Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Another Trip to the Discovery Garden

I know I've posted before about the Highfield Discovery Garden at the Glenwood Gardens Metropark.  We went again today.  In the rain. Again.  I love going on rainy or almost rainy days because there is hardly anyone there.  I thought I'd post some pictures for those of you not familiar with the Discovery Garden so you can see why I love it so much (almost more than the kids).

This is their garden area - it's all square ft gardening in raised beds that are near "eye-height" for young children.  It's awesome.  They are made into these funky shapes so you can walk on paths in between the beds.  They grow all kinds of things from carrots and lettuce and tomatoes to things most kids have never seen before like kohlrabi.  They give all the harvest away to visitors to the garden (which are often urban kids who don't garden).  To the right, just out of the picture, is a cottage house that houses their bunny, Lulu.  Kate ADORES Lulu.

This is Kate checking out some marigolds growing underneath the cabbage leaves. This week's "lesson" was on planting and kids that visit get to plant marigold seeds in peat pellets in a dixie cup.  Kate was happy to plant Claire's.  Claire kept trying to eat the peat out of her cup. 

Claire checking out the ambient music speaker in the middle of the raised garden beds.  That's garlic growing behind her head. To the right may be collard greens, I can't remember for sure.

The "Cottage House" that houses the lesson area, and Lulu.  They teach kids about composting (I want their bins, they're so much nicer than mine).  You can see the garden beds in the back.

The fun whimsical "tea party house" as Kate calls it.  

Inside the tea party house, getting ready to have a tea party. Or play restaurant.

Their pump and rain barrel.  The dark area under the rain barrel is covered in rubber mulch, and I think there is a large drain under it, as the pump and the "rain feature" use recycled water for the most part.  Though the kids like to water the plants with water from the pump.  A lot of watering the plants.  The plants in this area need to be tolerant of overly wet conditions, I'm sure.  The rain feature is cool because kids can push a button and the fake cloud over the roof area "rains" and then the rain goes down the gutter and into the rain barrel.

The train area - they have about 3-4 electric trains that run around multiple tracks in this area, and a little walk-through path just for kids (the overhead bridges at either end of the path make it extremely hard for adults to walk in to the middle of the trains).  There is also a station house with buttons the kids can push to make train sounds.

One of the frogs we saw in the pond today - it was a cool overcast day and they were all over the banks.  On 90 degree days they are almost impossible to find.

The new feature for this year, the Fairy Garden.  Kate loves to stare at the garden and try to find every little fairy in it.

Apart from this, I haven't done much in the garden the past couple of days.  The second planting of beans is beginning to sprout, and I got the rest of the new raised bed filled.  Now I just need to get the peppers and tomatoes in it.  And I desperately need to get out and weed.  However, I have been spending so much time in the garden recently I am in danger of falling behind on the orders I have to sew for my business.  So since it's drizzly today, I will be in the basement with Kate (who is watching Barbie Princess & the Pauper - ugh) sewing up a storm.  Hopefully I will emerge at the end of Claire's nap with two almost totally finished pillowcase dresses.


  1. I want to go there! I want to sit in the little tea house and find the fairys!!!
    Great post!

    Welcome to blotanical!

  2. What a cute posts!!!!!!!! I agree Jessica...we should go!

  3. I Love the pictures of your girls especially the one in the little tea house. What fun!
    Thanks for stopping by.
    hugs, Cherry


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