Before winter comes, gardeners can prepare for spring's arrival


October 16, 1994|By Elizabeth Large

Even the laziest gardener knows he has to rake a few leaves this time of year. The Landscape Contractors Association, a nonprofit trade organization, offers these tips for those of you who want to do a little more:

* October is a great time to plant new shrubs and trees.

* Water new plantings regularly, even though days are cool.

* Dig up gladiolas after the first frost, cut stems 2 to 3 inches above the corm, dry and store.

* Plant spring flowering bulbs. Use a bulb starter fertilizer and mulch lightly.

NB * Fertilize lawns with a 50-percent organic 10-6-4 fertilizer.

Ready for Christmas

I know, I know, you don't want to start thinking about the holidays yet. But they are coming, and to prove it the Holiday Craft Cottage in Catonsville opened its doors yesterday. Through Dec. 24, you'll find local handcrafted holiday decorations, jewelry, dolls, painted furniture, stained glass, ornaments, wood crafts, dried flowers, gift baskets and pottery. After Thanksgiving, fresh-cut Maryland Christmas trees will be on sale. The Holiday Craft Cottage's address is 644 Ingleside Ave., (410) 744-7489.

Dress the bed

Wondering what the well-dressed bed is wearing? Now that big-name fashion designers such as Alexander Julian (for Dan River) are producing lines of bed linens, many of the choices reflect trends in women's clothing.

Popular contemporary looks include windowpane plaids and coordinating checks. Ethnic patterns, such as African, Navajo, Southwestern and Western looks, are hot. Luxurious feel is important -- all-cotton sheets and thread counts up to 250 are top sellers. Glamorous bedding a la the '40s is back, with satiny duvets and pillow shams. But in contrast, companies are also featuring denim, with soft chambrays in a variety of colors.

Look for dressmaker details such as decorative cording, quilting and traditional grosgrain-ribbon trim on sheets and accessories. And companies are offering boxed bed skirts as an alternative to dust ruffles. Experts will be demonstrating furniture-finishing techniques at Gaines McHale Antiques today from noon to 5 p.m. Corky Cole of Kathryn B. Cole Designs, for instance, will create designs for antique, pine, painted furniture such as borders, flowers and still lifes. The showroom is located at 836 Leadenhall St., (410) 625-1900.

On the Home Front welcomes interesting tidbits of home and garden news. Please send suggestions to Elizabeth Large, On the Home Front, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278.

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