It's that time of year when all good gardeners till the soil with enthusiasm and scatter seeds with hope. Wouldn't it be nice if there were a kindly, timely source of advice from an expert? Well you are in luck! Every Saturday, just when you're up to your knees in dirt and confusion, help is available. Master gardeners from the cooperative extension service of the University of Maryland are on hand at the Savage Library.
The gardeners are ready and able to answer the most perplexing questions, from "What is this plant?" to "How come my grass won't grow under the maple tree?"
They'll help you identify plants, pests and problems. The plant clinics run this Saturday and May 20 from 10 a.m. to noon, and every Saturday in June.
The Laurel Oratorio Society never rests. After presenting both the "Messiah" last Christmas and the "Mass" at Easter, the singers are at it again, although in smaller numbers.
Patricia Green, mezzo-soprano extraordinaire, and Monical Otal, fast-fingered pianist, present a recital featuring favorites from Mozart to Broadway on Saturday, May 20, at the Laurel Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m.
Admission is $10 at the door, or about the price of a movie and popcorn at the local theater.
The church's address is 2610 Old Sandy Spring Road, Laurel.
For details and directions, or more information about joining the society, call (301) 490-7504 or (301) 730-7117.
The devastation left in the Oklahoma bombing has triggered an outpouring of support from every part of the nation.
Among those who cared enough to help were some little girls at Bollman Bridge Elementary. Mandy Clemens, a fifth-grader, organized a raffle to benefit the Oklahoma victims. She and fellow fifth-graders Tiffany Underwood and Leslie Shields, fourth-grader Jenny Mino and second-graders Margie Clemens and Jill Mino raffled off coupons donated by Pizza Hut last Saturday at the Bollman Bridge PTA sponsored yard sale.
The enterprising elementary students collected $157 for the Red Cross. I doubt parents could be more proud of their children, nor any school more pleased with its students.
Tonight, expect to see some lovely, lavishly dressed young ladies escorted by much older, but handsome, gentlemen to Patuxent Valley Middle School.
After the success of last year's Dad and Daughter Dance, the Bollman Bridge Girl Scout Cluster expanded the dance to include all Daisies, Brownies and Juniors of the cluster in this year's Best Beau Dance.
More than 120 Scouts and beaus will whirl to "Daddy's Little Girl" and other favorites tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The next meeting of the Savage/North Laurel La Leche League will be held at the Savage Branch Library at 10:15 a.m. on June 7.
The topic, appropriate to the month, is "Fathers and Siblings of the Breast Fed Baby." The meeting is open to any interested expectant or nursing mother. The meetings are pretty laid back, with a brief presentation and then a discussion about baby care.
This La Leche group has some very dedicated volunteers.
Peggy Winkeler is the treasurer and has the unenviable job of balancing an extra checkbook. Most of us can barely manage our own.
Diane Chu, the group's librarian, each month packs up several boxes of literature to bring to the meetings, then hauls them home again at the end.
For more information about the group, call Cindy Clemens at (301) 604-4964.
It's that time of year again, when Hammond High School's musically inclined students take it on the road. On May 4, 101 student and their 12 chaperons loaded themselves, 101 instruments, luggage for four days and their uniforms atop two buses, a van and several cars, and headed south to Virginia Beach.
There, they competed against other regional high school bands, orchestras and choirs in Festi-Val. In a stunning display of musical prowess, the student swept prizes. Each of the two choirs received ratings of excellent and received third-place awards. Shani Harris received the outstanding vocal award for her solo. Jenny Cartney, who accompanied the choir on the piano, received the outstanding accompanist award.
The orchestra also received an excellent rating and took second place.
Each of the five bands that went -- the marching band with the silk flag throwers, the jazz ensemble, the jazz combo, the concert band and the wind ensemble -- took first prize in its division. The school also received the championship trophy for jazz groups and wind ensemble. The jazz groups also won the trophy for outstanding rhythm section.
Right now, Hammond's front office looks like a trophy shop. The staff cannot see over the 18 trophies cluttering up the counter.
Needless to say, band teacher Ron Bowman, chorus teacher Kathy Schneider and orchestra teacher Judy Gill are overjoyed with the result of all the hard work and dedication the students have shown.
None of this is possible without a lot of help from staff and parents. Parents Bert Shipp and Debbie Cartney worked tirelessly during the four fruit sales to raise funds for the trip. Buses are not cheap. Vice Principal Chuck Bragg volunteered to chaperon. Mr. Bowman notes that although there is no organized music boosters club at Hammond, parents are extraordinarily supportive. He had to turn down volunteer chaperones.
Never satisfied to rest on their laurels, the assorted choirs, bands and orchestras last night held their spring concert.
The Hammond Dance Department proudly presents Extravagant Expressions, a spring dance, on May 18 and 19 at the school at 7 p.m. Tickets are $3 in advance, $4 at the door.
Call the school at (410) 313-7615 for details and directions.