WESTMINSTER — Carroll Community College will offer a special spring course, "Wildflowers of Carroll County," during April and May.
Taught by Dave Pyle, naturalist and wildflower photographer, the class uses the language of description and use of field guides to sharpen identification skills, as well as the origin and meaning of flower names.
Pyle has served as chairman of the Hashawha Environmental Appreciation Center and is acting chairman of the newly formed Hashawha/BearBranch Nature Center Advisory Council.
He also has been invited by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources to serve as a leader for the annual Wildflower Pilgrimage at Blackwater Falls State Park May 9-12.
The first class will meet 7 to 9 p.m. April 4 in RoomA274 of the new campus, 1601 Washington Road, then again from 7 to 9p.m. May 16. Sessions are spaced to provide maximum exposure to a variety of wildflowers.
The class also will meet 9 a.m. to noon April 20 and May 4 for field trips. Individual attention will be given tothe needs of both the beginning and more advanced naturalists.
LANDSCAPING AWARDS TO BE GIVEN
WESTMINSTER --The county's first Landscaping Design in Development Awards Committee will recognize outstanding achievements by area developers.
Six residents associated with the landscaping and building industries will serve on the committee, including Timothy Hunter, Robert Kimmel, Timothy Madden, Michael Oakes, Barbara Peck and Elizabeth Trickett.
Developments and business sites will be considered on the basis of landscape design in a commercial/industrial development, forest preservation and protection in a residential development and ground maintenance on a commercial site.
The committee also will judge the amount of existing woodland successfully retained in a development and thetechniques used to protect trees during construction before announcing the forestry conservation award.
Members will evaluate the use of annual color, plant and turf maintenance on commercial and multi-family housing sites when considering sites for the grounds maintenance award.
The committee will present the awards semi-annually. The first ceremony coincides with Arbor Day, April 3.
PILGRIMAGE TO STOP IN COUNTY
The 54th annual Maryland House and Garden Pilgrimage begins April 13.
Organizers promise participants a look at the beauties of spring throughout the state.
The tour will arrive in CarrollCounty May 3, visiting brick and stone houses and several of the area's well-maintained barns.
COPING WITH SPRING GARDENING
So far, spring snows, rainstorms, sudden dips in temperature and high winds have put outdoor gardening chores on hold.
Patient waiting is essential.
As for the plants themselves, most will come through these winter vagaries unscathed.
Spring flowering bulbs are tough and endure cold snaps. The flowers are "refrigerated" in place, and there even seems to be one advantage: their bloom season lasts longer.
Many pictures have been taken of bulbs in flower with collars of snow around their bases.
But woody plants like trees and shrubs that were stimulated by the earlier warm weathermay be in peril.
START A VEGETABLE GARDEN!
Now that spring is nearly here, Carroll countians may be feeling the urge to get their hands in the soil and start their own vegetable gardens.
But what if you're one of the many Carroll residents who lives in an apartment or town house and lacks the space for large-scale cultivation?
Don't despair. Many vegetables can be grown easily in pots, window boxes and other containers.
Spinach, leaf lettuce, radishes, green beans and small-size vine tomatoes are all good candidates for tiny gardens.
Some varieties have been adapted specifically for growth in containers.
The basic requirements of container-grown vegetables vary little from those cultivated in the ground.
Growth and yield depend on two basic factors, sun and water.
Vegetables need plenty of sun, a minimum of five hours a day.
Water and container size tend to be the limiting factors in container gardens.
If a container isn't large enough, the plant will take up all the water and then stop growing until it's watered again.
Unfortunately, no specific watering schedule exists that applies to all plants in all situations.
Asmall plant in a large container in semi-shade may require watering only once every three or four days.
Conversely, a large plant in asmaller pot in full sun may need to be watered two or three times a day.
Basically, you need to water the plant enough to prevent wilting.
Proper drainage is crucial to the success of a container vegetable garden. Containers should have some provision for drainage of excess water. Vegetables won't grow if their roots are saturated.
The growing medium also is important.