Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Attracting another kind of wildlife

     Recently, some good friends came to my house for dinner with their children.  Everybody had a good time, including the kids, but as the evening progressed, my little three-year-old friend seemed a bit stressed out.  It was close to bedtime and the excitement was taking its toll.  On their way out, they passed the "Golden Showers" yellow rose that blooms by my front porch.  The spot is in a very warm microclimate in a sunny sheltered spot and, between that and the unusually warm winter we've been having, the rose had bloomed as late as December.  The first hard frost in mid-December freeze-dried the blooms, some of them just as the buds were starting to unfurl, so although they were not as beautiful as before the freeze, there were some that were still pretty.  (Needless to say, I was too lazy to deadhead them.)  My little buddy pointed and asked, "What's that?"  Her mom told her it was a rose and I asked, "Do you want one?" I clipped off the best of the dried blooms and gave it to her.  The big smile on her face was a joy to see.  It reminded me how important it is to involve kids in gardening and nature.  Do you have ideas how to get kids interested in plants and wildlife?  I would love to hear about them.
"Golden Showers" Rose (before the frost!)