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What’s Happening at the Botanical Conservatory in May

Butterfly Spa Workshop
Saturday, May 2, 10:30 am – 1 pm
The patterns of butterfly wings will inspire this bath & body workshop as we create lovely bath treats that are easy to make for yourself, or to give away for Mother’s Day. Participants will make a beautifully detailed butterfly soap using stained glass-inspired, skin safe soap colorants. We’ll also create scented Pink Himalayan bath salts and an all-natural lip balm. Ellie Poinsatte is owner and instructor at Lather & Lotions Studio in Fort Wayne. Lather & Lotions’ mission is to provide hobbyist and professional soap makers with high quality, affordable supplies for making soaps and other bath and body products. Lather & Lotions Studio teaches public classes as well as hosting private classes and spa parties. Ages 10+. Registration deadline: April 24. $23/public; $13/Conservatory member or volunteer.

Thursday Night Insight: Healthy Products from the Hive
May 7, 6 – 7 pm
Enjoy a “creative moment” during $1 Night on the first Thursday of the month. Speakers offer interactive programs on a variety of botanical, ecological or hands-on crafting topics. Pick up some new ideas and skills! Coffee and tea are free. Admission: $1 (ages 2 and under free). In May, discover all that honeybees have to offer from their hive. These important pollinators make more than just honey! Honey, beeswax, pollen, and propolis can be used in food, beauty, and household products. We will discuss how the honeybees make these products, their beneficial qualities, and how to use them in your home. We will then make a product for you to take home!

Mother’s Day Plant Sale
Friday, May 8, 4 – 7 pm
Saturday, May 9, 10 am – 5 pm
Sunday, May 10, 12 – 4 pm
McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott Street
Hundreds of kinds of plants will be available for purchase from the Botanical Conservatory at our three-day public plant sale. You’ll find herbs, veggies, and flowering perennials along with the usual great quality annuals, houseplants, mixed containers, hanging baskets and bonsai. These beautiful and sturdy plants are sold as a fundraiser to help support the Conservatory. Shop early for the best selection; all plants are on-site when the sale starts. Volunteers will be on hand to assist you in plant selection and loading. There is plenty of free parking. Conservatory members can enjoy the preview sale on Thursday, May 7, 4 – 7 pm. Memberships will be available for purchase that evening if you want first pick.

DIY Day at the Plant Sale
Saturday, May 9, 10 am – 4 pm
McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott Street
Have you ever wondered how to start a garden or had questions about plants for shade? Look no further: gardening skills and knowledge are at your service during the Conservatory’s Mother’s Day Plant Sale. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or this is your first attempt at gardening, local experts are happy to help! Learn through easy-going conversations and educational displays, and get your questions answered by people who know gardening.

Mother’s Day in the Garden
Sunday, May 10, 12 – 4 pm
Treat Mom to a special outing at the Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory on Mother’s Day. By “Mom” we mean your mother, of course, but also grandmas, aunts, and anyone else who means “MOM” to you! Your mom will not only enjoy the beautiful displays of flowers but our “Pollinators Garden” live butterfly exhibit. Each mom will receive a special Mother’s Day plant while supplies last. Regular Conservatory admission applies: $5/adult, $3/ child age 3-17, free for children 2 and under.

Garden Tots
Wednesdays, May 13 – June 3, 10 – 11 am
Let’s get messy – but not too messy! – have fun, and learn all about gardening while doing it. Parents or guardians will assist children side by side in this class that encourages the basics of exploring in the garden at a young age. Master Gardeners Kay Musgrave and Gary Carnes have years of experience working with children in this type of setting and will take everyone on a new gardening adventure each week. From compost to soil and seeds to plants, children and adults alike will learn by hands-on activities in the garden that are sure to get everyone thinking. At least one adult is required to stay and participate (no registration required) for the duration of the class with their child. Ages 3 – 5. Registration deadline: May 6. $24/public; $18/Conservatory member or volunteer.

Low Maintenance Gardening
Thursday, May 14, 6:30 – 7:30 pm
Do you dread the long hours of watering, pruning, mowing, hoeing, weeding, and caring for your landscape and garden? Have you spent your weekend grooming the perfect lawn only to fall asleep too exhausted to enjoy it? Want the charm and versatility of functional outdoor sanctuaries, but concerned that it’s an endless project? Let Sue Willard from Willard Landscaping show you how to use a simple framework and selection process to create or modify your outdoor oasis to become the aesthetic and personal retreat that you want, without the hassle. Apply these easy-care features to avoid time intensive elements and improve overall beauty and enjoyment. Which plants, design elements, and maintenance jobs can be tweaked to not
only minimize work, but add to the overall health, beauty, resiliency, and “personality” of your garden?

Spring Bonsai Show
Saturday, May 16, 10 am – 3 pm
Explore a forest of miniature trees carefully trained and pruned by members of our local bonsai club. Elms, maples, junipers and other familiar plants look just like their outdoor cousins – but a fraction of their size! The club also grows tropical bonsai. Learn about the fascinating hobby or just enjoy “a stroll in the forest.”
Bonsai pots and young plants will be available to purchase. If you are interested in starting with bonsai, sign up now for the workshop to be offered that day. Sponsored by the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club. Special discounted Conservatory admission price includes entry to the Bonsai Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under.

Bonsai Workshop
Saturday, May 16, 12 – 1:30 pm
Now you, too, can discover the secrets of the bonsai masters. Each participant will receive his or her own small tree. Then, under the careful guidance of Darlene Kittle and Ed Hake from the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club, you will pot, trim, and begin forming it into a beautiful bonsai showpiece. Along the way, you will learn about the proper pots and soils to use, how to prune and wire your plant and the techniques for giving it a long and healthy life. Participants will also be inspired by the many examples on display that day at the Bonsai Club’s annual Spring Show. Participants should bring their own pruners or scissors; all other supplies will be provided. Great for beginning to intermediate growers. Ages 10+. Registration deadline: May 8. $29/public; $25/Conservatory member or volunteer.

Twisted Brunch
Saturday, May 23, 10 – 11:30 am
All produce and ingredients used in this class will be purchased locally from the Fort Wayne Farmer’s Market and other local venues. Lori Berndt, owner of The Olive Twist, will teach you how to make a simple brunch with things like twisted French toast, twisted egg casserole, spring salad, yogurt parfait with fresh fruit and frozen Jello punch to wash it down. You’ll also make a “shop local” grocery list. All recipes incorporate olive oil or balsamic vinegar from The Olive Twist. This class will be semi-hands-on; be sure to bring an empty tummy for sampling. Ages 12+. Registration deadline: May 15. $24/public; $16/Conservatory member or volunteer.

Family Garden Close-Up: Powerful Pollinators
May 23, 11 am – 1 pm
Visit the Botanical Conservatory this spring on the fourth Saturday each month to get a closer look at our plants and gardens through short walks, crafts, and snacks. We will visit one of our gardens to discover a different feature so you get to see what the Conservatory has to offer and learn fun and valuable information. FGC is especially fun for young learners. The activities are included in your regular Conservatory admission fee (members and volunteers admitted free). Whether you’re talking about pollen (the sticky yellow grains inside flowers) or pollination (the process of how pollen is transferred and eventually transformed into a seed to produce more flowers), none of these things would happen without the help of pollinators carrying the pollen from one plant to the other. We’ll learn more about pollinators and even take a trip into the butterfly tent to watch pollinators in action. Free with regular Conservatory admission: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17; children age 2 and under free.

Ask a Horticulturist:Bugs
Saturday, May 23, 1 – 2 pm
Ever wonder how much water you’re supposed to give a particular plant or why you struggle to keep some plants alive? Maybe you just want to know the name of a plant as you visit the Botanical Conservatory. The Conservatory’s horticulturist, Andy Force, will demonstrate garden practices and answer your garden related questions in a special drop-in hour once a month. Stop by and “ask a horticulturist!” In May, Andy will discuss bugs, but he’ll also entertain garden questions from the public. Regular Conservatory admission fee applies.

Iris Flower Show
Saturday, May 24, 12 – 3 pm
One of America’s favorite garden flowers takes center stage during the annual Iris Show. A glorious range of colors, some fragrance, and a variety of forms will be found in irises displayed as individual cut flowers and in floral arrangements. Entries are judged for their perfection. Sponsored by the Northeast Indiana Iris Society. Special discounted admission price includes the Iris Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/ adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under.

Discovery Corner: The World Beneath Your Feet
During May public hours in the Discovery Gallery
Our youngest visitors are always welcome to visit the Discovery Corner behind Woody the Talking Tree where they’ll find stories and activities relating to a monthly theme: Our materials are all safe and suitable for kids in pre-K through 1st grade. Adults are encouraged to read aloud to their young learners and explore ideas together. The Discovery Corner is free with general admission; preregistration is not required. In May, we’ll learn about The World Beneath Your Feet.

The Pollinators’ Garden 13th Annual Live Butterfly Exhibit
Through July 5
What is pollination? Why is it important? We are all familiar with butterflies and honeybees, but did you know that other animals pollinate flowers? Beetles, bats and flies are among the surprising cast of characters who assist plants in seed production. During this year’s live butterfly exhibit, visitors can learn more about pollinators and why humans depend on them. Visitors will also be encouraged to plant flowers
for pollinators this year, to make sure our environment remains healthy.

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