One morning a couple of weeks ago Janinne Rodgers came to work with an idea, an image from a dream she'd had the night before.
In her dream she'd seen a rabbit leaping across a deep blue sky. Her partner, Judy Hillman, heard the dream and within hours had translated it into paint across the back of a whimsically painted settee.
For the past two years Ms. Rodgers and Ms. Hillman have been combining talents and offering the results for sale at the Milk House on York Road in Sparks. There they sell their painted furniture, their wreaths and arrangements of dried and silk flowers, plus assorted accessories and bundles of individual dried flowers.
And this coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday, they will be one of several boutiques setting up shop at the sixth annual Rites of Spring, the garden exhibition and sale sponsored by the Union Memorial Hospital Foundation Inc. to support the hospital.
The show, held at the Maryland State Fair Grounds in Timonium, will feature major display gardens, lectures and demonstrations on garden topics, plus sales of plants, bulbs, crafts, artworks, gardening supplies, books and decorative accessories.
This year the display gardens are being built by Danner Farms of Westminster, Foxborough Nursery of Bel Air, Solar Designs of West Frienedship, Mark M. Haller and Associates of Lutherville, Maxalea Nurseries of Baltimore, Pinehurst Landscape Contractors and Nurserymen of Long Green, Willow Crest Garden Center of Cockeysville, Worthington Gardens in Glyndon and Perchance to Dream in McLean, Va.
Other nurseries and garden centers will be bringing live plant material for sale. Andre Viette Farm and Nursery of Fisherville, Va., and Cavano's Perennials of Kingsville will bring herbaceous perennials. Chadwick & Son Orchids from Powhatan, Va., will have orchids for the home grower. Rose Hill Farm will bring their miniature roses. Bundles of Bulbs of Owings Mills will have spring and summer flowering bulbs. Danner Farms of Westminster will have annuals and perennials. Radebaugh's Florist and Greenhouse of Towson will have annuals and potted plants. And Bonsai Farm of Potomac and Tacoma Park will offer bonsai.
Garden accessories will be sold at several booths. There will also gift boutiques selling such things as custom-made fly rods, decorative accessories, Victorian gifts, wash-and-color-again toys, handmade clothing, gourmet foods, linens, jewelry, antique needlepoint and tapestry.
Lectures will be given each day of the show. Friday the talks include growing orchids in the home, basic bonsai techniques, springtime in Maryland, and shipping rare plants around the world. Saturday there will be a landscape design workshop, plus lectures on planning a garden party and giving gifts of flowers.
There will be a preview party on Thursday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tickets are $75 per person ($45 tax deductible), and they may be purchased at the door. A new feature of the preview party is an auction of rare and unusual plant material, which is sponsored by the Green Spring Valley Garden Club.
The hours of the show and sale are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $5 per person; $4 for senior citizens, and children under 12 are admitted free.
Lunch is on sale each day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and snacks are available throughout each day.
The Rites of Spring will be held in the 4-H/FFA Building at the Maryland State Fairgrounds on York Road in Timonium. Entrance is through the north gate.
:. For more information, call (410) 554-2662.