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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April 18th, 2016

SAT Resources

SAT prep booksAfter seeing my son’s PSAT scores, I realize he needs to do some studying before taking the SAT in the fall. I knew the library had traditional study guides in paper form, but I was surprised and excited by the depth of digital options now available.

With your library card already (if you don’t have one it’s free for Maryland residents), fire up the laptop or tablet right now and access our online practice tests. With a choice of two different products (Learning Express Library and Testing and Education Reference Center), try both to see which fits your student’s learning style best. Once you have created a login, choose to take part of the practice test or power through from math to reading. Full text study guides are also available as part of these products if things just aren’t going well.

With months to go before the fall SAT, sign up for a free SAT/ACT Prep Course from Gale Courses. This two part, instructor led online course provides lessons, interaction and content quizzes and would be perfect to keep skills fresh over summer break. Maybe while you are there, check out out all the career introduction courses on offer, if you are still undecided about a direction after high school.

Then, once you ace the SAT, come back and explore the college and scholarship information the library offers to take your next step. With so many free options, we hope all students can find the help they need to take their first steps toward achieving college and a successful career.

Late registration for the May 7 test closes April 26. For the June 4 test, regular registration ends May 5 and late registration closes May 25. Fall test dates have not yet been announced.

Where’s your favorite place to study?


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