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.

Friday, February 17, 2012

What's in a Fen

Our own Connie Crancer, staff Natural Areas team manager and native plant specialist, will discuss Kirk Fen at the Michigan Botanical Club Huron Valley Chapter program this Monday.

Kirk Fen is located at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and until recently was overgrown with woody non-native invasive vegetation. A fen is a kind of wetland that supports a wide range of animals and plants

Connie will define and clarify what a prairie fen is, give a brief site overview, and discuss the history of floral inventories and studies in Kirk Fen. She'll also explain the restoration process and the inventories and studies she undertook to begin a long-term process of measuring success. 

Don't miss this opportunity to discover the fascinating world of fens and to learn about the Michigan Botanical Club-Huron Valley Chapter. The Michigan Botanical Club is the native plant society for the State of Michigan and the home of the Michigan Big Tree Program.

Connie recently earned her Masters of Science in Terrestrial Ecology through the University of Michigan.

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20 at 7:45 P.M.

WHERE: Matthaei Botanical Gardens Auditorium, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd., Ann Arbor, MI