Watermelon Wednesday: Garden Bound

We are on “Staycation” this week. Sadly, most of that chalks up to “cleaning out garage” and “not sleeping in.”

Yesterday, however, we snuck away from sweeping the attic and went to the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens in Boothbay. Talk about an amazing place to take the kids (or just yourself!)

Acres of beautiful flowers, ponds and sculptures serve to inspire, calm and soothe the soul. There is a river rock Labyrinth where you can walk barefooted upon warm rock while you meditate to the sounds of a waterfall (I didn’t want to leave!).

Hours Float by When Surrounded by Flowers

The Alfond Children’s Garden is alive with interactive energy: Kids can water the blueberry bushes, make fairy houses, climb in a bear cave and run through a giant tree house. There are cottages based on favorite stories such as Peter Rabbit and a grass maze.

Kids Love Finding Their Way Home

My favorite part of the Children’s Garden is a huge space called Growing Greens. It is a joint effort with the local YMCA. Eighteen kids ranging from in age from 12-18 are chosen for a year long internship. They plan the garden: What to plant, how to design it and what to do with the harvest. Most of the veggies are sold at the local farmer’s market and the children get to keep a portion of the profits. They have also pressed flowers to make bookmarks to sell. Now that’s RAWSOME!!

It is so enlightening to see young kids take such a hands-on interest in gardening. They learn to respect and protect the earth and that is such an important lesson for them to carry into adulthood.

The Learning Garden: Teaching so Much More Than How to Plant

Your mission for the weekend: VISIT A LOCAL GARDEN SPOT.

If you are in Maine, head up to Boothbay. (Maine Botanical Gardens, Barter’s Island Road, 207-633-4333, www.MaineGardens.org) If not, I am sure you have a botanical or community garden or even a lovely park area where you can sit for an hour and watch the colors, butterflies and inhale gorgeous, scented air.

Share you experience with us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/kidsgoneraw