Category: Features

Lavender as useful as its loveliness

Lavender is one of the most popular of all herbs for the fragrance of its dried flowers and the oil distilled from them. It is used most often in sachets, perfumes, and baking as its aroma is touted for its relaxing powers over the senses and the body. As summer begins and schedules can get as crammed as any other time of the year, June is prime blooming time for many lavender varieties and offers incentive to clip a fresh bunch and enjoy the fragrance as it dries. For Debbie Brohawn, who grows about three quarters of an acre...

Read More

Cambridge rain gardens rein in runoff

On summer Sunday evenings it may seem to take forever, traveling Route 50 West from Cambridge to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, but eventually you get there. The slow, steady drip of cars creeping towards the Bay may be a source of frustration to weekend beach commuters. But to those concerned with tainted stormwater runoff from Cambridge roofs, streets, and other impermeable surfaces ultimately to the beleaguered Bay, slow and steady is just the way they like it. Among them are the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance and a variety of other vital conservation groups, plus municipal governments seeking solutions as well as ways to meet mandatory regulation compliance. There’s good news — the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup plan, set forth in the landmark 2014 signing of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement, is recording more success. Notably, two crucial contributing sectors, agriculture and septic, currently are sending decreasing amounts of contaminants to the Bay, according to Hilary Gibson, Eastern Shore Grassroots Field Specialist for CBF. But there’s also bad news, and it’s getting worse; the percentage of polluted stormwater runoff is still increasing. Making sure that existing structures begin to address the issue and ensuring that new developments start off by doing so is critical, Gibson said. Though state, county, and city governments have been working to comply with regulations aimed at reducing runoff, nonmunicipal property remains outside their jurisdiction,...

Read More

Looking beyond nature’s shapes

I can attest to that, since I consider myself one of them. Something that may look rather ordinary to most could be perceived as a thing of beauty by the artist — just waiting to be painted or photographed. Artists are not simply attracted to a scenic landscape, a pretty face, or the color of the sky. They observe more of what surrounds them and look beyond the surface. Mother Nature reveals countless examples of this, if you know what to look for. Her wonders are composed of a myriad of shapes, colors, texture and striking contrasts, no matter what the season. And somehow, they all come together flawlessly. Here on the Eastern Shore, we are embraced by open skies, fields, charming old towns, waterfront and inland farm landscapes, just to name a few. Many of us pass by them every day, while others may discover them on a leisurely Sunday drive. Depending on the season or the time of day, each scene presents itself in a different light, so to speak. Darks play against lights where a line of deep green pine touches a clear autumn sky. Highlights from a setting sun catch the tips of switchgrass and tree tops. The blue of the Bay appears muted under an overcast sky, in contrast to displaying a rich, blue gray color on a crisp winter day. Not to be overlooked are the...

Read More

Walbridge gardens through all of life’s seasons

On an unseasonably chilly May morning 100-year-old Ellen Walbridge had just returned to The Dixon House, a historic assisted living residence in Easton from her daily walk with her son. She recently suffered a broken hip and therefore wasn’t quite up to as long a walk as usual, she confided, adding that “I sometimes don’t feel up to a lot of walking, but I do like to go when I can.” Walking is just one of several activities this centenarian continues to enjoy and be involved in as much as possible. She participates in daily exercise classes, lends a hand at baking in the Dixon House kitchen (she has always enjoyed baking more than cooking, she related, with lemon meringue pie a favorite). And just the day before, she, along with two other Dixon House residents, had been one of the guests of honor at a community luncheon honoring those 100 years old and over. Last summer — at the tender age of 99 — Walbridge took it upon herself to plant, water, and tend the flowers in the stand up raised bed garden gracing the Dixon House porch, as well as the hanging baskets greeting visitors. Asked about her love of gardening, Walbridge fondly attributed it in part to her mother, who grew roses, which remain among her favorite flowers. While raising her own family Walbridge recalled having...

Read More

Garden refresher: ‘New to you’ or tried-and-true?

Summer is here and gardens are blooming! Color brings gardens and exteriors to life and it’s not just the landscaping! Simple materials can turn the garden into a wonderland of joy! One of the most significant trends in landscaping and gardening for 2019 is keeping things simple. Turning large areas into soothing rock beds, interesting stamped and curved concrete paths, and charming pavers combined with natural ground covers like Brass Buttons and Phlox update and simplify gardens. People want as much color as possible, so using containers in funky colors is in. According to Sue Townsend, Society of Garden Designers, sizzling jewel colors will be additions to the traditional green garden. Vibrant, hot colors combined with sultry purples and blues, will coax gardeners away from the blue and pink color palette in favor of orange and yellow hues. For luxury, combine red and purple with greys and blue-greys in plant foliage. Porcelain, and replica stone is being replaced by hard landscape materials with bolder colors and patterns. Gardeners are also turning to the moon to determine the best time to plant, prune and harvest. The traditional belief states that the phases of the moon affect plant growth. The trendy moon gardens sparkle at night with flowers in shades of white and silver blue reflecting the moonlight and glow. Plant insect-repelling plants and night blooming flowers to enjoy your garden...

Read More

Upcoming Events

  1. Summer
 Day
 Camps 
at
 Chesapeake
 Bay 
Environmental
 Center

    July 1 @ 9:00 am - July 31 @ 3:30 pm
  2. Thunder 
on 
the 
Choptank

    July 27 - July 28
  3. Wood 
Fired 
Weekend
-
Farm 
to
 Table
 Dinner

    July 27 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  4. Denton 
Ghost
 Walk

    July 27 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  5. Waterman’s
 Day

    July 30 @ 12:00 pm - 5:00 pm