through Dec. 30

Historic Smithville Mansion Holiday House Tours

At 1, 2 and 3 p.m. daily (except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through Dec. 30. Fee: $6; $5 seniors, students. Candlelight tours 7:30 p.m. tonight, Monday and Dec. 26. Fee: $10; $7 students; reservations requested: 609-265-5068; 856-778-8052. Tea and tour, noon Dec. 27 and 30. Fee: $25; reservations required: 609-859-2460. Smithville Mansion, 803 Smithville Rd., Eastampton.

Up ahead

Winter Lecture Series

Ticket book available for eight lectures, 2 to 3 p.m. Sundays, Jan. 4 through Feb. 22. Fee: $56; $45 full-time students. Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve, 1635 River Rd. (Route 32), New Hope; 215-862-2924;



Starting Seeds Indoors

Program, plus instructions on how to build your own grow station, with Montgomery County Master Gardeners at 7 p.m. Jan. 8, Penn State Cooperative Extension, 1015 Bridge Rd., Collegeville. Fee: $15; registration and payment at least seven days in advance. Information: 610-489-4315;

, click on "Horticulture, Programming" or "Garden study series."

Stories from the Garden

Book group discusses works on gardening, plants, nature, the land; 5:45 to 7:45 p.m. Jan. 8 at Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, McLean Library, 100 N. 20th St. Free; pre-registration requested:

; 215-988-8772. Participants must read Rick Bass' The Lives of Rocks (selected short stories) before this meeting. Information:


Master Gardeners Training

Program for 2009 for New Castle County: attend weekly classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays taught by Delaware Cooperative Extension (March 3 through May 21), then devote volunteer service to help the extension provide researched-based information to the gardening public. Fee: $100; scholarships available. Apply by Feb. 2. Information: 302-831-2506;




. Training information sessions (7-8 p.m.): Jan. 6, Newark Free Library, 5 Washington St., Newark; Jan. 12, Appoquinimink Library, 651 N. Broad St., Middletown; Jan. 13, Brandywine Hundred Library (Room 209A), 1300 Foulk Rd., Wilmington; Jan. 20, Hockessin Library, 1023 Valley Rd., Hockessin.

- Jerene Schroeder

Submit items for "Garden Calendar" three weeks in advance to or at The Inquirer, Box 8263, Philadelphia 19101. Include a contact person, address and phone number.