Growing Together: Open Forum

  • 1.  need color in drab winter garden!

    Posted 7 days ago
    Those who teach in children's gardens in Winter - like bare-tree, mostly browns, dead grass kind of winters - how to you bring color and interest to them? I will be teaching parent-child Winter nature classes  in my own yard(not a school program) and while I know there are things to explore and are cool and pretty in the perennial beds and trees when we look close and use some crafty materials, the space is still SO bare from Dec - March. I am ok with teaching that this is the color of nature here at this time, but also want it to feel inviting and stimulating and a big magical for the kids and the parents.  I am finding that challenging to create when things aren't in blooming and vegetable bed is asleep. Any thoughts for how to incorporate colorful "touches" or some kind of nature creations/ornaments would be welcome!

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    cathy Hartenstein
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  • 2.  RE: need color in drab winter garden!

    Posted 7 days ago
    I would consider adding natural bird feeders to the garden.  I usually cut up some tangerines or oranges, scoop out some (not all) of the flesh) and then fill with a mixture of birdseed and peanut butter (okay and bacon drippings cause well its bacon!).

    We string pop corn and cranberries and add those to the garden rather than the christmas tree.  I use natural thread so that it degrades if it falls to the ground.  We also add dried corn cobs of various colors (I like purple corn!) in feeding stations.  I keep one low platform feeder as well as a high platform feeder.

    Finally, a winter bird bath.  I have a solar powered one that keeps just enough of the water thawed during the day that birds can use it.  Unless the temp is crazy low.

    It is too late this year, but I also collect those wonderful pile of colorful leaves and plop them right on my veggie area for the entire winter.

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    Rebecca Newsom
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  • 3.  RE: need color in drab winter garden!

    Posted 7 days ago

    These are awesome ideas, thank you! Had thought about the popcorn/cranberries - love that. Can you come over and help me? lol
    And i still have ALL my leaves - yellow maple (only thing good about a Norway!) so I could put those on the beds.






  • 4.  RE: need color in drab winter garden!

    Posted 6 days ago
    Rebecca, what kind of needle do you use for threading the popcorn and cranberries?  I read a tapestry needle but figured I would ask before ordering one....

    On Tue, Nov 23, 2021 at 1:20 PM Catherine Miner Hartenstein <catherine.miner@gmail.com> wrote:

    These are awesome ideas, thank you! Had thought about the popcorn/cranberries - love that. Can you come over and help me? lol
    And i still have ALL my leaves - yellow maple (only thing good about a Norway!) so I could put those on the beds.

    --
    cathy miner design
    catherineminer.crevado.com
    1016 belmont street
    watertown ma
    617.515.8461





  • 5.  RE: need color in drab winter garden!

    ADVISORY COMMITTEE
    Posted 6 days ago
    Hi Cathy,

    I agree with you that the winter can sometimes feel like there aren't many sensory experiences for kiddos in the garden. Below are some ideas for you to increase the winter interest of your space so it feels more engaging:

    -Evergreens in your garden will add green all through the winter and attract birds. You can adorn them with bird feeders and garlands. If it's too late to plant this year, you could put greens or old Christmas trees in containers around your space and decorate those.
    -Leaving seedheads up will also add texture/interest and attract birds
    -Creating signage will add color and information to engage with
    -Building fort like structures with saplings can create spaces to play, decorate, hang feeders and wind chimes
    -Sculpture and garden art can be an attraction for people and critters
    -Tracking weather with rain gauges and snow measuring sticks can be a fun winter activity as well

    I am sure others have lots more ideas, but here are the ones that are coming to mind for me now. Hope this is helpful. Have fun out there!


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    Em Shipman
    Executive Director
    KidsGardening
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