Friday, June 27, 2008

Swimming with the ducks & geese

There was much to see in the park today, ducks and ducklings, geese and goslings, and turtles. My little one collected tons of feathers. Feather Painting anyone? 

I did not anticipate that my little one would end up swimming. Sometimes, I have wondered if I have I have given my little one too much freedom, which is why she will just jump right in, whenever, where ever. 

Thursday, June 26, 2008

June perennials

I am sad to see the alliums color fade, but I love to leave the seed heads around, as they add visual interest. Now, I can enjoy the beauty of my labor. A garden is indeed a labor of love. 

My little one enjoying the bountiful Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue'

Scabiosa columbaria 'Butterfly Blue' and Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna'

My grandmother hooked me on this plant. Digitalis purpurea 'Camelot' is eye catching. 

Veronica spicata 'Red Fox' was such an abundant bloomer, I had to add more plants this year. 

Anemone multifida "Annabella' produces such a delicate rose bloom. One of my favorite parts is the rounded flower head it leaves behind. 

For the butterflies, Asclepias incarnata

One of my all time favorites, Hydrangea 'Endless Summer'

Surprisingly tall for the front of my border, Nepeta Sunsessillis. I will have to move a few plants around this fall.

Centaurea dealbata will bloom again.

Anthemis 'Susann Mitchell' is overflowing with blooms

How could I refuse this?? Sanguisorba menziesii is so interesting and fuzzy.

Another favorite, Enchinacea purpurea 'Magnus'. 

Not a perennial for my zone, but Lantana Landmark 'Peach Sunrise' is better than I anticipated. 

Playing in the mud

This was the the very beginning of playing in the mud. A little water and a little mud on her feet.

Well, it turned into a mud bath. Complete with muddy shampoo. After the fun was done, we cleaned up and went on a new adventure.

Look at that smile.

Nothing lights up my little one's face like a toad, or a frog, or a crayfish, or a bluegill, or a tadpole, or a bullfrog. Just a few of her favorite things.

What's in the bushes?

Humm, what was that sound? 

I think there is something in the bushes. 

What could it be? 

A TOAD !!!!!!!

If my identification is correct this is a Fowler's Toad. They seem to love our sandy lot and provide my little one with much enjoyment. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Nature Inspired Preschool Art Activities

I believe that children learn best through hands-on experiences, by seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and feeling. I feel play provides the opportunity for my little one to explore, imagine, create, and discover. I also think it is important to provide a rich environment that nurtures a sense of wonder and curiosity. I feel that play, art, music, and nature are essential in developing my little one's imagination and creativity. So, if you are talking about where milk comes from... visit a farm. If you are counting, count strawberries and let your little one eat them. Also, it is best to choose multi-purpose toys. A plain wooden car could be a bus, train, racing car, moving van, caboose or ... The possibilities are endless. A yellow taxi cab is just that a yellow taxi cab. Other open-ended toys include a basket of shells, pine cones, river rocks, acorns, crystals, twigs, flowers, leaves, and seed pods. These are all things you could bring back from a nature walk. Not only are they free, but they provide countless opportunities for critical thinking and intellectual development. I was amazed when my little one stood up 3 pine cones to represent our family and began to play with them. 

I am interested in preparing nature inspired art projects for my little one that are process oriented. I stay flexible as our projects could go in any direction and I like that. I love seeing my little one's imagination and creativity take flight. 

Nature paintings
Collect objects from nature along your walk and use them to paint with. You will get a variety of different textures, as well as sights, sounds, and smells from the found objects. We painted with dried flower heads, clover, leaves, twigs, maple leaves, rocks, pine cones, and various weeds. 

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer inspired nature table

Summer inspired our nature table. Butterflies are fluttering around. The little bumblebee is buzzing. Our beach treasures decorate most of our scene. Shells, starfish, drift wood, ocean glass, and some sand bring the ocean and beach within reach. My little one brought out her mermaid. I am enticing her with these wool mermaids I found over at I really like the uncarded fiber used in the tails. From the top down, I have been inspired by: Nushkie, Mooninthemeadow, happy2dogs.

Summer Fun

Summer is officially here. We picnicked near a stream. It was a beautiful day. First, we had lunch, then . . .

we jumped in.

Back at home, my little ran around the yard barefoot and tried on her dinosaur feet. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Elizabeth Rose Garden in bloom

We visited the Elizabeth Rose Garden in all it's beauty. We had a picnic in our car as we waited for the rain to subside. Then, we enjoyed a stroll through the rose garden and the covered pergola quickly became a popular hiding spot our little one would run to.

The variety of roses here is amazing. I would say it is a wonderful day trip for anyone here in the Northeast. The grounds include a heritage rose garden, perennial garden, rock garden, and a pond.

I have always loved the hedges of roses that grace the homes by the shore. The flowers are very airy and have a subtly about them. The Blush Knockout roses are one of my favorites. They seem virtually maintenance free and provide endless color throughout the season. I am planning another trip to the garden to get some better pictures of the roses.

Blush Knockout Rose

A little discovery among the rose arbors.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I love Alliums

One of my favorite flowers, Alliums. I returned home to still enjoy my alliums in bloom. First and foremost, the mammoth Globemasters. The flower in front receives the most sun and gets the biggest bloom. They prefer full sun. I would love to add more to create a massive display, but I am content at the present time. I am also hoping that they will multiply. In my garden, upcoming phlox and bee balm hide the allium leaves as they yellow.  

The other picture is Allium cristophii. I only have 2 bulbs that bloomed this year, so I'll definitely need to order some bulbs this fall. I am pleasantly surprised by the background perennial, Heuchera 'Purple Petticoats'. These are newly planted and I am hoping that they will help cover the allium leaves as they yellow. 

Make Way for Ducklings

A storm moved in, the skies opened up and a rainbow appeared. It's funny how the weather can change in an instant, especially these days. The unpredictable weather continued on through our visit with family in Boston. As most of my visits to the city go - a little wet. But who could have predicted, a little cold in June. We ended up going to a store to purchase jackets, rain boots for our little one, and I even picked up a sweater. Next time, I'll remember to pack a few warmer things, just in case. I was surprised how chilly it could be the day before a sweltering heat wave was forecasted. Odd weather these days.

Of course, rain or shine, we most always enjoy our day.

We strolled the park and discovered some ducks and ducklings. The swans were positioned on their nest and we captured the swan boats in the background. We hope to catch the swan boat ride another time. The alliums were in full bloom and I was hoping that when I returned home, I would still be able to enjoy mine.


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