Mulch is a standard form of soil and winter protection for many shallow-rooted plants. However, too much mulch can be too much of a good thing.
The availability and low cost of bark-type mulch materials has created an over-mulching disease in our landscapes. Gardeners have come to think of mulch materials as wonder products that provide endless benefit to our plants.
Misuse of mulch materials decreases a landscape's aesthetic value by changing the appearance of a plant. Misuse of mulch can also kill many of the materials it is intended to help and protect.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will present "The Art of Historical Fiction," 4:30 p.m. March 14, Williams Center for the Arts auditorium, Lafayette College, 317 Hamilton St., Easton.
Brooks received the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her second novel, "March."
The program is the 2013 John L. Hatfield '67 Lecture presented by the Friends of Skillman Library. The talk, free and open to the public, is followed by a book-signing and reception in the Williams Center lobby.
"Quartet" is a thoughtful, entertaining and fun film that hits all the grace notes.
The film is directed by Dustin Hoffman, who will be 76 on Aug. 8, in his feature film directorial debut.
One question: Why did he wait so long?
Well, Hoffman started directing "Straight Time" in 1978, but Ulu Grobard took it over.
The setting for "Quartet" is Beecham House, a home for retired musicians in England, for which the success of the annual gala concert to celebrate composer Giuseppi Verdi's birthday may determine whether the castle-like manse will stay open or close.
A reception to meet New York City artist Lisa A. Turngren for her exhibition, "Patterned Lineage: Facing, Backing & the Space Between," is 4:30 - 6 p.m. March 13, with the exhibition continuing through April 13, Martin Art Gallery, Baker Center for the Arts, Muhlenberg College, 2400 Chew St., Allentown.
The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.
Submissions are now being accepted for the eighth annual award-winning Student Poetry Project.
In celebration of National Poetry Month in April, three poems will be selected in each of the Elementary, Middle School and High School categories and published in the April 24 and 25 Focus section in the Lehigh Valley Press newspapers.
The student whose poem is selected as the best poem in each category may have his or her photo published with the selected poem.
Return to another era of the Lehigh Valley urban landscape with "Edgar S. Baum: For the Love of Painting," through March 15, David E. Rodale Gallery, The Baum School of Art, 510 Linden St., Allentown.
Edgar Baum had the alacrity to see what many of us did not. And so, narrow streets, parked cars and brick buildings recall San Francisco, New England, or Paris, France, not Allentown and Bethlehem.
Baum saw beyond, into and behind what we see in our every-day travails, er, travels in the workaday world of the Lehigh Valley.
"Arising" at Godfrey's: Tommy Sands, "The Bard of Peace," above left, with his son, Fionan, brings his "music of healing" to Godfrey Daniels, 7 E. Fourth St., Bethlehem, 8 p.m. March 8. Sands' United States' tour, "Arising from the Troubles," March 3 - 17, is named for his most recent album. In addition to songs from the album, the concert features classics of Northern Ireland, including "There Were Roses" and the evening's theme song, written with Pete Seeger, "The Music of Healing." Sands and Seeger each contributed a verse, with Sands writing the finale. His U.S.
Tony Blair, former prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will deliver a major address, 4 p.m. April 8, Lafayette College, Easton.
Blair's speech is the college's Lives of Liberty Lecture for 2012 - 13.
Blair was prime minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland May 1997 - June 2007. He was leader of Britain's Labor Party (1994 - 2007) and a member of Parliament for Sedgefield, England (1983 - 2007).
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem tours to the Washington, D.C., area, for the first time since 1999 for its premier performances of Mendelssohn's fiery oratorio "Elijah."
Performance dates include: 3 p.m. March 9, Millersville University; 4 p.m. March 10, First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem; and 8 p m. March 13, The Music Center at Strathmore, Washington, D.C., area.