April showers bring May showers! Don’t let the spring rain keep you inside—follow along as we share countless local opportunities to get out and enjoy all that the Eastern Shore (and beyond) has to offer.
It’s not too late to design and plant your garden! But first, maybe you need a little inspiration or motivation? Longwood Gardens is offering a guided behind-the-scenes tour of their production greenhouse! Longwood Gardens invites you on May 12 for a 45-minute tour of the greenhouse where horticulturists research, study, propagate, and grow many of the plants that end up on public display. Or perhaps you want to take a class? The Mt. Cuba Center is offering a class on Growing Native Orchids on May 12 with instructor Bill Mathis and a walk with Phil Oyerly, current president of the Native Orchid Conference. You will learn the cultural practices for growing orchids, and you will even have the opportunity to pot some transplants that you can take home.
The critters are out and about, and what better way to visit them than by kayak! The Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center is hosting guided kayak tours on May 12 and May 22 of Marshy Creek, where you may encounter wading birds, waterfowls, migratory raptors, otters, muskrat, turtles, jellyfish, and water snakes!
If you find yourself in Chestertown on May 5, make sure to come to a showing of the film Chasing Ice. The Chestertown Environmental Committee shows a free environmental film every first Thursday to engage the community and open discussion about the environment. Or, if all of the April pollinator events piqued your interest, join the Upper Eastern Shore Beekeeping Association at their monthly meeting on May 11, where Master Beekeeper Dean Burroughs will speak about beekeeping on the Eastern Shore.
Mark your calendars for a full first weekend of May. On May 6, make sure to celebrate National Public Gardens Day! Adkins Arboretum will offer free admission on May 6. The Native Plant Nursery also opens for the season on May 6, and will be open from 10 to 4 on Fridays and Saturdays. Longwood Gardens is offering a behind-the-scenes tour with their horticultural staff. National Public Gardens Day celebrates public gardens’ role in providing beauty and respite for more than 70 million people annually, while also promoting environmental stewardship and awareness.
Celebrate all the moms this Mother’s Day weekend! On May 7, the Town of Galena has their annual Dogwood Festival with a parade, crafts, exhibits, amusement park, magic, storytelling, a 5K race, and plenty of Eastern Shore food. The Eastern Shore Land Conservancy has their SHORE TALK on Songbird Banding at the Foreman’s Branch Bird Observatory (pre-registration required). The Queen Anne’s County Master Gardeners are hosting a plant sale at the Queen Anne’s County Extension Office in Centreville, and volunteers at Historic Annapolis are hosting a plant sale at the William Paca Garden in Annapolis on the 7th and 8th.
May 14 and 15 will be a great weekend for new experiences and adventure! Start your Saturday at Unity Nursery in Church Hill for a talk about container gardening, and learn how to create a lovely container planting for your home. From there, explore and take on a new adventure at the Challenge Course at Tuckahoe State Park. The Tuckahoe Family Fun Day (pre-registration required) features a rock wall, tube net, zip line, giant swing, and pamper pole! Once you’ve climbed to the top and zipped to the bottom, visit the Phillips Wharf Environmental Center Bay Day which features touch tanks with turtles, crabs, fish, and seahorses, crafts, kayaking, music, food, and educational exhibits. To finish off your day on the Shore, check out the Talbot County House & Garden Tour! This tour takes you through several magnificent garden properties throughout Talbot County. Then, on Sunday, May 15, visit the Corsica Riverfest, which features the grand opening of the Corsica River Water Trail at Centreville Wharf as well as kayaking, river activities, and exhibits.
Stay tuned for more regional events for the second half of May and be sure to visit the Adkins Arboretum website for a complete schedule of upcoming events at the Arboretum!
by Kathy Thornton
Adkins Arboretum volunteer and Maryland Master Naturalist-in-Training