Growing fun - HCC Alumni Flower and Garden Show

March 04, 1999|By MEG H. PARTINGTON

The Fifth Annual HCC Alumni Flower and Garden Show will provide attendees with information from seed to vase and on all the foes in between.

The show, scheduled for Saturday, March 13, and Sunday, March 14, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., will be at Athletic, Recreation and Community Center at Hagerstown Community College. It benefits HCC Alumni Amphitheater Project.

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Exhibitors, vendors, a floral art show, garden club displays, show gardens, demonstrations and a children's activity and planting corner are among the attractions.

A five-year goal was met in terms of vendors, says Judy Kofoet, chairwoman of the show: "We have filled the ARCC," she says.


Seventy vendors have signed up to peddle their wares and demonstrate their services in 10-by-10-foot blocks, Kofoet says. Some bought multiple spaces, she says.

Seminars will continue both days on a variety of topics, including attracting wildlife to your back yard, composting, water gardening and growing beautiful mums and berries.


Jeff Semler hopes to instill in children an appreciation for gardening.

An extension agent specializing in 4-H and agriculture and natural resources at Maryland Cooperative Extension, Washington County - University of Maryland, Semler is presenting "Kindergardening" Saturday at 2:15 p.m. The seminar is a sampling of what he is teaching on Saturday mornings this month at HCC's greenhouse. Children in his Saturday series are placed in two groups - 4- and 5-year-olds in one and those up to grade five in another - and nurture seeds until they become plants.

"It's all hands-on," Semler says.

During the seminar next weekend, children will be given their own "gardens" - styrofoam cups - and one or two seeds to start their crop of Sunspots, sunflowers that grow only 3 feet high. Parents will learn how to include children in the gardening process at home.

Semler says growing flowers, vegetables and other plants is something that children and parents can enjoy together. He admits there's a "hidden agenda" - he hopes to prove true the theory that children who grow their own vegetables will want to eat them.

Dealing with drought

For tree enthusiasts, challenges are faced not only during the growing process, but in protecting them from insects and disease.

Richard Vrboncic, a certified arborist and licensed tree expert with Bartlett Tree Experts of Chambersburg, Pa., will discuss such struggles during his presentation, "Insect and Disease Pests of Drought-Stressed Trees" Saturday at 1:15 p.m. He will discuss recent weather conditions, the effects of drought on plant health, why problems with insects and disease are compounded during and after dry periods and treatments for drought-stressed plants.

Vrboncic says early signs of drought damage include the drying, curling and premature dropping of leaves and needles and death of fine absorption roots. When soil becomes hard and compacted, water and oxygen absorption decreases, he says.

In drought conditions, insects and mites can deprive plants of leaves or damage existing ones, while boring insects invade bark and fungi attack stems and branches.

Vrboncic says plants can recover if they are watered during and after a drought. Moisture can be retained in soil by adding mulch and organic matter, and nutrients and minerals can be added to create the best growing conditions, he says. Removing dead, dying and diseased limbs can help, as can early diagnosis of insect and disease problems.

Floral craft

For those who want to add some flowery flair to their crafting, Barb Urbassik of Hagerstown will demonstrate "Pergamano/Parchment Craft for Your Invitations and Programs" Sunday, March 14 at 9:15 a.m.

Pergamano is a company that markets patterns, tools, paints and other accessories for parchment craft, explains Urbassik, who runs a craft business called Artifacts out of her home.

"I do a thousand crafts," Urbassik says.

Creating invitations, programs and other personalized paper items entails little more than tracing, poking and coloring, she says.

The process begins simply by tracing designs from pattern books or rubber stamps. Color can be added by using markers or specialized crayons on the front or back of the paper, depending on how vivid the crafter wants the hues to be. Tools that look like everyday pens when capped can add dimension and texture with simple processes like perforation.

Embossing can be used for the final touches, Urbassik says.

Fifth Annual HCC Alumni Flower and Garden Show

  • When: Saturday, March 13, and Sunday, March 14, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Where: Athletic, Recreation and Community Center, Hagerstown Community College
  • Tickets: $3 for adults, free for children younger than 12.
  • For information: 301-790-2800, ext. 346.
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