Now that you've learned to separate your cans from your bottles, move out to the garden and learn your pollutants from your peony protection.
With an emphasis this year on "growing appropriately," the fifth annual County Garden Festival returns to Howard Community Collegeon Saturday, offering an expanded daylong program of lectures, exhibits, demonstrations and the debut of a children's program, presented by horticulture and gardening experts.
Organizers expect more than 900 people to attend -- 200 more thanlast year.
"Our purpose is to educate homeowners of the proper techniques on the proper use of the environment and enjoyment of the environment, on ways of dealing with the garden and the environment that is not detrimental to the environment, and on the principles of proper care of the garden -- like not spraying the world with pesticides," festival chairman Georgia Eacker said.
The new children's program, geared to the elementary school level, will feature three short talks and craft projects.
"We felt strongly that long-term wise, weneed to deal with the children," said Ecker. "They need to understand their responsibility to the environment."
Lectures for garden enthusiasts and green thumbers vary from "Mowing Down Your Lawn Care Problems" and "Neighborly Composting" to "Rose Care for Today" and "Designing the Home Landscape".
Local speakers include Wesley Earp from the Soil Conservation District in Howard County and Dave Campbell, the ground supervisor for HCC. Ray Bosmans from the University of Maryland Home and Garden Information Center will also speak.
Educational exhibits and representatives from non-profit organizations and agencies including the Orchid Society, Iris Society, Columbia Gardeners, Cylburn Arboretum and the Audubon Society, the Maryland Departmentof Natural Resources and Howard County Beekeepers will also be on hand.
Visitors can meet with area plant and equipment suppliers, whose paraphernalia will be available for purchase.
The festival willrun from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Smith Theatre and on the school grounds, rain or shine. Parking is free.