Adkins Arboretum Programs and Events, February-April 2012


The Arboretum sponsors art exhibitions throughout the year, including an annual competition and outdoor environmental art. Call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or e-mail for gallery hours.
Takoma Park artist Marilyn Banner’s luminous and highly tactile encaustic paintings will be on view at the Visitor’s Center through February 10. Banner focuses on the myriad colors and textures found in marshes and farmlands. Using the wide range of drawing and painting techniques possible in this hot wax process, she creates bold, richly layered scenes with a surprisingly broad range of character and atmosphere.
The Arboretum’s annual juried art show, 2012 Art Competition, Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, will be on view February 14 through March 30. Now in its thirteenth year, this show draws entries in many different media by artists from the Mid-Atlantic area and beyond. The juror for this year’s show is Erik Neil, Director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton. There will be a reception Saturday, February 25 from 3 to 5 p.m.
George Holzer of Easton is well known for his spare, elegant photographs of natural materials. This exhibit, on view April 2 through June 1, includes works from two series. In Leaves and Seeds, he focuses on the unique beauty of leaves and seedpods as they decay. Stick Figures explores the anthropomorphic, often whimsical qualities of broken twigs and sections of branches. There will be a reception Saturday, April 28 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Saturday, April 7
Registration 8 a.m.
5K Fee: $20 members, $25 general public if registered in advance; $25 members, $30 general public the day of the race
Family Fun Run/Walk Fee: $5 members, $8 general public if registered in advance; $7 members, $10 general public the day of the race
Ages 2 and under are free
Join fellow runners and nature enthusiasts for the seventh annual Arbor Day Run. The event, which
also features a 5K Run and a one-mile Family Fun Run/Walk, will kick off with a Kids’ 100 Yard Dash at
8:45 a.m. Participants will catch glimpses of spring as they traverse the cross-country course plotted along the Arboretum’s network of scenic forest and meadow paths. “Green” prizes will be awarded and refreshments provided. 5K participants will receive white oak saplings in honor of Arbor Day. Register online, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0, or e-mail

2012 Native Plant Nursery Spring Opening
The Arboretum offers the region’s largest selection of native plants. The Native Plant Nursery Opening Weekend marks the opening of the plant nursery for the growing season. Following the Opening Weekend, the Nursery will be open to the public weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends by appointment. Members, including those who join on any sale day, receive a 10% discount on plants, gift shop items, and new books. Members who join at the Contributor ($100) level and above receive a 20% discount on plants. Sale days are crowded, so please leave dogs at home. For additional information, call 410-634-2847 ext. 0, e-mail, or visit

Members-Only Sale
Friday, April 13, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Shop the Members-only Sale for the best selection. New members are welcome! Members may place presale orders at March 1 to March 31.

Public Sale Days
Saturday, April 14 and Sunday, April 15, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Prepare for spring in the garden! The region’s largest selection of ornamental native plants will be for sale, including a broad selection of flowering trees and shrubs, perennials, ferns, and grasses for spring planting. Ornamental native flowers and trees make colorful additions to home landscapes and provide food and habitat for wildlife. Master Gardeners will be available to answer questions, and Arboretum docents will be on hand to lead guided walks. The sale benefits the Arboretum’s education programs and introduces the public to the beauty and benefit of gardening with native plants.
Used Book Sale
The Arboretum is accepting donations of gardening and nature-themed books and magazines for a book sale during the plant sale. Donations may be dropped off at the Arboretum any day of the week between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Shop for books and magazines at great prices on the sale days!

Registration is required for all programs. Register online at, or call 410.634.2847, ext. 0

Backyard Hobby Farming Series
Fee: Members: $15 each program or $35 for all three
General public: $20 each program or $45 for all three
Registration required. Limit: 35
Robyn Affron and her arborist husband have transformed their half-acre property in Chestertown into a sustainable, productive, and lively oasis. In this series, she will share her journey and joy of backyard farming and gardening. Affron is a Certified Professional Horticulturist and Master Naturalist Intern with 16 years of experience in horticulture.

Introduction to Backyard Hobby Farming
Wednesday, February 8, 1–2:30 p.m.
Create sustainable landscape practices in your own backyard, no matter the size of your property. Learn how to raise free range chickens for fresh eggs and establish gardens that create habitat for wildlife and produce food for you and your family. This session will also cover raising rabbits and dwarf goats and starting a beehive.

Maintaining the Backyard Hobby Farm
Wednesday, June 6, 1–2:30 p.m.
In this second session, learn how to maintain the hobby farm with sustainable land practices such as bio-security measures to keep chickens and goats healthy, vermi-composting, and composting with all of that good organic matter left behind from chickens, goats, and rabbits. Create habitat with native plants for the bees and other pollinators, and learn how to implement less lawn and more garden.

Backyard Hobby Farm Field Trip
Saturday, September 22, 10–11:30 a.m.
Visit Robyn’s backyard hobby farm and lush chicken garden. See sustainable land practices in action, and meet the farm animals. Taste the difference of fresh free range chicken eggs by taking home a few fresh eggs to share with family and friends. Participants will meet at Robyn’s home in Chestertown.

Plants for Difficult Soils
Saturday, February 11, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
The soils of the Delmarva Peninsula vary considerably, from salty to hydric to sandy to clay to every mix in between. This lively and interactive program will answer questions about soil types, mineral content, amending soil, pH levels, and helping native plants thrive in your landscape. Discover what various plants need and how to keep them happy.

Winter is an excellent time to plan your landscape and be ready for the spring plant sales. Join sustainable landscape designer Christina Pax and chemist Julianna Pax as they share their research and interesting, helpful ideas for designing, planting, and maintaining a sustainable landscape.

Planting for Native Bees
Sunday, February 19, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
More than 75 percent of flowering plants rely on pollinators, but pollinator populations are in decline in North America. Without them, the ability of agricultural crops and wild plants to produce food products and seeds is jeopardized. Join Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Wildlife Biologist Sam Droege to learn why “bees are not optional.” Learn to identify native bees, manage your landscape and lawn for them, and choose a variety of plants to attract native bee species.

Coaxing Blooms
Wednesday, February 22, 10–11:30 a.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Forcing branches is a wonderfully easy way to beat the winter doldrums by bringing the cheer of spring flowers inside. Join Samantha McCall to learn what tree branches and shrubs are ideal for forcing indoors for a bright pop of color, and discover how to “trick” these plants to bloom indoors while their outdoor counterparts remain dormant.

An avid gardener and a dedicated plantswoman, McCall is a floral designer, a Master Gardener, and a perennial student at Longwood Gardens. A member of several Eastern Shore garden clubs, she also is the owner of Fleurish, an environmentally friendly floral design studio committed to using local plant material whenever possible.

Becoming Bay Smart: Living Within Maryland’s Critical Area
Saturday, February 25, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Registration required. Limit: 35
This half-day workshop is designed for citizens, new Critical Area property owners, realtors, and contractors who want to learn the basics of the Critical Area Program and how it applies to where they live, work, and play. Training will be presented by Critical Area Commission staff and will include a brief history of the program and how it is implemented as a partnership between state and local governments. Development within the Critical Area and the various requirements in each land classification, Resource Conservation Area, RCA (essentially intact buffer), Limited Development Area, LDA and Intensely Developed Area, and IDA (essentially no buffer at all) will be covered in some detail. Topics to be discussed include:
• Regulations for building in the RCA, LDA, and IDA
• The importance and functions of the Critical Area Buffer
• The types of Buffer Management Plans and how they are used
• Shoreline projects and how the permit process is handled jointly by Maryland Department of the Environment, Corps of Engineers, and local governments.

Landscape Design Workshop
Saturday, March 3, 8:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Fee: $85 members, $110 general public
Registration required. Limit: 16
This workshop will address the typical challenges of homeowners in the Chesapeake Bay region. Three experienced landscape designers and avid gardeners will lead you through an all-day intensive design session. Come with your challenges and dreams, and leave with a landscape plan, ideas, and confidence to transform your home landscape for your enjoyment and pride.

Topics include analyzing the challenges and opportunities of your property; developing a plan for circulation and unique features; designing “rooms” for outdoor living; choosing materials for patios and walks; incorporating sustainable practices; and selecting ornamental plants. The day will be organized around presentations followed by breakout sessions for you to work one-on-one with designers. The designers will offer practical advice on to get started, what to do with wet areas, how to lay out a path, how to screen an undesirable view, and plants recommended for specific conditions. Step by step, you will develop your own landscape design.

Workshop leaders are Arboretum Executive Director Ellie Altman; landscape architect Barbara McClinton, formerly of the Baltimore landscape architecture and land planning firm Daft, McCune, Walker; and landscape designer and native plant enthusiast Chris Pax, a graduate of the George Washington University sustainable landscape design master’s program.

Bring your own lunch. Arrive at 8:30 am for coffee and a light breakfast. The workshop will begin at 9 am. Break refreshments will be provided. Also bring a property plat, photos, and other documentation of your property.

Favorite Perennials
Thursday, March 8, 1–2:30 p.m.
or Saturday, March 10, 10–11:30 a.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Adkins Arboretum Nursery Manager Joanne Healey will introduce twelve native perennials that have proven themselves worthy of the home garden. Intended for beginners, this program will review characteristics of each perennial—color, foliage, cover and size, and light, moisture, and soil requirements—in addition to garden placement, compliment plantings, and wildlife benefits.

Season’s Bounty
Fridays, March 30, June 8, and September 7, 10 a.m.–noon
Fee: members: $15 each program or $35 for all three
general public: $20 each program or $45 for all three
Registration required. Limit: 35

Spring Greens—March 30
As the cold of winter makes its reluctant exit and the palette of the landscape goes from dormant-brown to emergent-chartreuse, we often gravitate toward the fresh experience—being outside, renewing the garden, eating green foods. In this first program of a three-part series, Elizabeth Beggins will help you explore avenues for revitalizing yourself and your menu as she discusses growing and preparing such spring delicacies as zesty mustard, nutty arugula, and elegant pac-choy, in addition to favorites such as lettuce and spinach. Tasting samples and starter seed kits are sure to put some spring in your step.

Abundant Summer—June 8
Days lengthen, thermometers rise, and kitchens fill to overflowing with Mother Nature’s gifts. Now is the time to maximize the bounty of summer. Plan on succession plantings at home, and benefit from the burgeoning variety at farmers’ markets. In the second session of this tasty series, Elizabeth will guide you in how to prolong our home harvests and how to savor and store those available from local farmers. Enjoy the flavors of the season as you learn.

Fall Harvest—September 7
Just because we can stop worrying about what to do with yet another summer squash doesn’t mean the food season is over. Late summer is the time to plant a fall garden and the time you’ll find the widest variety of produce all year. Elizabeth will show you how a little preparation now can yield big returns as the weather turns cooler. Greens, garlic, and gorgeous local offerings available at markets and roadside stands are the focus of this final program in the series. As always, savory treats and tools to use at home are an added bonus.

The Elfin World of Mosses and Liverworts
Saturday, March 24, 10–11:30 a.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Mosses, liverworts, and hornworts, collectively known as bryophytes, are a fascinating group of nonvascular plants that are an important component of the many habitats of the Delmarva Peninsula. Join Bill McAvoy to learn the basics of bryophyte morphology, their life-cycles and ecology, and their place in the ecosystem.

McAvoy is the botanist for the Delaware Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program and has studied and published on both the vascular and nonvascular flora of the Delmarva Peninsula for over 20 years.

Sunday, April 1, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Bill Schindler, Ph.D. returns to the Arboretum to lead this hands-on workshop that will immerse participants in the exciting, sustainable, and nutritious world of foraging for wild plants. Participants will be taken into the field to learn how to identify, harvest, and prepare many of spring’s wild edibles. It doesn’t get more local or organic than this!

Schindler is a professor of anthropology and archaeology at Washington College. His research focuses on prehistoric foodways and technologies. Dr. Schindler incorporates wild foods into his and his family’s diet on a regular basis. Please note that foraging by individuals is not permitted on the Arboretum grounds.


Henry Callister: Colonial Merchant and Amateur Naturalist
Friday, February 10, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Henry Callister, a native of the Isle of Man, arrived on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 1742, working as a factor for a Liverpool-based trading company. Although most of his days were spent overseeing shipments of tobacco to England and managing the company’s stores on the Shore, his unpublished papers show that one of his many interests was a passion for local natural history. Salisbury University professor Ellen Lawler will discuss Callister’s nature writings that include brief descriptions of local birds, mammals, plants, and insects. He also wrote an extended essay on swallows, comparing the species found in Maryland to those of Europe and discussing an ongoing debate of the day—whether swallows migrate or hibernate. Callister’s writings on nature may be among the earliest in Maryland. They demonstrate that he was a keen observer of nature and had ideas well ahead of his time on topics such as the homing abilities of animals and the adaptability of species to different habitats and situations.

Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests
Wednesday, March 14, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
What is happening to our forests, and what can we do to save them? Biologist and nature writer Dr. Joan Maloof, author of Among the Ancients: Adventures in the Eastern Old-Growth Forests, will discuss her love affair with ancient trees and the myriad flora and fauna that live in their midst. A scientist with a poet’s heart, she will transport you to some of the 26 forests she explored for this book and invite you to care about these imperiled lands as much as she does.

Maloof has worked with trees from all angles: as a horticulturalist, as an ecologist, and now as a writer and activist. She will read from Among the Ancients and from her first book, Teaching the Trees: Lessons from the Forest, and will discuss her latest venture—the Old-Growth Forest Network, an organization that aims to identify and protect at least one forest in every county in the nation that is capable of supporting a forest ecosystem.

This will be a celebration of the arboreal. Join your fellow tree huggers for an engaging and inspiring afternoon.

Made For Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond
Sunday, March 25, 1–3 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
In 1992, while developing a series on the human-animal bond, Meg Daley Olmert was asked to join a research team studying the neurobiology of social bonding headed by Dr. Kerstin Uvnas-Moberg of the Karolinska Institute and Dr. Carol Sue Carter of the University of Maryland. Her partnership in this scientific endeavor inspired her groundbreaking book, Made for Each Other: The Biology of the Human-Animal Bond.

This is the first book to explain the brain chemistry that flows through—and between—all mammals forging powerful social bonds between the species. It traces the evolution of this shared neurobiological heritage as it calmed wild animals and turned our hunter-gather ancestors into full-time animal caregivers. And it also shows how the ability of humans and animals to activate this brain system in each other continues to quiet our hearts and minds, filling us with a very real, very essential sense of wellbeing.

Olmert lectures widely and is a media consultant. She has produced and written cultural and historical documentaries for Emmy Award series such as Smithsonian World, National Geographic Explorer, The Discovery Channel Specials, and PBS’ The Living Edens. She is also the Director of Research and Development for Warrior Canine Connection, a canine therapy program for the treatment of soldiers with PTSD, at the National Intrepid Center of Excellence, in Bethesda, MD.

The Swamp Monster at Home
Wednesday, April 4, 5–7 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Catherine Carter returns to the Arboretum to read from her new book of poems, The Swamp Monster at Home (forthcoming from LSU Press, February 2012). Born on the Eastern Shore and raised here by wolves and vultures, Carter now lives in Cullowhee, NC, with her husband near Western Carolina University, where she teaches in and coordinates the English education program. Her first full-length collection, The Memory of Gills (LSU, 2006), received the 2007 Roanoke-Chowan Award from the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association; her poem “Toast” won the 2009 North Carolina Writer’s Network Randall Jarrell award. Her work has also appeared in Poetry, Ploughshares, Orion, and Best American Poetry 2009, among others.

Andrea Wulf, author of The Founding Gardeners and The Brother Gardeners, returns to the Arboretum to discuss her new book, Chasing Venus.
Sunday, May 20, noon– 2 p.m.
Fee: $15 members, $20 general public
Registration required. Limit: 35
Chasing Venus is told as a race across the world. Rich with tales of obsession, and featuring pirates, plagues, astronomers, scientists, Catherine the Great, and Benjamin Franklin, Chasing Venus bursts with action, wonderful detail, and scientific excitement, revealing the spirit of the Enlightenment and man’s quest to understand the world.


Hypertufa Planter
Wednesday, February 29, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Fee: $45 members, $65 general public
Registration required. Limit: 12
Discover how to enhance your garden landscape by making a hypertufa planter with Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners Rachel Melvin and Carol Jelich. Hypertufa is an artificial stone material that is made from several different aggregates to imitate natural tufa rock. It can easily be molded into different forms, is much lighter than concrete, and looks like weathered crumbly stone.

This workshop will take place in the Nursery Greenhouse. Wear work clothes and shoes, and bring a sack lunch, long rubber gloves, and an adventurous spirit.

Nature-Inspired Clayworks
Fridays, March 2, 10 a.m.–1 p.m., March 16, 10 a.m.–noon at Paul’s studio, and March 23, 10– 11 a.m.
Fee: $55 members, $75 general public
Registration required. Limit: 8
Join Paul Aspell to create nature-inspired ceramics using hand building techniques demonstrated in the first session of this series. The second session will meet at Paul’s studio to stain, glaze, and finish the pieces. In the third session, participants will meet to critique and pick up their finished fired works.

Paul is known for his combination of hand-built forms with thrown elements. He incorporates elements of the Eastern Shore into his pottery, as demonstrated by his washes and glazes and his use of shells and old bricks to leave imprints in the clay. He holds a master’s degree in ceramics and has taught art in public and private high schools in New Jersey. His work is featured in the Arboretum gift shop. All materials will be provided. Bring a sack lunch to the first session.

Illuminated Letters
Fridays, April 20 and 27, May 4 and 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Fee: $100 members, $135 general public
Registration required. Limit: 12
In this four-session class, artist Lee D’Zmura will introduce the basic skills necessary to create illuminated letters as well as focus on the design of a botanical illumination using the Arboretum’s spring ephemerals as inspiration. Each student will produce several illuminated letters using gold paints and watercolors.

A materials list will be provided. Bring supplies and a sack lunch to each session.


Sunset Walk with Nick Carter
Thursday, April 5, 6–8 p.m.
Free with admission
Registration required. Limit: 35
The Chesapeake Bay region is sustained by native plants that provide food and shelter to wildlife and enhance the rich biodiversity of the Bay watershed. Join Nick Carter for a walk along the paths that bisect the rich and unique native plant habitat of Adkins Arboretum, all outstanding specimens of plants native to the Delmarva Peninsula. The plant habitats you’ll see include mature and young native forests, meadows, and wetland.

A longtime environmental educator, Carter retired as fisheries biologist and ecologist with Maryland Department of Natural Resources after 35 years. He has received the Izaak Walton League’s award for habitat conservation in the Chesapeake Bay region and a Governor’s citation for excellence.

Winter Soup ’n Walks
Nature, Nurture, and Nutrition
Saturdays, February 18, March 17, and April 21, 11 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Fee: $20 members, $25 general public
Registration required. Limit: 25
Track the changing landscape from winter to spring. Following a guided walk with a docent naturalist, enjoy a delicious and nutritious lunch along with a brief lesson about the meal’s nutritional value. Copies of recipes are provided.

February 18—Seeking Snow and Winter Warmth
Search out green plants that cherish the warm winter sun, and possibly snow-covered plants, on this wintry walk. Plants of interest include mosses, cranefly orchid, magnolia and holly leaves, pine and red cedar needles, Christmas fern, and the stems of strawberry bush and greenbrier.

Chicken soup with greens and sweet potatoes
Broccoli bud salad
Pumpernickel bread with mint jelly
Gingerbread with lemon sauce

March 17—Buds and Early Blooms
Many trees and shrubs are sporting new spring buds, fiddleheads are emerging on Christmas fern, and early pink and purple blooms are beginning to appear. Register for a one-hour or two-hour walk to check out skunk cabbage, spring beauty, and bloodroot blooms and the soft buds of paw paw, dogwood, hickory, and tulip tree.

Carrot and cauliflower soup with herbs
Avocado and pink grapefruit salad
Dill rye bread with strawberry jam
Chocolate walnut cookies

April 21—Fleeting Ephemerals
Appearing in early spring, ephemerals flower, fruit, and die back in a short period of time. Join a one-hour or two-hour walk to catch glimpses of pink spring beauty, Mayapple, dogwood blossoms, yellow trout lily, golden groundsel, sassafras and spicebush blooms, and white beech tree blossoms.
Kale, corn, and black bean soup
Golden carrot salad
Whole wheat cinnamon raisin walnut bread
Pumpkin spice bars

Winter Preschool Programs
Classes are open to children ages 3 to 5. The fee for a session of six classes is $45 for members and $55 for the general public. Each class includes a snack and a craft. The winter program series will cover groundhogs, snowflakes, mittens, antlers, foxes and starting seeds for the summer garden. Registration required. Limit: 15
Session 1: Tuesdays, 10–11:15 a.m.
Session 2: Thursdays, 10–11:15 a.m.

The Forest in Winter: Nature Classes for Home School Students
Thursdays, January 19–March 1, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $55 members, $70 general public
Program is designed for students 7 to 14 years of age
Registration required. Limit: 15
Home school students will explore the wonders of winter in this six-week program led by Children’s Program Coordinator Jenny Houghton. Lessons will focus on animal adaptations to cold, winter tree identification, plant life cycles, snowflakes, states of matter, and cloud formation. Students are asked to bring a three-ringed binder, paper, and a writing utensil to class, along with warm clothes and good walking shoes.

Chesapeake Bay Eco-Discovery for Home School Students
Thursdays, April 12–May 17, 1–2:30 p.m.
Fee: $55 members, $70 general public
Program is designed for students 7 to 14 years of age
Registration required. Limit: 15
Home school students will discover the wonders of the Chesapeake Bay through exciting, hands-on activities. Students will explore interrelationships among Bay organisms, identify unique physical characteristics of the Chesapeake Bay, and investigate factors affecting the Bay’s health. This six-week program will include field work in the Arboretum’s wetland and stream habitats.

An Arboretum Campout
Saturday, April 28, 6 p.m. through the morning of Sunday, April 29
Fee: Members: $15/person or $60/family, General Public: $18/person or $75/family
Registration required. Limit: 15 tents
Enjoy a spring campout under the stars. Relax to the strains of a wetland serenade, take a flashlight hike, and roast s’mores over a bonfire. Stargazers will be on hand to uncover the mysteries of the night sky, and an ornithologist will join campers for a morning bird walk.

Campers are asked to bring a main course for themselves and a side dish to share. The Arboretum will provide paper goods, beverages, s’mores, and a light breakfast.