Adkins Arboretum’s Forest Fair is Saturday July 7

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Revel in a day of forest fun when Adkins Arboretum celebrates its inaugural Forest Fair (with a Medieval Flair), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., July 7.

Adventurers of all ages are invited to embark on a forest quest, visit Robin Hood’s hideout and join in medieval games. Entertainment includes falconry and beekeeping demonstrations, ballads, dance, and performances by Shore Shakespeare. Archery and swordplay will add to the fun. The truly stout-hearted may visit the apothecary for a lesson on natural remedies or forage with a local peasant.

Medieval costumes are encouraged, and imaginations are a must. Forest Fair is $10 per person. Admission is free for ages 5 and under. Refreshments from Smoke, Rattle & Roll and unicorn rides are available for an additional fee. Advance registration is appreciated. To register, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Graphite Drawings and Watercolors by Lee Boulay D’Zmura at Adkins Arboretum

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“Lichen” by Lee D’Zmura

The pure beauty and precision of Lee Boulay D’Zmura’s botanical drawings and watercolors are astonishing. But in her exhibit Wabi Sabi, on view at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through July 28, this Saint Michaels artist departed from the botanical art tradition of illustrating perfect plant specimens in order to explore the ongoing changes plants experience in their life cycles. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., June 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. in conjunction with a reception for the ninth biennial Outdoor Sculpture Invitational.

Two things happened to inspire this show. D’Zmura found a branch from a box elder tree that had fallen in a storm. Although dying, its crinkled leaves still clung to it, as did its samaras, the winged seedpods often called “helicopters,” so that the branch was both dying and giving life through its seeds.

Shortly afterward, she found herself reading a magazine article about wabi-sabi, the Japanese art aesthetic that recognizes beauty in things that are imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. The idea of honoring the ever-changing cycle of growth and decay and the dignity of aging with grace resonated strongly for her.

“I have been on the hunt for the dead and dying ever since,” she said.

Before the advent of photography, scientists relied on botanical illustration to accurately record the distinct characteristics of plant species. Trained as a botanical artist at Brookside Gardens School of Botanical Art and Illustration, D’Zmura has been teaching botanical art classes at the Arboretum since 2006 and has become known for her remarkable skill in accurately reproducing every detail of a plant, from the subtlest colors to the finest webbing of its veins. But in this show, she uses her expertise to capture the fascinating beauty and poignancy of individual plants throughout the stages of their lives, including the death and decay of their blossoms and leaves.

In her graphite drawing of the box elder branch, D’Zmura sketched its clusters of samaras and each elaborately complicated curve of its crinkled leaves with lines finer than a single hair. Likewise, she captured the stages of anemone plants at different times of year, from blossoms through dormancy.

As any gardener knows, decaying plant material is an important nutritional source for other plants. In one of four compelling watercolor studies of bark through the seasons, D’Zmura shows a cluster of fragile, frilly gray-green lichen spreading across a decaying log.

“I came across this while hiking with my daughter and grand dogs,” she said. “I loved the contrasting colors and surfaces of the decaying log and lichen.”

D’Zmura’s extraordinary sensitivity to the myriad kinds of nuanced beauty found in plants is a magnet for looking closer and closer at her work to discover all the extraordinary details she was able to find. Studying her unbelievably fine line work and stunning color range has the quietly exhilarating effect of honing the eye to nature itself. It’s an invitation to see our everyday environment with fresh eyes and deeper understanding.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through July 28 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Outdoor Sculpture Invitational—Artists in Dialogue with Landscape at Adkins Arboretum

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The ten artists in Adkins Arboretum’s Outdoor Sculpture Invitational—Artists in Dialogue with Landscape share a passion for working in nature. Throughout May, they could be found in the Arboretum’s forest and meadows collecting branches, moss, grasses, pinecones and other natural materials and using them to create sculptures.

On view through Sept. 30, this is the ninth biennial Invitational show the Arboretum has hosted since 2002. There will be a reception and a guided sculpture walk on Sat., June 23 from 3 to 5 p.m. in conjunction with the reception for Lee D’Zmura’s show in the Visitor’s Center.

“Nature is my studio. Nature is my teacher,” wrote Diane Szczepaniak, an artist from Potomac, Md., whose sculpture “Octagon of Grass, Watching the Grass Grow, Going at the Speed of Nature” is an invitation to slow down and observe and meditate on nature.

“Guardians,” a beehive-shaped sculpture by Towson, Md., artist Bridgette Guerzon Mills.

Szczepaniak installed a low octagon of steel flanked by a simple bench in a mown area beneath tall loblolly pines. The grass inside the octagon will be left to grow and mature throughout the summer, and visitors may come to sit and enjoy the quietude and the slow changes as the sculpture develops.

There’s a sense of play and discovery throughout this show. Both Ben Allanoff of Joshua Tree, Calif., and Baltimore artist Eliezer Sollins came to Adkins with no specific plans for their sculptures. Walking the paths through its forest and meadows, they found places and materials that triggered ideas. Sollins collected fallen branches laden with pinecones and armloads of meadow grass for his sculpture, “Haycone,” while Allanoff balanced long, slim branches and vines in a small grove of trees in “Pick-up Sticks,” a sculpture that visitors can actually enter.

Natural materials are the basis for most of these sculptures, including the swoop of branches framed by a cube (all painted a magical blue) in Washington artist Julia Bloom’s “Forest Cache” and Baltimore artist Marcia Wolfson Ray’s “Tumble,” four rustic boxes made of dried plants angled as if to tumble down into the wetland beside the Visitor’s Center. Using a collection of richly colored and textured materials from the forest and meadow, Susan Benarcik, of Wilmington, Del., employed classic geometry to illustrate a universal natural pattern of growth in her sculpture, “The Golden Ratio in Nature.”

“Modern-Day Fossils,” by Laurel, Md., artist Melissa Burley.

Several of the artists made sculptures exploring their concerns for the well-being of the earth. Melissa Burley, of Laurel, Md., created “Modern-Day Fossils” in which plastic bugs and leaves encased in glittering balls of amber-colored resin stand in for fossilized plants and animals.

Three of the artists created sculptures about the current severe decline in bee populations. Both Elizabeth Miller McCue of Yardley, Penn., and Bridgette Guerzon Mills of Towson, Md., constructed beehive-shaped sculptures made of many small hexagons. An intricate web of glistening wire, McCue’s is a ghostly skeleton of a beehive, long deserted by its denizens. Mills’s mixed-medium hive is more colorful, but while some of its hexagons are empty, others are mirrored so that visitors may see their own faces, implicating our human role in the disappearance of the bees but also suggesting that by promoting healthy ecosystems, we can be the agents of restoring their dwindling populations.

That possibility was the impetus for Ashley Kidner’s “Pollinator Hexagon V,” one of a series of sculptures this Baltimore artist has created in parks and art centers around Maryland. Like his other hexagons, this is a large circular garden filled with hexagonal sections where native pollinator plants are growing. Functioning not only as a work of art, its nine species of flowering plants provide a healthy source of nectar for the Arboretum’s bees.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Sept. 30 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Learn the Art of Hoop Dancing June 10 at Adkins Arboretum

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Come out of your shell and shimmy! Join a fun afternoon of movement and learning for all skill levels when Adkins Arboretum offers Introduction to Hoop Dancing on Sun., June 10.

Melissa Newman, a Baltimore performance artist who performs as Mina Bear.

Professional performance artist Melissa Newman, who performs as Mina Bear, wowed attendees last fall at the Arboretum’s Magic in the Meadow gala when she performed with hoops, lights and fire. She returns to lead a group lesson that will introduce waist, knee and shoulder/chest hooping along with technical tricks that combine these movements. The workshop will also include intermediate off-body hoop illusions and crowd-pleasing technical moves. Attendees will leave with a new understanding of the art of hula-hoop dance and the basics of a healthy and active hobby.

The workshop begins at 1 p.m. and is $30 for members, $35 for non-members. Advance registration is appreciated at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

The Humane Gardener Author to Speak June 1 at Adkins Arboretum

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Hailed as “a passionate and well-researched rallying cry” and as “a palatable and beautifully produced message that…gardeners need to hear,” the best-selling book The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife is an eloquent plea for compassion and respect for all species. Join the author, Nancy Lawson, Fri., June 1 at Adkins Arboretum to learn how and why to welcome wildlife to your backyard.

A longtime columnist for All Animals magazine, Lawson is the founder of Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to cultivating compassion for all creatures great and small through animal-friendly, environmentally sensitive landscaping methods. Her book fills a unique niche in describing simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with the creatures that share our world. Through engaging anecdotes, inspired advice, profiles of gardeners throughout the country, and interviews with scientists and horticulturists, Lawson applies the broader lessons of ecology to our own outdoor spaces.

The talk begins at 1 p.m. and is $15 for Arboretum members, $20 for non-members. Advance registration is appreciated at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Shore Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” at Adkins Arboretum

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Shore Shakespeare Company opens its spring season with three performances of the sparkling comedy A As You Like It June 1, 2 and 3 at Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely.

Directed by Christian Rogers, As You Like It is a compelling romantic adventure in which Rosalind and Orlando’s famous courtship plays out amid political rivalry, banishment and exile in the Forest of Arden. This light and most delightful comedy presents Shakespeare’s send-up of the pastoral genre popular during Elizabethan times: nobles abandoning court for the country, learning wisdom from the locals and returning refreshed and invigorated. In this, the Bard’s comedic version, the basic features are retained but are used as a backdrop for an exploration of love in all its many forms. All comes right in the end, of course.

With unforgettable characters, sparkling wit, slapstick comedy and eclectic song and dance, As You Like It has it all! Bring a chair or blanket, a picnic and a sense of humor for this entrancing game of love, lust and mistaken identity.

Performances are Fri. and Sat., June 1 and 2 at 6 p.m. and Sun., June 3 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 and may be reserved at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0. Information about the production is also available at shoreshakespeare.com.

Shore Shakespeare is a pan-community theatre group established to present the classic works of the theatrical repertoire and to encourage its audiences to support local community theatre all over the Shore.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum’s Forest Fair is Sat., May 19

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Hear ye, hear ye! All are invited to revel in a day of forest fun when Adkins Arboretum celebrates its inaugural Forest Fair (with a Medieval Flair), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat., May 19.

Adventurers of all ages can embark on a forest quest, visit Robin Hood’s hideout and join in medieval games. Entertainment includes falconry and beekeeping demonstrations, ballads, dance, and performances by Shore Shakespeare. Archery and swordplay will add to the fun. The truly stout-hearted may visit the apothecary for a lesson on natural remedies or forage with a local peasant.

Medieval costumes are encouraged, and imaginations are a must. Forest Fair is $10 for ages 6 and over and free for ages 5 and under. Advance registration is appreciated. To register, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Shifting Shorelines, Works by Susan Hostetler, on View at Adkins Arboretum

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Not a single bird stays still in Susan Hostetler’s paintings, drawings and sculptures on view at the Adkins Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center through June 1. Titled Shifting Shorelines, her show is full of motion with an undercurrent of concern about climate change. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., April 14 from 3 to 5 p.m.

You’ll find birds flying, perching, stalking and singing throughout this show, including one full wall covered with a sweep of individual ceramic birds. But Hostetler also touches on their varied habitats with swirling leaves, flowers, seedpods, intricate clumps of moss and brilliantly hued underwater plants.

Many of this show’s works were inspired by weekend retreats at Echo Hill Outdoor School, where she and a group of artists have gathered to draw and paint on the school’s grounds, which include farmland, marshes, forests and a mile-long sandy beach.

“I always gravitated to the ‘back waters’ of the swamp and wetland areas,” Hostetler said. “They are the quiet, forgotten places teeming with life. A small mound of moss near the water’s edge is a microcosm of biodiversity containing so many intricate layers of life.”

“Shore Line Plants” by Susan Hostetler

Whether drawing or painting with gouache or encaustics, she builds up layer upon layer so as to create a feeling of translucent depth that makes her works resound with a sense of close interrelationships between birds, plants, air and water. Although she sometimes limits her palette to shades of black and white, she has a fresh and surprising way with color, mingling exuberant shades of orange, turquoise, leafy green, rust red and golden yellow.

Hostetler notes that while she has a lot to learn about birds, she is fascinated by their flight and migration patterns. Her studio in a northeast Washington, D.C., warehouse is lined with windows so that her drawn and sculpted birds inside mimic the real birds just outside.

“For us city dwellers, the bird may be the only chance we have to feel close to a wild creature,” she said. “Soaring birds are symbolic of a universal emotion of uplift and a sense of freedom.”

Hostetler has traveled and exhibited extensively, launching a hand papermaking mill in Friedberg, Germany, and a studio in Barcelona, Spain, and her work is included in many collections. In addition to frequent shows in the Washington area, her paintings and sculptures can be seen in April in Chestertown at RiverArts and the Massoni Gallery.

She feels exhibiting in the Chesapeake Bay area is a way of celebrating the International Year of the Bird, an effort by National Geographic, Audubon and more than 100 other organizations to raise awareness of the dramatic losses among bird species around the world.

Hostetler said she chose her title, Shifting Shorelines, because it allows for various interpretations. “Though one could say that shorelines shift regularly due to tides and other natural occurrences, climate change is ‘shifting’ the shoreline, and not in a positive way.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through June 1 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum is the region’s resource for native plants and education programs about nature, ecology and wildlife conservation gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Adkins Arboretum Announces Spring Open House, Native Plant Sale

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Adkins Arboretum, offering the Chesapeake gardener the largest selection of native plants for more than 20 years, announces its Spring Open House & Native Plant Sale weekendApril 27–29. The sale benefits the Arboretum’s education programs and affords the public an opportunity to learn about the Delmarva’s native plants and their connection to a healthy Chesapeake Bay.

Plants for sale include a large variety of native perennials, ferns, vines, grasses and flowering trees and shrubs for spring planting. Native flowers and trees provide food and habitat for wildlife and make colorful additions to home landscapes, whether in a perennial border, a woodland garden or a restoration project. Native honeysuckle entices hummingbirds, while tall spikes of purplish flowers grace blue wild indigo. Milkweed provides critical energy for Monarch butterflies on their winter migration to Mexico, and native azaleas present a veritable rainbow of colorful blooms.

Columbine adds color to the spring garden and attracts butterflies and hummingbirds. Photo by Kellen McCluskey.

The Open House weekend kicks off on Fri., April 27 with shopping hours beginning at 10 a.m. Chris Pax, lead designer for the Arboretum’s Native Landscape Design Center, will offer Featured Native Plants, a free program to help identify ideal plants for specific spots in your landscape, at 3 p.m. The public is invited from 4 to 6 p.m. for light fare, music, a cash wine and beer bar, a silent auction and shopping in a fun and festive atmosphere.

Plant sales continue Sat., April 28 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun., April 29 from noon to 4 p.m. Presale orders may be placed at adkinsarboretum.org through April 8. Simply place your order, and your plants will be ready for pick-up during the Open House weekend. Following the Open House, plants will be for sale at the Visitor’s Center throughout the growing season.

The Arboretum is a participating nursery in the Marylanders Plant Trees native tree discount program. For any native tree valued at $50 or more, shoppers will receive a $25 discount. Some of the special larger trees available for this discount include maple, birch, dogwood and holly.

The Arboretum gift shop will be open during the Open House weekend and will offer books and nature-inspired gifts for gardeners. Members, including those who join during the Open House, receive a 10% discount on plant, gift shop and book purchases. Members at the Contributor ($100) level and above receive a 20% discount on plants.

For more information, call 410-634-2847, extension 0 or visit adkinsarboretum.org.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum offers educational programs for all ages about nature and gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.