It’s one of our favorite nights of the summer! For the past three years, we’ve made it to Art in the Garden at the HyVee Enabling Garden, sponsored by the Iowa State Master Gardeners. There are stations set up around the garden for kids and parents to make garden-related crafts and goodies.
This year, my sister and her two daughters, Harper and Norah, came, along with all three of my boys. Last year there was a cousin’s birthday party, so only Morris and I made it. This year Rex and Jude wanted to come, too. Our good friends, the Hrastichs, met up with us a little later. It was a busy night at the garden!
One of the master gardeners makes wooden animals and folksy decorations for the kids to paint. It’s a generous gift of time and materials, and our wooden cats and a rabbit from three years ago decorated our gardens at home. This year, Rex and Morris got birds – Morris’s with extra-long legs and a beak, and Rex’s with wild bristles – a plume? – coming out of its head. Jude chose a craft with three bird houses and a bird. The boys painted away, enjoying the calming, lovely breeze. It was a gorgeous, cool night! (Last year, we melted!)
At the next station, the boys made flower crowns, which always makes me laugh. Kids walk around the gardens with giant zinnias, daisies, and long blades of irises coming out of their Burger King crowns. Majestic.
Next to the crowns, the boys made insects out of leaves, sticks, dried flowers, puff balls, and googly eyes. Morris made one of these last year, which still decorates my kitchen sink window sill. This year Jude made a cool stick bug with a cacoon hanging above, Morris made a little moth-looking critter, and Rex… well, Rex made a “dead bug” with parts laying randomly on the page.
One of the boys’ favorite stations is the flower cookie decorating station. Of course, the goal is not to decorate a cookie so it looks like the real thing, but to pile on as much frosting and sprinkles as possible. I don’t say a thing…
The last station we visited tonight had boys arranging beautiful, colorful dried flowers on clear plastic squares. When they were finished, they were framed, and they were lovely. Ty wants to place them in his office windows.
We didn’t make it to the flower weaving station this year, but it was busy, and boys were content with the wonderful creations they’d made. It couldn’t have been a more beautiful night, and we had the best time! Thanks again, Master Gardeners!