Inviting toadsDid you know that one toad can eat three...

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July 19, 1998|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,SUN STAFF

Inviting toads

Did you know that one toad can eat three times its weight in insect pests every day? A very good reason to invite one into your garden - and you can do that in style with a Toad House from Mudbug Pottery in Annapolis. The 5-inch-tall, 6 1/2 -inch-diameter stoneware shelter, with its arched entrance, tiny windows and chimney for ventilation, provides perfect sanctuary. All you need is a sheltered site, a toxin-free environment and a small pool or ground-level birdbath. Potter John Jensen creates the toad houses, which cost $29.95. You can order from the Plow & Hearth catalog of Madison, Va., 800-627-1712, or from Mudbug Pottery, 113 Brewer Ave., Annapolis, 410-263-6248.

Products that look good and do good are the province of SERRV International, which offers gifts, clothing and home items. SERRV is a nonprofit group that offers a market for artisans from developing countries and the United States. Among the items are hand-painted furniture from Peru (mirror and shelf, $95, console table, $225), and a lead-free ceramic teapot from Vietnam ($24.95). SERRV has two shops, at 500 Main St., New Windsor, and in the Cranberry Mall, state Route 140 in Westminster. For phone orders, or to get a copy of the catalog, call 800-422-5915.

The wedding was beautiful, and the pictures were spectacular. Wouldn't it be fun to share the photos with friends around the country - even around the world? Now it's simple with E-PRINTS, a Web site that offers an online photo album that friends and family, using the proper password, can access. They can see all the photos and order whatever prints they want. The E-PRINTS service, developed by Web-site creators Abe and Mike Dane of New York, is offered through photographers; prices vary. Any occasion is a candidate - anniversaries, reunions, graduations. Ask your photographer, or access the Web site at www.e-prints.com for more information.

* You can learn how to design landscape projects, create gardens on vacant lots, plant trees and start tree nurseries in your neighborhood by attending the Community Forestry's 16-hour program "Tree Tribe Training" at Neighborhood Housing Services of Irvington, 4107 Frederick Road. The program, made possible by a partnership between Community Forestry and the Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Public Works, is open to the public. It runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and July 29, and from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug. 5 and Aug. 8. Graduates receive a gift of a set of garden tools. Cost is $20, due at the first session. To register, call 410-396-0339.

* Children 7 to 12 years old can learn to identify native trees during a cool and shady hike with botanist Kevin Tunison from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Thursday, at the National Arboretum in Washington. The hike is free. To register, call 202-245-4521.

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