When Gardens Alive! sent me a sample of its plant food...

ON THE HOME FRONT

March 03, 1996|By Elizabeth Large

When Gardens Alive! sent me a sample of its plant food, the organic gardening company didn't know I'd be more impressed with its packaging. The plant food came in a recycled Liquid Plumr cardboard carton, packed in biodegradable "peanuts." You can compost them (they're starch-based) or they decompose in water.

As for the plant food, it's too early to tell whether it's better than other plant foods, but the accompanying catalog is fascinating, with everything from organic gardening tips to products like a hormone that stops fleas from reproducing for up to seven months. Call (812) 537-8651 for your copy.

Tour news

The Sun is planning a roundup of spring house and garden tours to be published in the Sunday "Today" section April 14. (Of course, publication dates are never set in stone!) Please send show house and tour information to me at the address below.

Show house

Last week I toured the house that will be the Baltimore Symphony Decorators' Show House.

When the event's chairwoman, Barbara Sheehan, first saw the Guilford house, she didn't realize it was where Walter and Mary Loch had been killed a year and a half ago. Their home had come to the selection committee's attention because it was for sale; with 38 rooms and eight fireplaces, it seemed perfect for the purpose. The house needed cosmetic improvements only, the "traffic pattern" for visitors through the rooms was excellent, and off-site parking at the nearby Boumi Temple was readily available. Houses as suitable as this are hard to find.

When the committee realized it was also the scene of the murders, members thought long and hard about their choice. But after consulting with neighbors, who according to Ms. Sheehan were very supportive, they decided they could put the past aside.

"We know there will be people who come out of curiosity," Ms. Sheehan says. "But we chose to do it anyway. We thought we could get beyond it. We want to show that this is a wonderful neighborhood."

The house will be open from April 21 to May 19. Call (410) 662-8500 for more information.

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