With impatiens scarce due to disease, choose begonia and coleus [Lutherville]

Gardeners will have a hard time finding impatiens for their flower gardens this year. The dreaded downy mildew fungal disease that began in Florida last year has spread to Maryland and has infected the ever-popular Impatiens walleriana. The downy mildew disease is not harmful to humans. Only the impatiens plant is affected by this disease that is airborne and in the soil of the impatiens. This means the flower most gardeners go to for instant color and continuous blooms all season is in short supply. Nina Davis, from Watson's Garden Center on York Road in Lutherville. said it was a big topic at the Mid-Atlantic Nursery Trade Show she attended at the Baltimore Convention Center. "It's put a big hole in the shade garden planting," Davis said. "Growers are directing nurseries to suggest the wax leaf begonia as a substitute for the impatiens. Coleus works well in sun or shade and comes is many colors." New Guinea impatiens are not affected by the fungus, Davis said. But some of her longtime customers will really miss the instant pop of color that impatiens add to their beautiful Baltimore gardens.

This is the 26th year for the annual Strawberry Festival and Flea Market sponsored — this year on June 1 — by the United Methodist Women of St. John's United Methodist Church, West Seminary Avenue in Lutherville. Well over 200 people look forward to the yellow sheet cake, ice cream and strawberries that have become so popular over the years. Leesa Sipe, of Lutherville, president of the United Methodist Women, said, "The proceeds from the festival and flea market benefit many of our mission outreach causes. Locally, we support Susanna Westley House in Baltimore City; nationally, we give to Red Bird Mission in Kentucky; and, globally, it (supports) a mission hospital in Liberia."

Parishioners donate nearly new household items such as pot and pans, framed art work, books, linens, and toys. Sipe said "throughout the year, the UMW collects amazing items from people who are moving, or downsizing. The jewelry table at our flea market has many people lined up at 10 a.m. when the doors open to buy donated Monet and Trifari earrings at very good prices."

The popular Strawberry Festival and Flea Market is Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to -2 p.m. at St. John's United Methodist Church, 216 W. Seminary Ave, Historic Lutherville. Call Carole Gray, church secretary, at 410-825-3969 for more information.

Congratulations go out to Payton Russo, senior at Dulaney High School, who was recently recognized and awarded the highest achievement in Girl Scouting — the Gold Award. My predecessor, Linda Dalsimer, wrote about Russo last year when she was working on her Girl Scout community improvement project Dance for Fitness and Fun!. One of 70 extraordinary Girl Scouts in Central Maryland, Russo accepted her Gold Award on April 14 at Martin's East. Russo is now part of elite group of women who have worked hard to earn this prestigious award. She has received certificates of recognition from the White House, U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin, state Sen. James Brochin, and Gov Martin O'Malley. Russo will be attending Muhlenberg College, Allentown, Pa in the fall.

Please contact me at carolpete@verizon.net with your special Lutherville shout outs and


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