Our four-week festival of Hispanic heritage, ¡Celebramos!, begins Sept. 15, and our calendar is packed with events that range from a Quinceañera community celebration to an outdoor market to an art exhibit of depictions of the plants of Latin America. Families looking to celebrate Hispanic Heritage with their children should highlight Saturday, Oct. 1 on their calendars and plan to attend Día de la Familia. The day is packed with educational programs and performances and culminates with movie night at the Garden.
The natural world is filled with flowers of all shapes and colors. What’s surprising is that a great many of these flowers are all related. About one quarter of flowering plants are members of the Asteraceae family, which contains more than 32,000 known species of flowering plants. The sheer variety of sunflowers can make the plant a challenge to identify. Yet correctly identifying Asteraceae is important when conducting plant surveys, assessing the ecological health of a habitat, managing land or simply exploring nature. Fortunately, sunflower experts Richard Spellenberg and Naida Zucker can help. Join us for their book talk and workshop on sunflowers and never be confounded by sunflowers again.
A sigh of relief can be heard across North Texas that the heat wave has broken. We know to expect more hot days in September, but with Labor Day behind us, cooler weather is just around the corner. That means it’s time to think about spring! No, we’re not crazy, and yes, we know it’s not yet autumn. But now is the time to plan for a gorgeous spring by planting bulbs.
It still feels like the height of summer, but fall is just around the corner, and that means the Community Education program is rolling out a new slate of classes, workshops and events. “We’ve got a mix of long-time favorites and completely new experiences,” says Community Education Manager Crissa Nugen. “I think almost everyone will find something they want to explore.”
Gardeners across North Texas can only look at their landscape and sigh as the heat wave refuses to break and rain refuses to fall. Plants that thrive most summers are withering and dying under the stress of week after week of 100-degree-plus temperatures. Gardeners struggle to balance watering enough to keep their plants alive with responsible behavior during a drought–and the prospect of budget-busting water bills. What to do? “The first step is to not give up,” says Sr. Horticulturist Steve Huddleston. “You do have options.”
Most area school districts begin classes this month. Alongside all of the students and teachers, those heading back to the classroom include members of the FWBG | BRIT early childhood education team. They will spend the school year helping some of the youngest learners in our area explore the outdoors. “Our goal is to help teachers incorporate nature into learning for three-year-old pre-k students,” says Early Childhood Program Manager Cheryl Potemkin.
Teach Observation Skills this Summer with Three Simple Prompts: I Notice, I Wonder and This Reminds Me
The scientific method begins with observation, yet observation isn’t often taught. Parents and teachers assume that students know how to observe without explaining that observing isn’t simply looking. It’s a way of engaging with the natural world that employs multiple senses, draws on existing knowledge and raises questions for further discussion. Learn more about how to teach your children how to observe.
If you love nature, love to read, and love to discuss reading about nature with like-minded companions, consider joining the FWBG | BRIT Book Club. You’ll find a community of readers who enjoy in-depth conversations about botany, biology, ecology and the natural world.
Learn How to Stop the Spread of Invasive Plants through Smart Shopping and Native-Friendly Gardening
Readers of this newsletter are savvy and environmentally aware—most know that invasive plants threaten the environment and native plants support a healthy ecosystem. But it’s not always easy. You might go to your local garden center looking for a native plant like lantana, take it home and plant it in your garden. You’ve done a good thing, right? Maybe. Maybe not. How do you know that the variety of lantana you purchased is native lantana?
Many area residents find the Garden a place of respite and renewal—a home away from home. But the Garden is also a different kind of sanctuary: It is home to dozens of bird species. The Garden is a hotspot for birds, who find safe nesting places in our trees and shrubs as well as numerous sources of food and water. Many enthusiastic bird watchers make regular trips to the Garden to look for both common and uncommon species.