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Fairhaven residents show mastery of gardening


NOW THAT IT'S HARVEST time for most summer vegetable gardeners, I've begun to notice some of the more productive gardens in the area. It seems everywhere you look, something is ripe for the picking.

Nowhere is the green thumb more apparent than in the Fairhaven retirement community. I'd noticed the large garden on the community's outskirts for the past few years as I drove by, and I had always wondered what was there and who tended it.

It turns out that a love of horticulture is shared by many Fairhaven residents.

The community's shared garden is something to behold. The neatly laid plots are teeming with vibrant vegetable crops and colorful flowers of many varieties, all tended by gardeners whose average age is 83.

The Fairhaven Residents' Association takes care of the twice-yearly plowing of the 100-by-100-foot fenced plot. Protected from the plow are the strawberry patch and raspberry bushes grown by Ed Klenke.

The association also offers mulch and the use of garden tools for those with none. A large, neatly arranged shed houses the implements of the trade -- hoes, tomato cages, garden spades and stakes.

A roster of plot assignments posted by vegetable garden chairman Charles Dockendorf ensures that each gardener's space is well-delineated. Those interested in a plot sign up for it well in advance of spring.

In addition to the shared garden, Fairhaven has some other areas with unusual plantings.

A stretch of 18 Sevillana variety of Meidiland class rose bushes form what is commonly known as the "Rose Walk." These red beauties are under the watch of Tony Holmead, former member of the American Rose Society and past president of the Potomac Rose Society.

"The roses were struggling a bit when I first arrived at Fairhaven," Holmead said. You certainly wouldn't know that now. The roses are a joy to all who behold them.

Holmead and his wife, Mary, also grow several types of hybrid tea roses in their patio garden. Mrs. Holmead enjoys arranging the flowers for family and friends.

A stand of apple trees, some believed to be nearly 80 years old, provides the residents with a plentiful fall harvest.

A small, wheelchair-accessible garden near the Uplands building maintained by resident volunteers. This gives some of the less mobile residents the opportunity to grow and enjoy flowers.

Plans call for a fountain to be added to the Uplands Terrace garden next year.

Many of the folks living in the cottages at Fairhaven take pride in their private patio gardens. Indeed, many of the gardens are pictures of peace and tranquillity. Small gurgling fountains, birdhouses and statuary are hidden among the flowering plants and trees.

Shirley Byers is a member of several gardening clubs and is an accredited horticulture judge. Her garden plot and patio gardens boast a wide variety of flowers and vegetables, most of which she gives away.

"I just grow them for the pleasure of growing them," Byers said.

A small plaque in Holmead's garden states, "He who works in a garden works hand in hand with God."

I couldn't agree more.

Recreation programs

The Sykesville Parks and Recreation Committee announces fall registration for its year-round program in Shorinjiryu karate and self-defense classes.

The program meets on Mondays and Wednesdays at Sykesville Middle School from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. for all students, and from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. for adults and returning students. Children ages 5-7 are welcome on Mondays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Costs are $20 for one class per week for 10 weeks, with a maximum cost of $40 per family.

Current students were recently evaluated for their knowledge of turning and walking forms, basic Japanese vocabulary, stances, attacks, defenses and various kicks and punches.

Promoted to Orange Stripe, 6th kyu were: Mary Hartman and Justin Overfelt. George Liu and Stephanie Hartman were promoted to Orange Belt, 6th kyu.

For more information on the karate and self defense programs, contact Pete Hiltz at 552-0643.

Coffee and music

Piney Run Nature Center will sponsor an adult Coffee House from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday.

The evening will feature music by Dan and Doris Gallagher, along with gourmet cakes and coffee. The cost is $8 for members and $10 for nonmembers.

Information: 795-6043.

Civil War theme

Civil War Days will be remembered this Saturday at Carrolltown Center from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Civil War enthusiasts will be dressed in Union and Confederate garb and stationed throughout the mall with Civil War tents, memorabilia, and living history characters.

A Civil War fashion show and band performance will take place on Center Stage.

The mall is sponsoring dance performances by the Torch Dance Class at noon and Talent Express at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Information: 781-7070.

Church barbecue

If you don't feel like cooking Sunday afternoon, take the family to St. Joseph's annual chicken barbecue at the church from 12: 30 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Barbecued chicken, or hot dogs, cole slaw, local corn and tomatoes, rolls and iced tea top the menu. Desserts from the bake table will round out the dinner. A variety of entertainment is planned, including several musical groups and games for children.

A country store, craft tables, face painting and softball offer something for everyone.

Cost for dinner is: 48 for adults; $6 for seniors; $4 for children. Meals with hot dogs are 50 cents less and carryouts cost $1 extra.

Information: 795-7838.

Sherry Graham's Southeast neighbors column appears each Tuesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 8/13/96

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