May 9th, 2016

Plant Swap

PlantsIf you’re an avid gardener like me then this is your busiest time of year. It’s time to clean out your vegetable and flower beds, plan this year’s garden, and get your seeds started. When planning my garden I think about which plants worked well last year, which ones didn’t, what perennials need dividing, and where I need new plants.

One of the easiest ways to get free plants is to divide the ones you already have. One of the wonderful things about perennials is that as long as they are happy where they are they will come back year after year with very little maintenance on your part. But eventually they will get too big or start looking unkempt, and then it’s time to divide them. This will not only improve the health of the plant but give you extras you can use in your garden and share with other gardeners. I know I’d rather pass on an extra plant and give it a good home than, heaven forbid, throw it away!

But what if you’re looking for something new? One of the best, and cheapest, ways of adding diversity to your garden and trying new plants is to go to a plant swap. At a plant and seed swap gardeners bring their extra seeds, seedlings or plant divisions and trade them with other gardeners. It’s a great way to share plants and gardening experiences, and it’s free!
Whether you’re an experienced or beginner gardener you want to make the most of your garden. At CCPL we have an extensive collection of gardening books and magazines, but if you’re looking for the latest, most up-to-date information you might want to check out our collection of on-line magazines available through Zinio where you can download home and garden magazines like Birds and Blooms, Country Gardens and Organic Life. In addition, our Gardening, Landscape and Horticulture database contains magazine and journal articles for everyone from the novice gardener to the professional.

For more hands-on instruction you can find home and garden programs throughout the Cecil County Public Library system. Check online through our calendar or look in The Link, our library newsletter; available in branches, online or have it emailed to you for a first look at upcoming events.

On Thursday, May 12 from 6-8 pm the Elkton Library will hold its 4th Annual Plant Swap. And if you can’t make it to Elkton, the Perryville Library will be holding their 2nd Annual Plant and Seed Swap on Wednesday, May 25 from 6-8. We hope you can make it! This will be a wonderful opportunity to swap plants, seeds and experiences with other gardeners. Don’t miss the chance to try something new in your garden!

What’s your favorite perennial to share?


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October 5th, 2015

Orphan Trains

child on trainI would guess that many of you, like me, had never heard of the orphan trains until the publication of Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. Since its publication in 2013 it has been a surprise hit and a book club favorite. It tells a story about a little-known but important part of American history: the Orphan Train Movement.

Founded in 1853 in New York City, the Children’s Aid Society committed itself to the “placing out” of children from the slums of New York City to rural America. Between 1854 and 1930, 150,000 children would ride the so-called orphan trains. The goal was to move destitute children from New York City and other large East coast cities, to the Midwest where it was thought they would enjoy a better way of life. The children boarded the trains carrying all of their possessions in a cardboard suitcase. At each stop the children would disembark where interested citizens would make their choices. If a child was not chosen they were sent on to the next town. Despite the Society’s best efforts, some children suffered. Though they tried to keep siblings together, often brothers and sisters would be separated. Some felt abandoned and lonely and were viewed by their adoptive families and communities as outsiders. In the worst cases they were treated as slave labor and physically abused. But for many it was a blessing and they were adopted by loving families.

On Wednesday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m., award-winning author and member of the National Orphan Train Historical Society, Donna Aviles, will speak at the Perryville Branch Library. As the granddaughter of an orphan train rider, Ms. Aviles has a very personal connection to its history. The presentation will include a discussion of the Orphan Train Movement and a recording of the reminiscences of an Orphan Train rider as he recalls his experience travelling from a New York orphanage to Kansas.

Will you join us on October 14?


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