23 from 3 to 5 p.m., this show was six years in the making. Creating botanical art is a slow business, as the character of each plant must be faithfully reproduced, and these two artists have a message to get across.

Invasives are plants that spread aggressively outside of their natural ranges. When they colonize a new area, there are often no natural controls, such as insects, diseases or foraging animals, to keep them in check, and they may choke out native plants and destroy the food sources of native animals.

The arching prickly red stems of wineberry shown in one of Brown’s mixed media paintings have become a familiar sight in our local fields, and English ivy, illustrated in a watercolor by D’Zmura, smothers trees in many neighborhoods. Both were originally brought to North America as garden plants.

Brown explained, “Sometimes people plant them. Sometimes they come by accident.”

An example of a species that arrived by accident is the one animal in the show, the brown marmorated stink bug. In a small drawing showing the exquisitely intricate patterning on the stink bug’s shell, D’Zmura portrays the annoying insect that has quickly become all too familiar to most of us since it arrived from Asia in 1998 hidden in some packing materials.

Fairy Forest Garden Party

Friday, April 27th & Friday, May 4th 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Joviality, 406 Market Street, Denton


The Fairies are coming!  Joviality will be hosting a Fairy Forest Garden Party.  Come at twilight to see the garden aglow with lights, fairies, and tree gnomes.  $2.00 admission includes children's activities and treats, with proceeds benefiting the Denton Child Care Development Center.  Fairy items, painting your own pottery & face painting will also be available.


Rain Date: Friday, May 11th. Contact: 410.479.0426   

National Public Gardens Day.

FRIDAY, MAY 11 is National Public Gardens Day. Admission is free to Adkins Arboretum!



First Saturday Guided Walk
Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m.
Saturday, June 2, 10 a.m.
Saturday, July 7, 10 a.m.
Saturday, August 4, 10 a.m.
Explore the Arboretum’s diverse plant communities on a guided walk led by an Arboretum docent naturalist. Explore the bottomland forest and upland paths, meander through majestic beech trees, traverse the native meadows, and follow the narrow Tuckahoe Creekside path. Free for members, free with admission for the general public. 410.634.2847, ext. 0 for more information. 

Second Saturday Guided Walk
Saturday, May 12, 1 p.m.
Saturday, June 9, 1 p.m.
Saturday, July 14, 1 p.m.
Saturday, August 11, 1 p.m.

Come on a unique journey toward understanding native plants and how they can become a greater part of your home garden. Horticulturalist Eric Wittman will lead a walk about gardening with ornamental native plants. Join this walk to learn about native plants and how they can become a greater part of your home gardening experience. Free for members, free with admission for the general public. Register at adkinsarboretum.org or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0.


FRIDAY, MAY 11 is National Public Gardens Day. Admission is free!


Pet Pantries, a not-for-profit corporation based in Easton, will hold a series of raffles at their booth at this year's Oxford Day celebration to further their mission of providing pet food to three area shelters and to individual pet owners. 

This year's Oxford Day, an all-day family celebration held in the historic Eastern Shore town, will take place on Saturday, April 28th, rain or shine. The Pet Pantries' booth will feature several raffle items including two beautiful planters filled with dwarf English Boxwood and annuals, original framed photographs, and an original painting by well-known folk artist Danny Doughty. (Note that all of these items would make perfect gits for Mother's Day -- support a good cause and wrap up your Mother's Day shopping!) Participants in the raffle will choose the items they want by putting their tickets in the doggie bowl in front of the item; winners will be announced at 1 PM -- so get there early!

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