Bugs at the Rose Garden

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

We found a lovely new place to go and enjoy nature. Oddly, it’s in our own town and we had no idea it existed…shame on us! Rose Haven Heritage Garden is a public garden and home to over 1600 roses of varying kinds. They are interspersed among other flowering plants, succulents and even a small vegetable garden.  It is all maintained by volunteers of the local rose society. 

We attended the March program which focused on garden bugs. The kids got to hear a short talk on beneficial versus pest insects that can be found in the garden or yard. There was also a table of various insects to examine and a knowledgeable volunteer to give the kids info on what they were looking at. My daughter’s favorite was the compost worms box. The children were invited to dig around and search for worms and grubs.

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

They also received a checklist of nine different bugs and had the opportunity to walk the garden and try and spot as many as they could. The kids were encouraged to pick up any nature bits lying around the grounds to use in a following art project.

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Our kids were having too much fun exploring so we didn’t make it to the sit-down-and-craft part of the program. However, we took home our nature finds and J had a great time creating a ladybug picture on her own. 

Rose Haven Heritage Garden

Many thanks to the sweet and patient volunteers for hosting this event. We are looking forward to our next visit…maybe bring a picnic lunch and our nature journal. 🙂

 

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Nature At Work

We were spectators to a most interesting sight the other day in our school garden. Grandma happened to notice a large praying mantis under one of the equally large sunflowers. He was exciting enough to watch, sitting stoically, occasionally turning his little alien like head to watch us humans. My daughter and my nephew found him fascinating and chatted excitedly.

But the show was about to get even better. Right before our eyes he reached up his little praying mantis arms and caught a wasp, in flight, right out of the air! He then promptly started munching on his fresh snack. We were all watching this in astonishment! This really got the kids going, and prompted about one hundred questions concerning the wasp and the praying mantis. 🙂

Praying Mantis Praying Mantis

It was quite the impromptu science/nature lesson for the day…and a great photo op! We are definitely going to add the praying mantis to our nature book, although I think I’ll leave out the headless wasp.

Sunflowers & Pickles

The kids have been growing a garden at my parents house as part of our home school.  They have devoted half of their backyard to a very nice little veggie and flower patch. The kids have been learning about planting seeds, watering and daily care for their plants.

After a couple of months of steady attention our little school garden is beginning to produce some veggies. The kids were delighted and so proud to pick enough beans, cucumber and peppers for an entire meal, not to mention several jars of pickles. My daughter has been fascinated with pickle making and really enjoys helping Mama in the kitchen.

Homemade Pickles

Our other exciting development in the garden are our Skyscraper Sunflowers blooms. Two of the sunflowers have opened up and they are so lovely! It’s rather incredible how tall these flowers get so quickly.  There is corn planted right next to them and, between the two, it’s like a little fort the kids can play in.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

We are now looking forward to the corn harvest and more sunflower blooms!

Spring Is Springing

Spring is definitely in the air and we’ve all had the sneezes and sniffles to prove it. The weather has been warm afternoons full of sunshine and crisp cool evenings. Although, that’s Southern California weather mostly any time of the year. Yet, there have been some definite signs of the spring season. Here are some I have noticed in my own backyard.

Our seedlings are really reaching up and are almost ready for their own garden bed! So far we have some lettuce and snap peas, or as Baby J calls them, “jumping beans.” I think I like that better! We also have some herbs planted, that will hopefully fill up my front flower beds.

Snap Peas

Snap Peas

Lettuce

Lettuce

My Purple Ice Plant is also looking quite beautiful. The flowers open up during the day and just smile at the sunshine!

Purple Ice Plant

Purple Ice Plant