Early bloomers

Apparently it is never too early, or too chilly, to start thinking about the garden.

On Saturday, the Cylburn Arboretum sponsors the first of four Gardening for Beginners courses. Each session is 90 minutes and covers a different topic -- starting with the basics and moving on to soil and composting, trees and shrubs and, finally, turf and lawn. Participants will hear from master gardeners and Cylburn staff, but will also have a chance to poke around in the compost heap and greenhouses.

The cost is $12 a session, four sessions for $40. Saturday's class is 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. Additional sessions are Feb. 12, March 12 and April 9.

The Cylburn Arboretum is at 4915 Greenspring Ave. Call 410-367-2217, or visit www.cyl

Healthy and happy

The YMCA is holding a series of open houses tomorrow and Saturday. Tomorrow night's events include a "healthy hour" from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., a take on the more traditional (and more slothful) happy hour. Non-alcoholic yogurt smoothies will be served. On Saturday, the facilities will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for tours and exploration.

Joining costs between $23 and $69 a month, depending on the type of membership and location. But the smoothies are free, at least for the night.

For more information, visit The following YMCAs will have open houses: Druid Hill YMCA at 1609 Druid Hill Ave. Call 410-728-1600. The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg YMCA at Stadium Place at 900 E. 33rd St. Call 410-889-9622. Towson YMCA at 600 W. Chesapeake Ave. Call 410-823-8870. Carroll County YMCA at 1719 Sykesville Road in Westminster. Call 410-876-1194. Howard County YMCA at 4331 Montgomery Road in Ellicott City. Call 410-465-4334. Western YMCA at 850 S. Rolling Road in Catonsville. Call 410-747-9622.

All things Greek

The Catonsville Senior Center will hold a Greek Festival on Sunday. Greek food will be on the menu, and entertainment includes belly dancers, songs, bouzouki music, jazz and Greek dancing. Tickets are $15. The event goes from noon to 3 p.m.

The Catonsville Senior Center is at 501 N. Rolling Road in Catonsville. Call 410-887-0900.

-- Annie Linskey

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