Month: April 2018

Beware of boxwood twig blight

Be on the alert for Boxwood Twig Blight. The fungus Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum first presents itself as leaf spot followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy. The fungus can remain in fallen leaves, so be sure to rake up fallen twigs and throw away (do not compost). Research is still being conducted to find a solution to get rid of this fungus. Ridding the plant of diseased branches and raking up all dropped leaves is the best prevention. WEEK ONE • Place Easter Lilies in medium indirect light and keep soil lightly moist. Pinch off stamens (yellow pods) in each lily to prevent its yellow powder from discoloring flower blooms. When flowers fade, pinch below the flower and move plant into full sun. Continue to keep soil lightly moist, but begin fertilizing every other week at half-rate. In early June, plant in well-drained soil in the garden (morning sun, afternoon shade). The plant will flower in mid-June in future years. • Prune and shape up crape myrtles you wish to grow as trees before they bloom. Remove any dried flower clusters or seed pods. To encourage a canopy to form, remove the branches a third of the way up the trunk. Always remember to remove any branches rubbing across others and any growing into the center of the canopy....

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Tax time doesn’t have to be taxing

Last month, we completed our dreaded trip to our accountant’s for our annual filing of our tax return. I say “dreaded” because of all the receipts and paperwork I have to go through from the past year to make sure I have calculated all of our deductions correctly. This year’s process was far less cumbersome, thanks to a purchase I made using last year’s tax refund — a handy document scanner that I now use to scan each receipt and piece of paper that I need to save. I have everything saved by month and category on my computer with a back-up on our family’s Cloud account. It takes just seconds to do each time I need to scan and save something and has not only helped streamline the process of finding receipts but has helped to ultimately declutter my desk! Do you find your family finances to be in need of some simplification? I have compiled some simple living hacks to help you streamline your financial life so you can better monitor — and perhaps even make improvements — everything happening with your hard earned money! • Streamline Your Banking Life: When my husband and I first got married, we had accounts at several banks. We had his-and-hers checking and savings accounts, a spending account at a different bank that enticed us with one of those signing bonuses,...

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Early bloomers get the party started

April is when spring really starts to bloom! Spring, to me, is always a treasure hunt — walking around the gardens and seeing what is up and blooming as well. A few of the plants that bloom include Phlox subulata (Moss Phlox), Aurinia saxatilis (Basket of Gold), Bergenia cordifolia (Heart Leaf Bergengia), Iberis semperviens (Candytuft), Iris cristata (Crested Iris). Some plants like the Moss Phlox and Crested Iris are natives to North America while the Basket of Gold, Heart leaf Bergengia and Candytuft arrived from other continents. I always try to include the botanical names of the plants I talk about so if anyone falls in love with them, they will be easy to find. Common names are fun and picturesque, but often they reflect a region or a portion of a state, or just because someone thought it sounded good, but that doesn’t make it easy to find in a garden center. The native Phlox subulata or Moss Phlox comes in so many pastel spring colors — blues, pinks, blush and pure white. The plant is an evergreen groundcover that needs full sun and excellent drainage which is perfect for our sandy soils on the Eastern Shore. I love the fact that it starts to bloom sporadically in February and March, but comes into its full glory in April. Many perennials bloom only for two weeks, but the...

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Sale Barn rolls with punches

The Olde Sale Barn has been in Caroline County since the early part of the 20th Century. It has evolved from a livestock auction barn to an arena for amateur boxing matches to an antique mall with an event venue. The Olde Sales Barn’s transformation is a reflection of changes on Delmarva and on the American landscape. It is also a good example of repurposing and preserving a historic building. The 30,000 square foot building was built as a livestock auction barn around 1941. It was used as an auction barn from 1946 to 1980 according to Steven Cahall, father of the current owner Jodie Cahall. “All the lumber used to build it was taken from the woods on the lot,” Steven said. “It was an auction barn for a long time with a meat store down on the end.” “My sons used to work at the barn when they were younger,” he added. “Jodie always had a dream of owning the barn and having a business here.” Jodie now has several businesses on the property including a concrete shop, antique mall and a wedding venue. There are other family members who work at the Olde Sales Barn with Steven and Jodie. Jodie’s mom, Debra, and two brothers join dad Steven in part-time positions. Today the Olde Sale Barn is a beautiful reminder of a less complicated and more...

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Checking out at the seed library

For the second growing season in a row, Mid-Shore residents once again can bask in the best of both worlds, courtesy of the Free Seed Library at Talbot County Public Library’s main branch, 100 W. Dover Street in Easton. Sponsored by the University of Maryland Extension Office, the Free Seed Library is aptly housed in an iconic wooden card catalog near the circulation desk, next to the copy machine, and just across the aisle from DVDs, with CDs, magazines, personal computers, and, of course, books, all within easy reach. Nostalgic ambience aside, the catalog’s drawers are perfectly sized for...

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Upcoming Events

  1. Chesapeake
 Memorial
 Exhibit

    April 3 - May 30
  2. Wetland
 Wandering

    April 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm
  3. Spring
 Open
 House
 &
 Native 
Plant
 Sale

    April 27 @ 8:00 am - April 29 @ 5:00 pm
  4. 2nd
 Annual
 KART
 Klassic
 Golf
 Tournament

    April 27 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
  5. 24th 
annual
 Oxford
 Day


    April 28