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Learn from plantsman Bill Cullina and ­benefit Unity Gardens

This time of year gardeners feel the itch for warm weather. We’re wistful about anything green and have gardening books spread out in inconvenient places in eagerness for another season.
    Scratch the itch by honing your design skills with plantsman, author and Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens executive director William Cullina. He comes to Annapolis March 7 to talk about the botany of design.

For years I have traveled throughout Maryland and seen the Maryland State Flag displayed improperly at private residences, on boats, at restaurants, fire departments, government buildings and even the Annapolis Visitors Center. Now that Under Armour has popularized the Maryland colors with their sports clothing it seems to be everywhere. So let’s do the right thing and fly the Maryland State Flag correctly.

On February 28, 1994, my granddaughter was born six weeks premature in Anne Arundel Medical Center. Katie weighed less than five pounds and had a mild case of jaundice. Because she was such a preemie, for four weeks they kept her in the hospital, where she was initially connected to several devices. I credit the nurses and staff at the hospital for their excellent skills and care in ensuring that she survived those early weeks.

For Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, navigators had to break the 4,500-nautical-mile run into manageable pieces

Before leaving the dock, Brunel navigator Andrew Cape christened the 4,642-mile third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, from Abu Dhabi to Sanya, China, the “s••••y leg.”
    “We will encounter a lot of fishing boats,” he wrote. “Everywhere along the coast of India, Vietnam and Malaysia there are fishing nets and lines in which we can become snared.”

The road was long and never smooth for Harriet Tubman

Harriet Tubman made history as an abolitionist, as the first woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War and as a suffragist. Now, over 100 years after her death, she is making history again.
    In December 2014, Congress voted to establish the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad National Historical Park. It is the first national park honoring an African American woman.

Calvert Marine Museum lures big names to Solomons

It’s getting closer. The warm nights of spring and summer are just around the corner with Calvert Marine Museum’s announcement of its first two outdoor concerts.

These romantic dishes are like love itself — delicate, intimate, complex, daring

Valentines Day is an opportunity to luxuriate in romance and fine dining. Romantic dishes are often much like love itself — delicate, intimate, complex, daring. Both, properly nurtured, can result in sumptuous rewards.
    These recipes for Valentine Day dinner derive from French dishes that feature elegant ingredients and rich flavors. Many of the ingredients have special significance in the language of love. Preparation is for two.

Kids draw natural gas hero Captain Mercaptan

Three methods are most likely to turn on the light bulb in the minds of elementary school youngsters: Use cartoon characters. Enlist the kids on projects. Reward their results.
    To turn the light on safe use of natural gas, Baltimore Gas and Electric — the oldest gas utility in America — is waging a trifecta.

The Groundhog’s movie guide will get you through to spring

The seasonal turn we reckon by poking half-hibernating rodents to wakefulness has roots deeper than the groundhog’s burrow.
    In the midst of winter, February 2 marks the season’s turning point. Light is advancing at dawn and dusk.
    Life is stirring down in earth’s depths, where the groundhogs sleep.

Andrew Irwin Leventhal and I plunged into the 37-degree Potomac River while the air temperature was 38 degrees. We dressed in matching black Washington Capitals hockey jerseys as Andrew enjoys following the team.
    Because of high tide, strong winds and recent rains, there was no beach to plunge from. The 200 or so plungers had a narrow entryway over boulders and muddy water.
    I screamed the entire time.