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This year Longwood Gardens is hosting an exciting three-week celebration—Trees Glorious Trees—that brings together three important days: Earth Day (April 22), Arbor Day (April 29), and National Public Gardens Day (May 6). Over the course of these three bark-raisin’, leaf blowing, fun weeks you’ll learn about the important role trees play in our environment, the many uses of trees in our everyday world, and enjoy talks and tours highlighting Longwood’s Champion trees.
During our Earth Day celebration on April 22 from 12 to 4 pm there will be an eco-friendly craft station where kids can make “Seed balls.”
“This is the first time we’re trying out this sustainable and educational planting project,” says Visitor Program Specialist Nancy Bowley. “I thought this was a great way to connect kids to the idea that seeds, water, and earth come together to make plants.”
Seed balls are made up of seed, clay, and compost, and are meant to be dropped or tossed anywhere you want to grow something. They are not to be planted.
The formulation of clay and compost protects the seeds by preventing them from drying out in the sun, getting eaten by birds, or blowing away. When rain sufficiently soaks the clay the seeds inside will begin to sprout.
Whether you can’t make it here on Earth Day, want to make the project again as a green party favor, or need an educational play date activity, see our step-by-step guide below to make these “earth dumplings” at home:
• 5 parts red clay soil or dry red clay
• 3 parts compost
• 1 part seeds
• 1 -2 parts water
Combine a pinch or two of wildflower seeds with spoonful of the clay/compost mixture.
Add just enough water to form a mix that holds together without crumbling but isn’t so wet that it won’t roll into balls. Roll in the palm of your hands to form 1/2 inch diameter balls. Roll and squeeze the soil tightly until the soil begins to harden and can hold a round shape. If you have too much for one ball simply create several balls.
Set the seed balls on a tarp, empty pizza box or blanket in the sunlight to dry for 24 to 48 hours. The seed balls must be completely dry before you scatter them.
Scatter the seed balls by hand in the area you wish the wildflowers to grow. Keep in mind one seed ball contains enough seeds to cover 1 square foot of space.
Do not water the seed balls. They will germinate when they receive an ample amount of rainfall.
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Meet the arborists and gardeners that care for our trees and flowers throughout Spring Blooms, and see demonstrations throughout our Conservatory and outdoor gardens.
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Get ready for an evening of oohs and ahhs, as Longwood presents spectacular Fireworks & Fountains shows guaranteed to make your summer memorable.
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Registration is now open for our 2013 Continuing Education courses!
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