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Ten ways to help our planet and your purse

Help give their migration a future

21 years into the culture of sustainable, new Bay times

It’s a shame to let April end with no pickerel

Here’s the right way to till the garden

Bright planets and shooting stars dazzle this week

Once a year, Hammond Harwood House opens the gates to the capital city’s secret gardens — and invites you to look inside

  High walls, secured gates and similar impositions block out the curious and provoke questions: What grows on the other side? Is that water I hear? What flower can smell so sweet, even from a distance? Even on tiptoes, the answers are evasive. Nothing tempts as much as something one cannot see, as we learned in The Secret Garden from little Mary Lennox, who sought the hidden walled-in garden and unlocked its secrets. But unlike the mysterious garden in Frances Hodgson Burnett’s...

It’s Bay-friendly, so it may — or may not — be the lawn you want

  A Bay Weekly reader wanted to know how to encourage clover to grow in her lawn because she likes the looks of it. Clover has other benefits. It doesn’t need to be mowed as often, it is very drought resistant and it does not have to be fertilized with nitrogen. By maintaining a high soil pH and low levels of nitrogen, you can encourage white Dutch clover to grow at the expense of grass. It will take approximately three years to crowd out most of the grasses. You will find that...

Who knows what you’ll find if you step inside?

  Since the Garden of Eden closed, who hasn’t wanted to get back in? It must be that archetypal connection that makes gated, walled or out-of-view gardens such an obsession. They show up all the time in literature. Oscar Wilde wrote about the frozen garden of the selfish giant, which thawed when a child was invited in. Frances Hodgson Burnett’s Secret Garden, written at the beginning of the 20th century, has inspired many a child to enter the magic territory of imagination....
  -Horseshoe crabs, one of the Bay’s links to prehistory, hear the call of summer’s new and full moon and crawl out of the water to mate. They arrive at high tide, when the greenish clumps of eggs deposited by the female are farthest from the churning waves. This is not a sight for the puritanical; the ancient creatures are polygamous, with as many males as possible clinging to a larger, fertile female. The male fertilizes the eggs as they are dug into the sand. Her golf-ball...

Who and what will save us from such a calamity?

  The oily horror movie playing in the Gulf of Mexico is a wake-up call. No, we’re not looking at a deep-ocean well exploding on our doorstep. Absent a hurricane, we’re going to dodge this deadly bullet. But oil tankers deliver oil up and down the Bay every day — while we are woefully unprepared to handle even the smallest spill. At this stage, it would be crazy to believe anything you read about our ability to protect the environment from an oil spill. President Barack...

See them this season in Galesville, October 1 thru 3

With no gallery to call their own, the Muddy Creek Artists Guild makes its followers wonder where they are going to pop up next. Surprise “keeps the Guild’s shows fresh,” says Elizabeth Ramirez, chair of the upcoming October show. The Where’s-Waldo approach for the two-year-old Guild’s three annual shows creates “a sense of urgency” that “people have to take advantage of while it’s happening,” says Bea Poulin, photographer and Guild...

A new breed of wind-sellers can lower your utility bill while saving the environment

In wind power, the money is in the marketing. We learned as much long ago from the experiment of William Wrigley Jr., the millionaire whose success you’ve no doubt chewed on more than once. The maker of Juicy Fruit and Doublemint gum, among other chewables, kept a weather eye on opportunity.  How he put chewing gum in vending machines at about the turn of the 20th century is a milestone of entrepreneurial capitalism. Gum sans machine was already sold in New York. Would vending...

For SMECO, it’s a big job feeding our demand for electricity

Something alien is growing in Calvert County. The aliens have sprouted up in the front yards of homes along quiet, winding Bowie Shop Road. Still more are appearing on Route 4. They are big, very big, towering over the landscape. Eventually there will be 23 of them. These aliens are behemoth power poles, erected by Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative in the name of progress. The new metal poles bear little resemblance to the old wooden poles they are replacing, and they don’t exist...

This weekend’s final First Sunday is your last chance to join the fusion of community and arts

From May through October, the First Sunday Arts Festival transforms inner West Street into an Annapolitan Casbah. Wandering down West Street, you find the normally high-traffic thoroughfare empty of cars, replaced by dozens of artisans’ tents. Despite the weather — rain to swelter to who knows what — swarms of people stroll the brick road, admiring the treasures on display. From earrings made of bottlenecks to children’s storybooks to paintings to decorative shutters,...

Life stinks for Marylanders

The brown marmorated stink bug has made itself Maryland’s least welcome invader of 2010. Fat from feasting on orchard and soybean crops, flocks of the Asian alien have invaded homes and gardens, causing more than a foul odor. “The populations this year have been astronomical when compared with years past,” says Dr. Joe Fiola, specialist in viticulture and small fruit for the University of Maryland Extension. “Multiple bugs per fruit, whereas with green stink bugs [the...