Looking for native or unique plantings for your garden? The annual plant sale to benefit the Whipps Cemetery and Memorial Garden is Friday, May 10, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sat., May 11, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the First Lutheran Church, corner of Chatham and Frederick Roads in Ellicott City.

The Whipps plant sale will feature an assortment of native perennial flowers — including those which are attractive to butterflies, and shade-loving and deer-resistant plants and herbs.

Many of the plants are donated from the private gardens of Master Gardeners. The sale is a favorite of Ellicott City gardeners because it features many unusual and hard-to-find varieties.

Don't miss the Master Gardeners free presentation "Growing Herbs" by Anne Roy, Friday, at 2 p.m., and "Attracting Butterflies" by Ethelyn Bishop Friday, at 4 p.m.

All proceeds from the sale will be used for the maintenance of the 1-acre Whipps. The restoration of the 19th century cemetery into a garden park began in 1987.

Established as a family burial ground in 1855, Whipps is no longer an active cemetery. The last burial was in 1915. The park is today maintained by the Howard County Master Gardeners and is open to the public daily.

For more information, contact Aleta Gravelle at agravelle@verizon.net or 410-274-7795.

Animal Advocates of Howard County's annual yard sale is May 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., in the Applications and Research Laboratory parking lot, 10920 Route 108, in Ellicott City. Rain date is June 1.

The sale includes items such as gently used household items such as books, toys, furniture, jewelry, wall art, kitchenware, linens, tools and accessories. All proceeds go toward saving the lives of local animals, reducing pet overpopulation and preventing animal suffering. Donations are tax-deductible.

Animal Advocates of Howard County is an all-volunteer, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to preventing the suffering of animals in our area. For more information, go to the group's website at http://www.animal-advocates.org or call 410-880-2488.

Heading to historic Ellicott City? Take note that Parking Lot B, along the Patapsco River and adjacent to the CSX railroad tracks at the lower end of Main Street, will be closed for about four months while construction crews rebuild a retaining wall damaged by the 2012 train derailment.

Construction will take place between the hours of 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. on most weekdays. The project is expected to be completed in early August.

Don't worry about finding parking in the downtown area. There are approximately 350 public parking spaces in Historic Ellicott City. Lot B is a smaller lot containing only 6 percent of the paid spaces. To view a map of all free and paid parking lots and spaces in downtown go to http://www.howardcountymd.gov/ECParking.htm.

More construction news. Street enhancement projects have begun at two locations on Route 40 in Ellicott City — Route 40 at Wheaton Way and Route 40 at Chatham Road.

Based on the 2010 Route 40 Streetscape Master Plan, these projects are designed to enhance the aesthetics of the Route 40 corridor and include stormwater management.