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The Potting Shed pots againLong-time area residents...


The Potting Shed pots again

Long-time area residents will remember the Potting Shed on Falls Road, whose owner, Sharon Callahan, was known as the Plant Doctor and had her own radio show in the late '70s and early '80s. The original Potting Shed closed in 1985, but her children, John Callahan and Kelly Williams, have just opened a new one in Fells Point.

This Potting Shed is one of the few full-service gardening stores in the city. It sells house plants, cactuses, indoor tropical trees, flowering baskets -- plus gardening tools and supplies and pots. Right now you can enjoy a pumpkin patch with apples, gourds and cider. In the winter, when the store no longer has plants on display outdoors, more emphasis will be put on its collection of local art for sale.

The Potting Shed also offers a landscaping service with a twist: its specialty is city gardens, balconies and decks.

Hours are Tuesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. till 8 p.m., but on the weekends the owners are often there as late as midnight. The Potting Shed, 925 Fells St., (410) 276-1237. London Town Publik House & Gardens in Edgewater, a National Historic Landmark, holds a needlework show every year. It's a wonderful show to visit if you're interested in needlework; but if you've smocked a special dress for your little girl or created a nursery sampler, consider being a contestant as well. This year's theme is "Childhood Memories," needlework stitched for children. (Other entries will be accepted.)

The deadline for entries is Oct. 19. They must be the work of a living person, stitched with a hand-held threaded needle and be appropriately finished for display.

The show will be held from Oct. 24 to Nov. 1, Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday noon to 4 p.m. Demonstrations of various types of needlework will go on throughout the show. For more information, call (410) 222-1919. London Town is located at the end of Londontown Road in Edgewater.

Blue Willow, the pattern inspired by the blue and white wares of the Chinese export trade, is one of the enduringly popular china patterns of all time. Originally designed in the late 18th century by Josiah Spode, Blue Willow traditionally pictures these elements: three figures crossing a bridge, two birds, a willow tree, pagodas and a fence across the foreground of the piece.

Whether you're a serious collector or just an admirer, you can find replacements or add to your collection through Replacements Ltd., the world's largest supplier of discontinued, obsolete and active china, crystal and silverware. The company is currently filling requests for 40 different Willow patterns.

You can send your request to Replacements Ltd., 1089 Knox Road, P.O. Box 26029, Greensboro, N.C. 27420. Or call (919) 697-3000.

One customer loved the floral bouquet on her silk scarf. Another wanted her kitchen island top to match her wallpaper pattern. They both ended up at Charles Tiles, which specializes in handcrafted ceramic tile.

Several small studios around the country design, paint and fire the tiles for the store. You can visit the showroom and pick the design you want, perhaps modifying the size or color. Or you can bring in your own design and pick the artist whose style you like.

The handcrafted tiles are also perfect for the latest trend in tiles -- finishing a counter top. About the only thing you can't do is use these handcrafted beauties to cover a floor.

The cost varies tremendously, from $6 to $100 a square foot. You won't find inexpensive tiles here, although the store stocks a wide range of high-end tiles in addition to the handmade ones. Orders are filled in from three to six weeks and are shipped directly to the job site. Charles Tiles, 801 S. Light St., is open Tuesdays through Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; (401) 332-1500.

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