Garden center adds whimsical world
By Jayme Grzebik
Stories from our childhood captured our imagination and opened our minds to fancy places and creative ideas. Your garden can bring these places and ideas to life for you and your family to learn in the wonderful world just outside your door.
Share some of the most memorable stories from your childhood with your own children and see where your imagination takes you in the garden.
A taste of this idea can be explored inside the University of Hawai'i's Urban Garden Center in Pearl City.
The Urban Garden Center hosts a treasure trove of ideas to engage children in the environment. Although you may not have the space that the UGC has, small pieces of each theme can be incorporated into your garden.
Recently, Urban Garden Center volunteers and UH master gardeners took the theme of the classic story of "The Tale of Peter Rabbit" by Beatrix Potter to design a new garden. A path leads you through the story to see a small vegetable garden, Hawaiian-style, planted with taro instead of carrots.
Sunflowers rise above the vegetable garden to lead you to a tunnel, and you are reminded of the wonderful story of the mischievous rabbit that snuck into Mr. McGregor's garden and lost his jacket on his way out.
Gardens are places to interact with your imagination. They may not be as static as some might think.
To get more ideas, visit the Texas A&M University's Junior Master Gardener website, where you'll find a curriculum on Literature in the Garden and a list of garden- and ecology-themed children's books: www.jmgkids.us.
The Urban Garden Center in Pearl City is once again hosting a Second Saturday at the Garden program by celebrating the addition of the Alika Rabbit Garden, a multi-station educational adventure adapted to Hawai'i with Alika Rabbit and his adventure in Uncle Kimo's garden. Join us from 9 a.m. until noon on May 8, when Urban Garden Center volunteers and master gardeners invite you to see the new garden addition.
Garden tours, hands-on crafts, learning activities, entertainment, seed packet giveaways for children, a mini sale of plants and more await you, and admission is free. For directions or more information, go to www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/ougc or call 453-6055 or 453-6050.