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After 50 years, Whittaker's Flowers is closing

When Chris Jablonski alerted me to the sign posted at Whittaker's Flowers in West Friendship, I let out a plaintive "Oh no." All good things come to an end but this one really hit me.

After 50 years of quality service in West Friendship, Whittaker's Flowers is closing. Dennis and Sylvia have planned a grand finale plant and garage sale set for April 26 and 27 at the Route 144 garden center location.

Since 1975, when we moved to West Friendship, there has not been a single season when I did not head to Whittaker's for herbs, azaleas, wisteria vines, market packs and mostly the good humor and fine advice from a old school nursery man in Dennis Whittaker.

A true renaissance man, with talents in photography, calligraphy, literature, family life and mostly good common sense on plants and their environment. Dennis taught me about the little purple annuals that were part of Thomas Jefferson's garden at Monticello. He lured me into a love affair with Delaware White azaleas. He was the first to let me know that basil was the easiest herb to grow.

And my near 40 year affection for Whittaker was sealed the first time I observed the whimsy of his planters made from his former well worn work boots. All these years, it was quality plants and a sure thing to go to Whittaker's. Not just mulch and soil and posies and tomato seedlings, but talk of world travels , grand kids, world issues, digital photography and so much more. A finer man I can not recall. Dennis Whittaker, we will miss you.

The roster of Easter services at St. James Methodist Church has arrived. Pastor Katie Saari welcomes the community to join in for a Holy Thursday service at 7:30 p.m. on April 17 at St. James, 12470 Old Frederick Road, followed by a Good Friday service on April 18 at Rockland United Methodist Church, 8971 Chapel Drive, in Ellicott City. Easter Sunday services include a 6:30 a.m. Sunrise Service in the Chapel in the Woods at St. James as well as an 9:30 a.m. Easter service at St. James and an 11 a.m. Easter service at Rockland.

Speaking of St. James Church, don't miss the amazing and beautiful display of stained glass windows on display during the Lenten Season at the church. The window display was created by the youth and Sunday School teachers in the church in 2013 and is brought out each spring for exhibit on the second floor of the Sunday School building which faces Route 99. Particularly lovely at night.

West Friendship Elementary kids are enjoying the spring break and ready to "break a leg" on return particularly those involved in the school musical "We Got the Beat 2". A school-wide performance is set for April 23 at 2:15, followed by an evening performance at 7 p.m.

Mark the calendar for the 19th annual Consignment Sale and Auction, which benefits the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club in West Friendship. Consignments drop off is set for April 23-25, 9 a.m. Questions? Call Virginia or John Frank at 410-531-2569 or 410-988-8165.

Seating is limited and tickets are on a first come first served basis for a concert featuring Andy Gullahorn and Jill Phillips on April 25, 7-9 p.m. in the intimate chapel setting at the Shrine of St. Anthony, 12290 Folly Quarter Road. The husband and wife duo have been playing together since they met in Nashville in 1994. Contemporary Christian music is the genre of these talented singer, songwriters. Interested? Call 410-531-2800 or go to http://www.shrineofstanthony.org for ticket information.

Mark your calendar. The monthly St. Andrew's dinner of cheesy macaroni and beef casserole, is set for April 24, 6-8 p.m. Dine in or carry out. Cost is $9 per person or $30 per family , no matter how many folks make up the family unit. Proceeds from the April dinner benefit the St. Andrew's Vacation Bible School. St. Andrew's is at 2892 Route 97 in Glenwood. Questions? Call Lynne Hall Quinn at 410-292-8202.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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