Welcome to my Western Pennsylvania garden. Join me on a "Walk Down the Garden Path".

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Garden Through A Child's Eyes

Hershey Gardens has a wonderful Children's Garden area which has 32 themed garden areas and a seasonal Butterfly House. We allowed Lillian to explore this area out of her stroller, although I did carry her most of the time in the Butterfly House so she wouldn't grab the butterflies that were covering the flowers.

The gates to the Children's Garden set the tone with these whimsical sculptures. I wouldn't mind these ants at a picnic.

And this has to be one of the happiest bees I've ever seen. Just look at that smile!

Inside the Butterfly House this butterfly asks "Are you my Mother?"

Please note, although they do provide an butterfly identification brochure for use while in the Butterfly House, I was holding Lillian in one arm and snapping pictures with the other. So I will refrain from identifying any of these flying beauties. I'm sure I could take the time to look up the names on the internet, that goldmine of information, but for me, just enjoying the pretty pictures is enough. At least for now, maybe someday I will look them up and identify them all.

Lillian was getting ready to grab this one, I had to race over and scoop her up to prevent butterfly homicide.

While I am just showing the Butterfly stage of these delightful creatures, the whole lifecycle was represented. Several volunteers staffed the Butterfly House, ready to explain anything about the various stages of the lifecycle or help identify the various species.

Outside the Butterfly House was this fountain area with striking cannas and fountain grass.

Here is the fountain. It was great fun watching the ball spin in the ever changing vertical stream of water.

One of the themed garden areas was the River-Banker's Picnic secluded nook. I just loved these "toad stools".

The other themed areas include a pretzel maze made of not too difficult hedgerows to navigate. The path was brown tile with large pieces of quartz - the salt of the pretzel! There was also an Alphabet Boarder, with a plant to represent each of the twenty-six letters. The Spa-Tacular Garden has a claw foot bathtub planted with all sorts of soothing varieties. And one of my favorites was the Botanical Tunes Garden, complete with giant xylophone and floor chimes to jump on.

This Children's Garden is a delight for children of all ages and a must see when visiting Hershey Gardens. They do close the Butterfly House in the fall though. None of the butterflies are harmed, they are allowed to live out there lives in this butterfly utopia and only when none are left, is the structure taken down so it isn't damaged by the Pennsylvanian snows.


Shibaguyz said...

What a great way to introduce your child to gardening. I'm sure she will have memories of some magical place she once visited. Excellent post.

tina said...

How wonderful! Lillian looks happy to play in the butterfly house. That orange butterfly rimmed with black is way cool. It is interesting they take the butterfly house down in the winter. Do you know if they put it up in the same area next year-over the same plants and stuff? I wonder if the chyrsalises winter over in those plants?

TC said...

How sweet your little darlin girl is Ms. Cindy. I so wish mine were little again....no, wait! what am I sayin?? Seriously though, she is a cutie goin after that butterfly, I wonder what she would've done with it had you let her grab it?

Nola @ Alamo North said...

How pretty, your daughter in the butterfly garden! Thanks for stopping by my blog.
What a neat idea, your other blog "My Life in the Service", I'd never thought of something like that. My dad was in WW II also, and it is nice to go back and read what was going on in people's lives back then.

Gail said...

Adorable, Cindy, your baby girl is adorable! The butterflies are simply gorgeous....butterfly houses are always fun. We took the Hershey Tour when Matt was a kid, it was very interesting to see the cocoa story and smell the chocolate all over town.

Cindy said...

Shibaguyz ~ She really does seem to enjoy the outdoors and the garden, hopefully it will stick, especially when I need help weeding - haha.

Tina ~ John was the one who told me that, he heard one of the volunteers talking about it (taking the structure down that is). I guess they just take the netting part down and then put it back up in the same place next year. He said they redo all the plants but I wouldn't think they would have to necessarily. I know a lot of the butterflies they have are not native and they buy chyrsalises. I don't know if any overwinter in the plants.

TC ~ Although I would be worried she would just grab and shred it, I bet she would first just sort of poke at it, she is always pretty tentative at first. Then it would fly away, before she had the nerve to grab it.

Nola ~ you're welcome and thanks for visiting. I find the WWII diary very interesting and I am doing it online since there is just one copy and this way the rest of the family, and whomever else, can enjoy reading some 67 year old history.

Cindy said...

Gail ~ Hey we're on at the same time :) Amazingly it was my first time to Hershey. I lived only a couple hours away most of my life. I loved smelling that chocolate at the factory.

Bren said...

I found your Garden Blog off of Joeys and I am so happy I did! Your blog entry for today is WONDERFUL! What a wonderful gift it would be to see the garden through a childs eyes!
Happy Fall Dear Garden Friend.

Rose said...

What a wonderful place for children! Lillian is a little doll; looks like she enjoyed the butterflies, too. I do recognize the beautiful Monarch (or is it a Viceroy?), but no need to identify them. As you say, their beauty is enough. And I think you had your hands full:)

Anonymous said...

Aren't Children's Gardens the best! We have one at our Botanical Gardens that just opened a couple of years ago, I wish it had been around when my boys were little. :) Those Butterflies are gorgeous & I'm sure Lillian enjoyed it very much.

Cindy said...

Bren ~ Welcome and thanks so much for stopping by. It's good to find the child inside all of us, it was easy at Hershey!

Rose ~ It was great that Lillian was so enthralled with the butterflies, she wasn't grabbing at the camera like she usually does and I was able to take pictures.

PGL ~ I will have to try and find a children's garden which is close by to me and take her periodically. Of course, she always likes to roam about our yard and gardens, finding treasures of pinecones and leaves.

Dave said...

Those are some pretty neat toadstools! I wonder if you could make some like them...hmm another project maybe! That pergola is pretty neat near the fountain. It looks like a fun place to visit!

Willi said...

What fun! Lillian is so adorable! And I love the mix of grasses and cannas. V. pretty!

Liisa said...

What a great place to visit - the pictures are wonderful! (I must say, I love the name Lillian.) Thanks for visiting my blog, I sure enjoy yours, and will definitely be back for more. As for the cover crop, this is my first year trying it out. I typically amend the soil with compost at planting time, which I will probably do a little of that as well. If you'd like, you can use me as your guinea pig, and I can let you know how it goes. :)

jill said...

I just wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and to reciprocate in kind. I love childrens gardens and enjoy showing kids the magic of gardening. Here in Michigan, the best childrens' garden is at MSU in Lansing. It is one of the first interactive childrens' gardens in the U.S.

Gail said...

Hey did I see you listed as a new blog at blotanical! Welcome!


Cindy said...

Dave - yes I really like those toadstools. Hmmm, how to build a mold to cast them. That would be a project.

Willi - Thanks for visiting. The grasses and cannas was one of my favorite combinations.

Liisa - Thanks for the info on the cover crop. I look forward to reading about your experiences. I don't know if I can get one in this fall with the other projects we have going right now. Isn't that the way it always is, never enough time for everything.

Jill - I will remember that about Lansing. Maybe the next time we head up to The Lake (meaning Superior) we can make a detour to see it. I'm sure we would all enjoy it, not just Lillian :)

Gail - I'd been on Blotanical for a while now, but my posts weren't showing up for the longest time due to the feedburner issues. I'm glad they are showing up now :)