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What’s Happening At The Botanical Conservatory In May

$1 Nights

May 5, 5 – 8 pm

On the first Thursday night, 5 – 8 pm, of each month we offer a $1 admission price for both adults and children (instead of the usual $5 & $3). Babies and up to age 2 are still admitted free. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Mother’s Day Plant Sale

Friday, May 6, 4 – 7 pm

Saturday, May 7, 10 am – 5 pm

Sunday, May 8, 12 – 4 pm

McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott St.

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, vegetable starts, 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. 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 5, 4 to 7pm. Memberships will be available for purchase that evening for those who want to join in order to get the first peek. Visit www. for a list of plants intended for sale. Learn more about gardening by shopping on Saturday and visiting with local garden advisors during our DIY Day. For more information please call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

DIY Day at the Plant Sale

Saturday, May 7, 10 am – 4 pm

McMillen Park Community Center, 3901 Abbott St.

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. Visit the Conservatory’s website at for a list of topics.

Mother’s Day in the Garden

Sunday, May 8, 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 “Metamorphosis” live butterfly exhibit. Each mom will receive a special Mother’s Day plant while supplies last. Regular Conservatory admission fees apply: $5/adult, $3/child age 3-17. Children 2 and under are admitted free. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

Garden Tots

Tuesdays, May 10 – 31, 10 – 11 am

Let’s get messy, have some fun and learn all about gardening. 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 Nancy Jimenez 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 3. Min. 5. Max. 10. Fee: $24/public; $21/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Papercraft Flower Garden

Thursday, May 19, 6 – 8 pm

Bring a friend and enjoy a fun evening creating a lovely mixed media spring canvas using papercraft techniques. First, you’ll choose a prepared 9”x12” canvas-covered art board from a variety of painted and stenciled backgrounds. Our instructor, Jennifer Fledderman of Fledderfly Designs, will demonstrate the techniques you’ll need, and then you get to select craft papers from which to cut, arrange, and secure your artful flower garden or bouquet. Jennifer uses this and similar projects at home parties for friends with little or no art experience and provides help all along the way. You can attach a ribbon for hanging or plan to frame your finished work. Light refreshments and all materials are provided. Age 12+. Registration deadline: May 12. Min. 8. Max. 20. $31/public; $28/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Spring Bonsai Show & Spring Discount Day

Saturday, May 21, 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. Admission is discounted: $3/adult, $2/child, free for ages 2 and under. Sponsored by the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club.

Bonsai Workshop

Saturday, May 21, 12 – 1:30 pm

Do miniatures fascinate you? Have you ever wanted to try to grow a bonsai? Now you can get started with a small tropical tree and a beginner’s introduction. Longtime bonsai growers Darlene Kittle and Ed Hake will guide you as you pot up, trim and begin shaping a narrow leaf fig, one of the easiest plants for the bonsai apprentice. Each participant will receive his or her own small tree. Along the way, you will learn about the proper pots and soil to use, how to prune and wire your plant, and the techniques that will give it a long and healthy life. Participants will also be inspired by the many examples on display that day at the Fort Wayne 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 13. Min. 10. Max. 24. Fee: $29/public; $25/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Family Garden Close-Up: Bees A-Buzzin’

Saturday, May 28, 11 am – 1 pm

Visit the Botanical Conservatory on the fourth Saturday of the month and get a closer look at our plants and gardens. In May, you can look close at a bee without getting stung! At our observation honey bee hive, glass windows give you a glimpse of colony life. Activities include egg laying, nectar collection, honey making, wax making, and other important duties taken care of by different members of the colony. You’ll get to taste honey and learn how much we depend upon bees for a lot of our fruits and vegetables. This drop-in program is included in your regular Conservatory admission fee; free for Conservatory members and volunteers.

Iris Flower Show & Spring Discount Day

Sunday, May 29, 12 – 3 pm

One of America’s favorite garden flowers takes center stage during the annual Iris Show. Local gardeners will bring the best of their iris blooms to be displayed and judged. 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. Admission is discounted: $3/adult, $2/child, free for ages 2 and under. Sponsored by the Northeast Indiana Iris Society.

Metamorphosis: 14th Annual Live Butterfly Exhibit

Through July 17

Experience the magic of being surrounded by hundreds of live, exotic butterflies. These winged jewels can be observed up close as they fly, feed, or rest in the nectar garden. An interactive display offers children a chance to experience a butterfly’s life cycle. The Hatching Lab gives guests the opportunity to see the unique chrysalises from which the adult butterflies emerge in their amazing cycle of metamorphosis. In addition, from May to September, you can examine our observation hive to explore the concept of metamorphosis in our colony of honey bees as they rear their brood through all stages of life, as well as forage for nectar and pollen. Regular Conservatory admission applies. Sponsored by WMEE 97.3 FM .

Discovery Corner: The World of Eric Carle

Daily 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. In May, we’ll explore The World of Eric Carle. 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 no required.