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What’s Happening At The Botanical Conservatory In May

$1 Nights

First Thursday of the month

May 4, 5 – 8 pm

The Conservatory is open on the first Thursday night of the month for a discounted admission of just $1 per person. During each $1 Night you can also drop in to our program room for a fun and educational lecture or activity. No reservations required. We validate parking tickets from the Civic Center Parking Garage for free parking. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

$1 Night Insight: Paper Flowers

May 4, 6 -7:30pm

Once past April’s spring showers, we’ll be in the mood for flowers…paper flowers, that is! Join us on DNI night in May to make a pretty (and easy) paper flower that promises to last, even if you forget to water it. No reservations required. Activity free with $1 Night admission. For more information, call (260) 427-6440.

Garden Preschool

Tuesdays, May 9 – 30, 10 – 11 am

Let’s get messy and have some fun while we learn about gardening. Parents or guardians will assist children ages 3-5 side by side as they learn to explore in the gardens. Master Gardener Kay Musgrave 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 and take-home activities that are sure to get everyone thinking. Kay has years of experience working with young children in natural settings. 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. Child Registration deadline: May 2. Four weekly sessions. Fee: $24/public; $21/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000 or go online to .

Forest Bathing Walk (Shinrin-Yoku)

Thursday, May 25, 6 – 7:30 pm

Forest bathing, or shinrin-yoku, is the experience of immersing oneself in the sensory gifts of nature. This can be done in a forest setting, but also in gardens and parks. The benefits are not only a greater sense of well-being, but a boost in immune function and ready access to lower stress hormones and boosts in serotonin levels. This is not your regular walk in the park, but a series of invitations using the senses to rediscover your inner child and your connection with the natural world. Being relaxed, revitalized, and better equipped to handle the stresses of daily living are the goals of this forest bathing walk. Instructor Christy Thomson is a life-long resident of northeast IN. She is the only certified forest therapy guide in Indiana and is thrilled to share this opportunity with the Fort Wayne community. Ages 18+. Registration deadline: May 18. Fee: $10/public; $8/Conservatory member or volunteer. Location: Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. To register, call (260) 427-6000.

Mother’s Day Plant Sale

Friday, May 12, 4 -7 pm

Saturday, May 13, 10 am-5 pm

Sunday, May 14, 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. This year we are proud to feature a selection of over a dozen species of locally-grown native plants, useful for pollinator conservation as well as garden beauty. Our sturdy, attractive plants are locally grown and sold as a fundraiser to help support the Conservatory. Shop early for the best selection. Volunteers are available to assist with plant selection and loading. Conservatory members can enjoy the preview sale on Thursday, May 11, 4 -7 pm. Memberships will be available for purchase that evening for those who want to join in order to get the first peek. Visit for a list of plants intended for sale. Local garden advisors will be ready to offer suggestions and answer questions each day of the sale. And we offer a “hold area” to free up your hands while you fill another box. Free parking. For more information, please call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

Mother’s Day in the Garden

Sunday, May 14, 12 – 4 pm

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

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 “Perspectives” live butterfly exhibit. Each mom will receive a special Mother’s Day plant while supplies last. Regular Conservatory admission applies. Sponsored by WAJI Majic 95.1.

Spring Bonsai Show

& Discount Day

Saturday, May 20, 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. All guests visiting this day will get a special discount for admission to the Bonsai Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by the Fort Wayne Bonsai Club.

Garden Close-Up: Perfect Pollinators

Saturday, May 27, 11 am-1 pm

Perfect pollinators include animals such as butterflies, bats, birds and honey bees! This month we will explore the world of the honey bee and learn all about the important role they play in many of the foods we enjoy. Learn about honey bee colony life and sample some of the foods that honey bees pollinate. When you visit the Botanical Conservatory on the fourth Saturday, you’ll get a closer look at our plants and gardens with an exploratory walk, hands-on activity or demonstration. We highlight a different garden each month so you can make new discoveries through fun, educational activities. Garden Close-Up is included in your regular Conservatory admission, so drop in! Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun Street. Call (260) 427-6440 for more information.

Iris Flower Show

& Discount Day

Sunday, May 28, 12 – 3pm

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. Special discounted admission price includes the Iris Show and Conservatory gardens: $3/adult, $2/child, Free for ages 2 and under. For more information, call (260) 427-6440. Sponsored by the Northeast Indiana Iris Society.

Perspectives Live Butterfly Display

Through June 25

At the Conservatory’s newest exhibit of live butterflies, you’ll get three perspectives on these winged creatures as well as “up close and personal” time in our exhibit tent. With design input from a group of Ball State University students, the garden offers you views from intimate, backyard, and global angles. In the midst of lovely garden flowers, the display tent offers a walk-through experience of well over a hundred exotic butterflies representing some two dozen species from around the world. Through stations outside the tent, you can get a super-close look at the awesome wing scales, proboscis, and compound eyes of our butterfly friends. You can learn which plants are essential for our local caterpillars to grow and mature. And you’ll trace the migratory course of five species of butterfly. In the Tropical and Desert Gardens you can explore butterfly legends of Amazon and Arizona tribes. You won’t look at butterflies the same way again! Regular admission applies. Sponsored by 97.3 WMEE.

Downtown 4-H Club

Fourth Thursday night, monthly, 6:30 pm

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

You don’t have to own a cow or know how to garden in order to join the fun and be a part of 4-H. A new downtown community 4-H club is starting this year at the Botanical Conservatory, led by experienced Purdue Extension volunteers. The club will focus on science, citizenship, healthy living, and fun! Any Fort Wayne area youth in kindergarten through 12th grade can join before May 15. Monthly evening meetings will offer children a chance to meet friends, learn skills, and explore ideas. Free parking at meters after 5 pm or in the Civic Center Parking Garage with validated ticket. For more information or to sign up, contact the Extension office at (260) 481-6826.

Discovery Corner: Curious George

Daily in the Discovery Corner

Botanical Conservatory, 1100 S. Calhoun St.

Our young visitors are encouraged to visit the Discovery Corner behind Woody the Talking Tree where they’ll find stories and activities relating to a monthly theme. In May, you can read about Curious George and the funny trouble he gets into by being so curious. Our materials are 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; pre-registration is not required.