Pluck from a patch of gardening whimsy at new shopWhen...


April 03, 1994|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Sun Staff Writer

Pluck from a patch of gardening whimsy at new shop

When Poise & Ivy closed recently in the Village of Cross Keys, Sarah Klinefielter jumped at the chance to expand her own shop nearby. Littlefield's, which opened a year ago, had flourished as a garden-oriented gift and accessories store, but there wasn't enough space for everything Ms. Klinefielter wanted to carry.

At her new store, Crosspatch, in the kiosk just a few steps away from Littlefield's, you'll find lots of plants, gardening tools, ivy and herb topiaries, twig baskets, handcrafted garden signs, wonderful watering cans and gardening books. There are charming rag dolls in the shape of bunnies, crows and frogs; T-shirts, aprons and dish towels with garden themes -- everything except cut flowers. "People ask for them," says Ms. Klinefielter, "But I just don't have the room."

She describes her new store as "more fun," while Littlefield's is sophisticated and "higher end." At Crosspatch you could find, say, a kit to create a butterfly garden, while Littlefield's is the place to buy floral-patterned china for a wedding gift.

Crosspatch is located on the main square of the Village of Cross Keys. The number is (410) 435-3131.

Now I know that $229 seems a little steep for a bird feeder. It may be more than your kitchen table cost. But look at all the ornithologically correct features offered by the new Windsong with sound monitor.

Most important, the built-in wireless transmitter, microphone and portable receiver lets you eavesdrop on the various twitterings and chirpings in the comfort of your own home. This is sophisticated stuff: The sound system has been designed to emphasize the sounds in the frequency range of bird songs, while others are de-emphasized.

But the Windsong is more than a feeder with a sound system. The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology helped develop its size, construction, perch system and baffle to attract more birds and keep them around longer. For instance, chickadees and blue jays -- who don't usually hang around together -- can eat without seeing each other. The Windsong is designed to be bird-friendly, people-friendly and squirrel-unfriendly.

It's available locally at Sharper Image, Brookstone and Natural Wonders. Call (800) 692-2656 for more information.

Quilt exhibits aren't exactly new -- although the Maryland Historical Society's current show, "Lavish Legacies: Baltimore Album Quilts," is a magnificent one. But one facet of this exhibit is unique.

Accompanying the display of 32 quilts made between 1845 and 1855 are 24 challenge quilts. These miniature interpretations of the Baltimore album quilt style were handmade by members of the newly formed Baltimore Applique Society. (Some are nationally known quilters and authors.) The quilts were donated to raise money for the Maryland Historical Society.

Visitors to the society's museum at 201 W. Monument St. can vote for their favorite challenge quilt, on display on the first floor of the Maryland Historical Society. All 24 will be exhibited until June, but you can buy them any time. Signed, dated and !B accompanied by information about their history, they range in size from 9 to 18 inches square and are priced from $125 to $400.

For more information, call (410) 685-3750.

What is it about spring that awakens the urge in all of us to tour other people's houses? The show house/house tour events come thick and fast this time of year, and each one offers its own delights.

The season unofficially begins with the Historic Harbor House Tour, now in its 23rd year. This year, 14 homes in Federal Hill and Fells Point will be open to the public on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5:30 p.m. Many of them are in authentically restored 18th- and 19th-century buildings, but also included are an apartment in an old school and a home in an early warehouse. The tour is sponsored by the Preservation Society.

You can get tickets by mail by sending a check for $10 each and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the Preservation Society, S. Ann St., Baltimore, Md. 21231.

Tickets are also available at O'Conor, Piper & Flynn realty offices at 905 Light St. and at 918 S. Broadway. Tickets are $12 on the day of the tour, at the same locations. For more information, call (410) 675-6750.

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