Towson Gardens Day To Offer A Message Of Greener Living

April 20, 2009|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,

The first of the season's festive street fairs in Baltimore County comes to Towson on Thursday, promising to make Courthouse Plaza greener, sweeter and livelier.

Towson Gardens Day opens at 10 a.m. along West Pennsylvania and Baltimore avenues and encircling the courthouse fountain plaza with nearly 100 vendors, musicians and environmental educators.

"The emphasis this year is on native plants and pollinators, and natural fertilizers," said Dolores K. Shamer, chairwoman of the event that began in the 1980s.

With the nation striving to be greener and the White House and Baltimore City Hall planting vegetable gardens, Shamer said Towson is going along with the trend.

"I took this on because I saw it as a worthy project to educate on the environment and to promote and protect it," Shamer said.

New to this year's festivities is a potting shed, actually a roomy tent, where experts will offer hourlong workshops on composting, sun and shade gardening, bees and butterflies, and growing rhododendrons.

In "You and Waste Prevention," Clyde Trombette from the county Department of the Environment will demonstrate the benefits of composting. Patricia Legters, president of the Glen Arm Garden Club, will rely on the prekindergarten set from Trinity Preschool to show how well children take to gardening. William Meyers of the American Rhododendron Society will show off some of his favorite blooms, and master gardeners will offer the best growing tips.

Gardening has always interested Shamer, she said, but it was not until she retired from a nursing career that she could really dig in. For more than a decade, she has been active in District III Maryland Federated Garden Clubs, a group that sponsors the annual event.

Profits from the festival have fostered several green projects, including the herb garden at Hampton Mansion, plantings at the Irvine Center and the Towson library, and several road beautification projects.

"This is all about beautification of our environment," Shamer said. "How you manage your lawn and what you do with yard waste impacts the environment and affects the bay."

The festival runs from 10 a.m to 3 p.m. Rain date is Friday, with the same hours. Information: 443-275-1377.

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