Monday, December 3, 2012

Taking Care of the Caregiver

An innovative program from the University of Michigan Health System aims to address the needs of care-partners of adults living with memory loss

Matthaei Botanical Gardens is the setting for a new monthly wellness program developed by the Michigan Alzheimer’s DiseaseCenter (MADC). The free stress-reduction program, called “Catching Your Breath,” allows caregivers to refresh and recharge in the restorative atmosphere of the Gardens.
We’re all familiar with stress and the toll it takes on our well-being. For caregivers of adults living with memory loss, stress is an even greater factor in their lives as the demands of the care they provide pull them ever further from their own emotional and physical needs.
Despite the considerable contributions care-partners make to loved ones suffering from memory loss they remain an underserved and often overlooked group in the spectrum of care. And the care they provide takes its toll; research shows that caregivers experience much higher levels of stress than non-caregivers, and caregivers report feelings of anger, guilt, or helplessness as a result of providing care.
Catching Your Breath is a way to support care-givers and the ways they take care of themselves, explains MADC program coordinator Laura Rice-Oeschger, LMSW. “Caregivers experience more stress, doubt, and fear,” Rice-Oeschger says. “Catching Your Breath introduces the idea of self-care for caregivers in an atmosphere that’s welcoming and nonjudging and about letting go.”
Each Catching Your Breath session is unique and may include instruc­tions and guidance in meditation practices; mindful perspectives such as mindful eating, walking, and breathing; visualization; art projects; and book or poetry readings. Spring and summer 2012 guest speakers facilitated discussions for maintain­ing balance and cultivating wellness while caregiving, and for the Novem­ber session Rice-Oeschger coordinat­ed a discussion and activity around preparations for wellness during the holiday season to help members create a holiday stress-management plan. “For any new members,” Rice-Oeschger explains, “the practices and discussion are simple and open. For folks who are returning, it’s an op­portunity to deepen the commitment to self-care and revisit old skills.”
A Holistic Approach
Catching Your Breath is part of MADC’s larger mission to improve the life experiences of caregivers, their families, and those who have cognitive impairment, says Dr. Henry Paulson,  Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan Medical School and the Director of Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center.

MADC’s three-pronged mission includes research, care, and education for the public and health care professionals alike about the causes and treatment of dementia, and Catching Your Breath “is an exciting new component of our growing effort to help caregivers understand and deal with the issues they might face as this complex, chronic disease goes through its many phases,” Paulson notes.

Inspiring and enriching people’s lives through contact with nature forms a core mission of Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, and the Catching Your Breath program speaks to that principle, says Matthaei- Nichols’ Director Robert Grese. “Catching Your Breath recognizes the restorative value of nature and beautiful gardens in people’s lives, particularly for those dealing with much emo­tional stress,” he says. As medical care shifts to recognize the need to treat the whole person as well as to provide support for family members who serve as caregivers, adds Grese, places like the Conser­vatory, gardens, or nature trails become more important as settings that provide respite.”
Working with MADC also underscores how the Arb and Gardens continues to find new ways to collaborate with other units at the University, says Grese. “Catching Your Breath is a perfect fit, in part because of the medical campuses’ proximity to the Arboretum and the Gardens but also because it’s natural that we should look for ways to improve physical access to our properties and institute programs here that engage medical staff, patients, and their families.”
For more information about Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Center or Catching Your Breath visit the MADC website or call 734.936.8764. Interested in attending a session in 2013? Catching Your Breath winter / spring 2013 schedule:
Jan. 16, 6:30–8 pm
Feb. 13, 10–11:30 am
March 20, 6:30–8 pm
April 17, 10–11:30 am

Friday, November 16, 2012

Feast - World Dinner Party at Matthaei

Your table is waiting at Matthaei Botanical Gardens on Friday, December 14. We're hosting Feast - A World Dinner Party, a special holiday dinner prepared by University of Michigan chefs. Feast - A World Dinner Party highlights ingredients from the food plants that appear in our conservatory exhibit that runs November 14 through January 6, 2013.

Treat yourself to fig and goat cheese tartlet with pomegranate-agave syrup; prickly pear salad with hearts
of palm, arugula, and grapefruit; chicken with galangal, bay laurel, curry, and loquat served with
basmati rice; and more.

Event also includes a guided tour of the exhibit from 6-7 pm, 'mocktails’ in the Conservatory, and a chef’s cooking demonstration.

Buy your tickets today - limited availability.To view a menu and to purchase tickets visit our online registration site for the dinner:

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

City Water Soon to Be a Fixture at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Visitors to Matthaei lately have encountered big trucks, earth-moving equipment, and the beep of back-up signals mingling with bird calls. It's all for good, as contractors and workers this October have been busy hooking the Gardens up to city water.

First, contractors had to bore under Dixboro Rd. to reach the water main located on the west side of the street. That work is now finished and we await the final pressure and sanitation tests for a green light to hook the city water up to the building plumbing.

When that happens, the Gardens will benefit from some much-needed fixture upgrades, including new drinking fountains with fill stations; dual flush toilets; new sinks and faucets; new sink and counter top in the kitchen off the main hallway; and more. There will also be three fire hydrants installed along with a required fire service road in the back of the facility.

Difficult to say exactly when the work will be completed but certainly this fall and likely by the end of November.

Stay tuned, and stop by for a sip of our new water and a look at the makeover!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Art of Nature

This weekend, students in “Landscape as Environmental Media” (Natural Resources & Environment 587) are creating art installations at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The installations will be up through next week (10/8) at least. Some of the students on the teams worked as summer interns and caretakers at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. Posters and models explaining the work are on display in the west lobby at Matthaei. Don’t miss these fascinating---and ephemeral---studies that make use of our landscapes as a canvas for examining the elements of nature.

Group 1: Inside Out: Explores the idea of bringing indoor elements outdoors. Location: Willow Pond Island. Students: Dan Buckley, Emily Gehle, Sydney Johnson, Robert Primeau, and Nolan Sandberg.

Group 2: Leafy Paths: Inspired by the paths that leaves and seeds take as they fall to the surfaces of water. Concentric circles symbolize the ripples that leaves and seeds create when they touch the water. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail; bridge across Fleming Creek just north of the trail pavilion. Students: Chen Lu, Lumin Wang, Angela Cesere, and Peter Widin.

Group 3: Erosion Unraveled: Shows the history of erosion along the southern end of Fleming Creek that runs along Sam Graham Trees Trail. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail, near rock vanes in Fleming Creek. Students: Jenny Hebert, Oren Brandvain, Ying Li, and Robert Cabral.

Group 4: Embedded Life: Spheres painted in plant-inspired hues signify the plants and creatures that create the diversity of the meadow. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail overlook/council ring. Students: Sarah Brey, Li Chen, Sarah Clark, Chang Yan.

Group 5: Milkweed Pods: A tribute to the common milkweed, an iconic symbol of our native ecology. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail, just north of entrance drive. Students: Lizzy Baskerville, Amy Motzny, Sam Sikanas, and Lauren Yelen.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Run for the Arb

People and pooches---join us Saturday, September 29th, at 9 am for Run for the Arb, a 5K family run/walk through the Nichols Arboretum trails. Register the family dog to accompany you on the run and Fido gets a bandanna with logo, too! Run for the Arb is a fundraiser to benefit Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. All proceeds support the Arb & Gardens.

The race begins at the James D. Reader Urban Environmental Education Center at the Arb’s 1610 Washington Hts. entrance. To see a map of Arboretum running trails see this PDF; the race begins at the location marked with a number 1.

*Please note that this is a trail run with uneven surfaces.

$25 registration fee includes t-shirt. Space is limited for this event so register early!

Note: Matthaei-Nichols members receive a $5 discount on registration.
Not a member? Join now, help support the Arb & Gardens, and get discounts on special events, Garden Store, and more.

Day-of-race registration opens at 7:30 am the morning of the event for $30. Depending on supply, t-shirts may not be available for day-of-race registrants.

For more information call 734.647.7600 or email RunForTheArb@umich.edu.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Music in the Arb - Sun. 9/16

Please join us for an afternoon of world music in Nichols Arboretum, Sun., Sept. 16, 1–4 pm, 1610 Washington Hts., Ann Arbor. Music in the Arb is free—and a great way to start the fall term!

Performances by U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance and U-M Residential College faculty and students, including Michael Gould playing Argentine music with his duo “Michael Gould and Alberto Rojo,” Susan Walton with gamelan ensemble, the Noraysa Philippine Music Ensemble, and more.

Similar to the well-known summer theater performances of Shakespeare in the Arb, Music in the Arb this year takes place throughout the Arboretum, using the natural setting as a verdant backdrop for a variety of music. Performances begin near the Peony Garden at the Washington Hts. entrance to the Arb and finish at the amphitheater near the prairie.

Music in the Arb 2012 is sponsored by U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, the U-M School of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the U-M Residential College.

Parking is free on Sunday at U-M blue lots on Washington Hts. and Nichols Dr. below U-M Hospital off E. Medical Center Dr.

Concert is cancelled in case of rain or inclement weather. Please visit us on Facebook or Twitter for weather updates. For more information call 734.647.7600 or visit the Arb & Gardens website.

Watch these videos featuring U-M faculty and students playing:

Friday, August 24, 2012

40th Annual Ann Arbor Bonsai Society Show

The Ann Arbor Bonsai Society show is a longstanding tradition and an opportunity for visitors to get an up-close look at some first-rate examples of skillfully tended trees. In honor of that tradition this year’s show pays tribute to renowned local bonsai instructors and artists Jack Wikle and Bill Heston for their contributions to the Society and for their lifelong pursuit of the art and practice of bonsai.

The show features over 100 trees on display and includes workshops, demonstrations, vendors, and more. Plus, visitors may vote in the People’s Choice for their favorite bonsai selections from different categories.

During the Bonsai Show the Matthaei Botanical Gardens is offering free staff-led tours of its bonsai collection, including trees recently acquired from Jack Wikle. Tour attendees will also get a look at the site of the new bonsai and penjing garden currently under construction at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Tours are held 11 am and 1 pm, Sat., Aug. 25; 1 pm, Sun., Aug. 26.

Admission: $3 adults; under 12 free. Sat. & Sun., Aug. 25 & 26, 10 am–4:30 pm, Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society and the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. Info: annarborbonsaisociety.org or call 734.647.7600.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Great Lakes Garden Moving Day

Last Thursday, Aug. 16, Matthaei-Nichols interns, staff, and volunteers gathered at the site of the new Great Lakes Garden at Matthaei. It was all part of an effort to move native plants in preparation for the construction of the Great Lakes Garden. Crew leaders Adrienne O'Brien, Connie Crancer, and Carmen Leskoviansky directed the work, which involved digging up plants and moving them to a nursery area near the field parking lot.

Perfect weather prevailed (read: not too hot) for a change as crew members carefully dug the plants, shook of the dirt, clipped off the tops, and transported the plant material to the nursery area.

Pictured below is a shot of some of the plants shorn of their upper biomass and carefully placed in wheelbarrows for easy transportation to the nursery.

Some of the plants may find their way back into the Great Lakes Garden site before the snow flies, says Crancer, but most will spend the winter in the nursery and eventually be planted in the GLG next spring.

The Great Lakes Garden will be a place to showcase the amazing diversity of Great Lakes flora and the habitats in which they live. Check out the story about the Garden (called "A Sense of Place")  in the fall 2012 Matthaei-Nichols newsletter.

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Great Lakes Garden Moving Day!

Prairie dock  plants with their large root systems

Replanting at the nursery

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Scholars in the Making

Matthaei-Nichols associate curator David Michener recently finished teaching his course in the U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts Michigan Math and Science Scholars program. The MMSS program, according to its website, is designed "to expose high school students to current developments and research in the sciences and to encourage the next generation of researchers to develop and retain a love of mathematics and science." The course ran July 8 through 20.

Michener's course was Exploring Landscape Diversity, in which landscapes can be "read" for information not evident to the untrained observer. According to Michener there were more international students in his course than usual, with students from India, Taiwan, Greece, Korea, and China.

We caught up with several of the students on the penultimate day of the course working on an assignment to map soil diversity on areas of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Gregory, from Greece, said that this assignment, and the course in general, taught him how field research is done. Manasi, an Indian-American student, revealed that the course had allowed her to see nature from a different perspective.

Kudos to David Michener for bringing nature to tomorrow's scientists, and to all of the students who participated!

Friday, June 29, 2012

A Royal Welcome

Speaking of monarch butterflies, Monarch Watch, an educational outreach program, recently designated Matthaei-Nichols as monarch waystations

We're all monarch mavens here, and welcome hundreds of these regal butterflies to our properties each summer. Look for the waystation signs---and the monarchs!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Milkweed: Not Just for Monarchs

Yesterday, Judy Dluzen, one of Matthaei-Nichols' horticulturists, pointed out an interesting bunch of tiny caterpillars on one of the milkweeds between the greenhouses. We knew they weren't monarchs, and after a little research discovered them to be early instar milkweed tussock caterpillars. Toxins found in the milkweed called cardenolides provide the caterpillars a chemical defense against predators such as bats, birds, lizards, and other insects. Doesn't this late-instar tussock caterpillar pictured here looks a bit like the monarch caterpillar?

Here's a link to an article on the milkweed tussock moth. Look for them on your milkweed!

---Steve Parrish, Matthaei-Nichols

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sensational Nature

Pollinator Week is coming up (June 18-24). To help you celebrate and learn about the many pollinating bees, flies, birds, and other creatures so critical to our ecosystem, check out our Sensational Nature children's programming this summer at Matthaei.

June 20: Butterflies and Dragons---go on a scavenger hunt for hummingbirds, dragonflies, and other signs of summer. Includes crafts, games, and guided hikes.

June 22: Bugs Are Beautiful---Take a hike to look for pollinators and build a model flower and fantasy pollinator to celebrate our winged friends.

Register today!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Name that Peony

As part of a multi-year, multi-faceted project, Matthaei-Nichols staff and a special panel of experts work to identify peonies from the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden

Thursday, June 7, University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical GardensOn this warm late-spring day, buckets of cut-peony bouquets in hues of pink, white, and red dazzled Greenhouse 3. A rosy peony aroma hung in the air.

Harvested in bud stage days earlier and kept cool until they could be forced to open, the cut peonies evoked a powerful memory of the now mostly faded peony garden itself.

Left to right: Peony Council member Scott Parker, Matthaei-Nichols staff member
Carmen Leskoviansky, and Council  member Reiner Jakubowski. The Council arrived at
Matthaei Botanical Gardens last week to help identify hundreds of peony stems that had been cut days earlier.

The flowers awaited the collective wisdom of the Peony Advisory Council, a group of local, regional, and international peony experts, growers, horticulturists, business owners, and historians. The Council reconvened this June to continue its work on helping Matthaei-Nichols staff conduct the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden Initiative, a multi-year renovation project.

Staff and the Council are aiming for a positive identification of all the plants in the peony garden. No easy task, since peony names, forms, colors, and other attributes have in some cases shifted over the years.

While many of the peonies in the garden are believed to be correctly identified, there are some plants of questionable identity and approximately forty mystery plants. Verifying the identities of these plants will provide Matthaei-Nichols and the Council with a complete and correct catalog of the collection. In turn, the project will transform the garden into an internationally recognized reference collection that will serve as a conservation model for other historic cultivar collections and a destination for peony lovers.

To make the ID possible, exhaustive records are consulted. Council member Reiner Jakubowski in particular has amassed thousands of carefully organized records over decades into an enormous database created from historic peony manuals, catalogs, growers’ descriptions, and more.

In Greenhouse 3, already grown too warm by mid-morning, Matthaei-Nichols staff removed tagged stems of peonies, some with names. Carmen Leskoviansky, a staff horticulturist who leads the Peony Garden Initiative, read from descriptions based on Jakubowski’s work.

The council members examined each flower, comparing it against the description. Notes were taken; intense discussion ensued. Then the stem of flowers moved down the line where a photo volunteer clicked several pictures of the peony, including identifying features such as petals, stamens, and the name tag itself.

With the Council’s help recently, several unknown cultivars have been identified, including the rare ‘Silvia Saunders.’ Along the way, Arb and Garden’s staff have learned a great deal about peony culture and disease.

Stay tuned as work on the largest collection of heirloom peonies in North America continues. For more information, visit the peony section on our website.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Dozen for the Matthaei-Nichols Bonsai Collection

The already outstanding Matthaei-Nichols bonsai collection just got better.

A recent purchase of twelve trees from local bonsai teacher, demonstrator, lecturer, and bonsai guru Jack Wikle brings our collection to well over 50. Wikle, who has been active in the bonsai community for decades, also has long-standing ties to Matthaei-Nichols as a volunteer, bonsai adviser, and member of the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society.

Of particular interest in the new acquisitions are an American hornbeam group (Carpinus caroliniana) and a larch (Larix laricina) group. Both species are native trees.

The hornbeam, which dates to 1964, was Wikle’s second bonsai tree, says staff member Carmen Leskoviansky, who oversees the Matthaei-Nichols bonsai collection. “Hornbeam is special because it’s native, not traditional bonsai material, and more difficult to work with,” she says.

The larch forest resembles a miniature woods and sits atop a slab, a bonsai vessel that’s even shallower than the usual bonsai pot. While the Matthaei-Nichols bonsai collection has three other larch specimens, this is the first larch forest. As a woods in miniature the larch forest is convincing enough that it’s easy to imagine yourself in the midst of a Michigan tamarack bog. Such realism is what makes this acquisition particularly exciting, says Leskoviansky. 

The twelve news trees come from a collection many years in the making. Wikle, who turned 80 last winter, offered the collection for sale to several area organizations and individuals, including Hidden Lake Gardens in Tipton, Mich. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Matthaei-Nichols. As bittersweet as saying goodbye to his bonsai must have been, Wikle says that he and his wife now see these trees, which were a big part of their lives, “bringing pleasure and inspiration to others in the years to come after we are gone.”

Many of the new additions and those from our permanent collection will be on display in the new bonsai and penjing garden currently under construction at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

A list of the twelve new trees:

Carpinus caroliniana Group (American hornbeam)
Carpinus caroliniana Single Trunk (American hornbeam)
Thuja occidentalis (white cedar)
Larix laricina Forest (American larch)
Hypericum kalmianum (Kalm St. John’swort)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots pine)
Acer buergerianum (trident maple)
Carpinus koreana (Korean hornbeam)
Prunus subhirtella var. autumnalis (fall flowering Higan cherry)
Cotoneaster multiflorus (many-flowered cotoneaster)
Chaenomeles speciosa var. (flowering quince)
Tilia cordata (littleleaf linden)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden Tours

The Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden is the largest collection of antique and heirloom peonies in North America. At peak bloom visitors are treated to more than 10,000 blossoms in shades of pink, red, and white. It's a must-see event, so don't miss this year's peony garden blooming season. 

Really - don't miss it, because thanks to a warm March and even more warm weather recently, the garden is early and we've moved the bloom dates up considerably.  If one can ever be certain about nature or the weather we're now pretty sure that the peony garden will bloom between May 15 and the end of May or very early June.

Beyond a visit to to enjoy the blooms, if you'd like to dig a little deeper into the peony garden's storied history be sure to attend one or more in a series of free, staff-led tours during the 2012 peony bloom season. All tours take place in the Arboretum, 1610 Washington Hts. For more information, and to stay on top of the garden visit our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter  @MatthaeiNichols. Or call 734.647.7600.

Peony Garden tours:

Tuesday, May 15
12:15 pm
Staff Picks
Favorite peonies of Matthaei-Nichols staff
7:00 pm
Elements of Style
Demystifying peony forms and fashions

Wednesday, May 16
12:15 pm
Elements of Style
Demystifying peony forms and fashions
7:00 pm
What’s in a Name?
Peony names of the past—the who, what, when, and why

Thursday, May 17
12:15 p
What’s in a Name?
Peony names of the past—the who, what, when, and why
7:00 pm
Best in Show
Top-ranked peonies and why they were considered champions in their time

Friday, May 18
12:15 pm
Best in Show
Top-ranked peonies and why they were considered champions in their time
7:00 pm
What Price Peonies
From steep to cheap, peonies of the past and what we paid for them

Saturday, May 19
12:15 pm
What Price Peonies
From steep to cheap, peonies of the past and what we paid for them
7:00 pm
Building a Better Peony Garden
A behind-the-scenes look at the efforts of Matthaei-Nichols and many others to grow, maintain, and steward the historic peony garden now and for the future

Sunday, May 20
12:15 pm
Staff Picks
Favorite peonies of Matthaei-Nichols staff
7:00 pm
How to Grow Peonies
Experts tips, hints, and information from our staff on growing peonies right

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

National Walking Day is April 4

Your legs were made for walking! 

We've partnered with the University of Michigan MHealthy and the American Heart Association as one of the host sites for National Walking Day. We'll have trail signage at Matthaei and the Arboretum, and MHealthy will be giving a presentation on fitness and exercise in the Botanical Gardens auditorium from 10-10:45 am. Free.

If you can't make it Wed., stop in anytime: Matthaei-Nichols is open 7 days a week.

Start walking at U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd.; U-M Nichols Arboretum, 1610 Washington Hts. 734.647.7600.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Pleasures of the Peony

Don't miss a very special discussion tonight by U-M History of Art alumna and Hong Kong University Professor Roslyn Hammers on the role of peonies in Song-dynasty Chinese art.

The appreciation of the peony has an extensive history in Chinese art and literature. The temptations of the flower, long associated with feminine seductiveness, compelled poets to write poems extolling its sensuous charms. For most aficionados, the voluptuous peony was celebrated in paintings, praised in poetry, and acclaimed in botanical studies. For others, however, the floral beauty was regarded with some forbearance, as a subject too seductive for proper scholarly attention or artistic expression.

Tonight's presentation explores varying facets of the Song-dynasty peony as presented in paintings, poetry, and prose in order to reclaim the complexities it evoked as well as to consider the anxieties the peony inspired.

Sponsored by U-M Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, the Confucius Institute at the University of Michigan, U-M Center for Chinese Studies, U-M History of Art, and U-M Museum of Art.

Tuesday, March 27, 7 pm. Free.Reception to follow.

Helmut Stern Auditorium, University of Michigan Museum of Art. 525 S. State St.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Better Bonsai Bench

The bonsai trees in the conservatory's temperate house are sitting atop a handsome new table/bench built by Matthaei-Nichols' volunteer Bill Sloan. The trees and the table are works of art.

If you haven't visited our conservatory lately, take a break from the gloomy late-winter weather, warm up in our conservatory, and see the display of bonsai. Free admission to the conservatory, too.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Project Grow Community Garden Plots Available at Matthaei

If you have no yard or too much shade but would still like to do some gardening, Project Grow offers a Community Garden at Matthaei with spaces available for 2012. A full plot measures 25'x30' and costs $130 per season. Half plots measuring 12.5'x30' are also available and cost $80. The garden opens in early May, once it is dry enough to till, and remains open until October 20th. The garden site is fully fenced for deer. All Project Grow sites are organic and a number of free classes are offered in March to help get you started. Visit the Project Grow website at www.projectgrowgardens.org to learn more or just click here (www.projectgrowgardens.org/application) to apply.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring Exhibit Opens Saturday, Feb. 25

Get out of the snow and into the conservatory at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The spring exhibit---Celebrating 50 Years on Dixboro---open Sat., Feb. 25, at 10.

We'll have live music 11 am - 2 pm; kids activities; historic images of Matthaei and the conservatory under construction in the early 1960s; display of faculty and student research and study; slide show of visitor-submitted images of Matthaei; spring bulb and flower display; and a chance to share your memories of visiting the Botanical Gardens in pictures or words.

Free admission! Exhibit runs through April 8. Open daily 10 am-4:30 pm.; Wednesdays until 8 pm.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Make Way for Spring!

All week at Matthaei Botanical Gardens we’re featuring activities for kids and families. Or just drop by anytime during winter break for a mini-tropical vacation in the conservatory. Free admission!

Tues., Feb. 21, 10 am-noon
Folktales and Fantasy
Listen to a folktale and then create your own legend story collage, complete with items found in nature. $5.00 per child includes activities and materials. Limited class size; preregistration requested.

Wed., Feb. 22, self-guided activities for families
Winter Trek
Come ready to spend a few nature packed hours at Matthaei as you create your own eco-treasure hunt. Explore the trails and look for signs of animals in winter.

Thurs., Feb. 23, 1-2 pm
Papermaking and nature journals
Make beautiful paper from recycled newsprint and explore nature through writing and observations. $5.00 per child includes activities and materials. Limited class size; preregistration requested.

Fri., Feb. 24, 1-2 pm
Fairie Gardens and Troll Houses
Fairies and trolls are visiting! Welcome them by helping us construct fairie dwellings for the Conservatory and the Gaffield Children’s Garden. Also, build a fairie garden and a troll house to coax fairies and trolls into visiting your home. A Winter Adventure Saturday program at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. $5.00 per child includes activities and materials. Limited class size; preregistration requested.