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Greenlaurel: Bring birds and butterflies to your backyard with native plants

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Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Crossing your fingers that lots of butterflies, birds, and bees will visit your outdoor space this summer? Integrating native plants into your backyard is the secret to building habitats for these pollinators. Plus, natives are affordable and just as beautiful as the usual garden plant suspects.

I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up

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i've fallen and I can't get up: broken wristThere’s been a surge of fiction and nonfiction by writers of my generation dealing with the matter of becoming the caretaker of aging parents. I myself got a piece out of this life transition — for the New York Times, yippee. But in my case, that phase only lasted a few months, and it was ten years ago. I’ve now aged out and gone on to the next milestone — being taken care of by my children and other younguns.

No, I am not yet completely infirm, doddering and non compos mentis (though as you may recall I was recently taken advantage of by scammers). But I guess I have become a little fragile. On St. Patrick’s Day, I was in a sequinned gold dress on the 13th floor of the Belvedere Hotel, dancing at the wedding of dear friends for whom I had just offered a heartfelt toast. I must have been getting a little too jiggy with it because my right kneecap — which has been letting me down this way since 1971 during my entrance onstage as Cassius during the tenth-grade rock opera production of Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar — took a leave of absence from its leg-holding-together duties. In other words, my patella subluxated. I lost my balance and hit the floor, catching myself with my left hand. 

Hot Plate: Easter brunch options, National Oysters on the Half Shell Day, haenyo at Forno, and more

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Korean pop-up haenyo is partnering with Everyman Theatre this week for a dinner at Forno, featuring dishes from Everyman’s new play, “Aubergine.”

The big restaurant news this week is Easter, which takes place Sunday, April 1. If you’re still in the market for brunch or dinner reservations, check out the options toward the end of today’s column. Sunday is not the only day local restaurateurs will be busy this week, though, with plenty of other food events happening in the coming days.

Opening the Oak Door

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Six moons into Mystery School, I set out to the woods of Druid Hill Park looking for raw material for an arts and crafts project: Although you can simply purchase a pre-made wand online…we highly encourage you to craft your own. The wand is the sacred instrument of magicians, wizards, little girls in fairy costume, and urban priestesses-in-training who are behind on their coursework. I’ll say this: no matter how madcap the curriculum, there’s always a practical component that finds me boots on the ground, tromping around in nature.

Hot House: Former Fed Hill brewery with big personality, $645K

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Hot House: 457 Grindall Street, Baltimore, MD 21230

Converted industrial space, circa 1900, in brick and stucco with asphalt roof and two-level roof deck. Two bedrooms, 2.5 baths over two stories and 2,516 sq. ft. Open floor plan has main floor living area with gas fireplace, large windows, built-ins. Kitchen with mosaic-tiled floor, large granite island, industrial fixtures, Verone Italian range. Bedroom and full bath on main level. Large studio/master bedroom upstairs with full bath, shower, jacuzzi tub. Central a/c. Possible garage. Possible rental unit. Extensive outdoor space, lush gardens, water views from roof deck: $645,000

Hot Plate: New digs for Full Tilt Brewing, celebrate Maryland’s food history and make your Easter brunch plans

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Cinghiale, like many restaurants around Baltimore, will offer a special brunch menu for Easter on April 1.

Spring is here (if you can believe it) and Easter is right around the corner. That means local restaurants are busy with brunch plans, as well as a variety of dinners, parties and menu changes.

Q&A: Rich Madaleno discusses his tenure in Annapolis, the $15 minimum wage fight and his campaign to be Maryland’s next governor

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Image courtesy of Madaleno for Maryland

Among the eight candidates running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination this June, only state Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-Montgomery County) and Del. Rushern Baker (D-Prince George’s County, from 1994-2003) have ever served in a state-level elected office. A resident of Kensington, an affluent suburb several miles north of the D.C.-Maryland border, Madaleno is now in his 16th year in Annapolis–a quality that he says makes him the most qualified contestant to beat Gov. Larry Hogan in the November election.

Q&A with local author Jane Delury about her new novel ‘The Balcony’

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“In June of 1992, I left Boston for France with everything in front of me.” So begins the first story in The Balcony, debut fiction from Jane Delury, a professor in the MFA program at the University of Baltimore.

Hot Plate: Irish food and drinks this weekend, followed by a week of wine

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The Corner Pantry’s corned beef and cabbage is just one of the Irish specials to be had around town this weekend.

From beer and whiskey to wine and funky mushrooms, this week is a festive one in Baltimore. Here’s a look at what’s on tap:

Hot House: 1887 Monkton Farmhouse, Steps From the NCR Trail

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Hot House: 16207 Corbett Village Lane, Monkton, MD. 21111

German-style Victorian farmhouse, circa 1887, in fair condition. Wood clapboard, shingle and metal roof. Four bedrooms, 2.5 baths over three stories and 1,728 sq. ft. Original floorplan, living room with fireplace, dining room, large country kitchen with gas fireplace, full bath on first floor. Original wood floors and moldings throughout. Master bedroom and large master bath on second floor. Two further beds and full bath on third floor. Unfinished basement, central a/c. .15 acre lot: $310,000 (recently reduced)

This edition of Hot House is brought to you by Home Methods.

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