Tag Archive for: Horticulture

Garden Adventure is Saturday, June 7 from 10 am – 3 pm!

Family Garden Day is now Garden Adventure, and what an adventure it will be! Mill Creek MetroParks Garden Adventure is presented by Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley and sponsored by WFMJ/WBCB and Friends of Fellows Riverside Gardens. Mandy Smith, FRG Horticulture Education Manager spoke with Lori Mowad, FRG Horticulture Educator, to find out more about the day’s events.

MS: Why did Family Garden Day change to Garden Adventure?
LM: Family Garden Day was typically held in August and there were only activities in the Family Garden. Garden Adventure celebrates all of the family-friendly areas found within Fellows Riverside Gardens. We changed the date to the first Saturday in June, the 7th, to encourage families to come out to the Gardens this summer and enjoy the flowers, the activities, Family Garden Fridays, and more. Garden Adventure is a free event and will run from 10 am – 3 pm.

MS: The theme for the Family Garden this year is Alice in Wonderland. Will Alice be at Garden Adventure?
LM: Oh yes, Alice will definitely be at Garden Adventure along with the White Rabbit, the Red Queen, the Red King, the Mad Hatter, Tweedledee, and Tweedledum! The Red Queen will actually be telling stories throughout the day. Families will be able to make their own Mad Hatter hats, play flamingo croquet, craft edible teacups, meet a live rabbit, and plant dahlias that will bloom red or white. By choosing the Alice in Wonderland theme, not only are we are celebrating plants, but also literacy and imagination as well.

MS: How will I be able to find all of the activities?
LM: The entrance to Garden Adventure will be brightly decorated and that is where each family can pick up a map and a schedule of activities. Activities are appropriate for ages 2 and up. In addition to Alice in Wonderland activities, you can make wooden planters with our friends from Home Depot, participate in a Drum Circle in the Ohio Woodland Garden, learn about pollinators and meet the Beekeeper, and visit our Plant Spirals exhibit in the Weller Gallery.

MS: What if I can’t make it to Garden Adventure? Are there other family-friendly activities at the Gardens this summer?
LM: Yes! Every Friday, now through October 17, there are Family Garden Friday drop-in activities from 11 am – 1 pm. Each week focuses on a different theme, such as worms, sunflowers, apples, etc. There are usually plantings, crafts, games, a walk, and a story. A special family program called Flashlights & Fireflies will be held on Thursday, June 26 from 7 – 8:30 pm, where families will go on a tour of the Gardens after sun down and make a firefly craft. Each month, the Gardens offers programs for children ages 3-17. June’s programs are Wonderland Creatures (ages 3-5), Bugs of Wonderland (ages 6-11), and Botanical Soaps (ages 10-17) all held on June 28. To register for these programs, call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116. To see all the family friendly events happening throughout the MetroParks, visit our event page.

For questions or more information about Garden Adventure, call Fellows Riverside Gardens at 330.740.7116. See you in Wonderland!


Starting Seeds Indoors

Tremendous satisfaction can be gained from growing your own plants from seeds. Some plants, like tomatoes and peppers, need to be started early by sowing seeds indoors. Ellen Speicher, Mill Creek MetroParks Assistant Horticulture Director, answers some questions about sowing seeds inside.

flrstartsQ: I want to start seeds indoors. How much light will the seedlings need?

ES: Lots! Usually more than a windowsill can provide during winter. Also, growing seedlings will lean over toward the light from a window. An inexpensive way to grow better seedlings is to provide artificial light. Set up a work light with 2 – 4 cool white bulbs and suspend the lights only a couple of inches above the seedlings. Raise the light to keep it above the plants as the seedlings grow. Your plants will grow strong and straight!

Q: Why is temperature important when starting seeds indoors?

ES: There are two different temperatures that help grow strong seedlings. First is the germination temperature, which is the temperature at which the seed sprouts best. This temperature can be higher than the temperature in your home so it helps to use a heat mat especially made for seed starting. As soon you see green growth, remove the heat mat and grow the seedlings at the second temperature range, called the “growing on” temperature. This temperature is often lower than the germination temperature and allows for strong seedling growth. Most seed packets list these temperatures, which vary depending on what plant you are growing.

Q: When should I start my seeds?

ES: Check the seed packet for the proper sow date. Often the date will be written as a certain number of weeks before the last frost in spring. Count back from the last week in May to find out which week you should start your seeds inside.

Q: What is “hardening off”?

ES: This is the process of getting your tender indoor seedlings adjusted to the outdoors. Once temperatures are warm enough to grow the plants outside, slowly adjust your plants to outdoor conditions by putting them outside for a little longer every day. Start by setting them in the shade and gradually get them used to being in the proper amount of sun.

Need seeds? Visit Fellows Riverside Gardens to borrow seeds from our new Seed Library! “Check out” donated flower, herb and vegetable seeds to take home and plant in your own garden. In the fall, harvest seeds from your plants to bring back to the library to restock the Seed Library for next year.

Nature Photography Exhibit 2014 | Photographer Profile: Richard Wyant

Richard Wyant of Youngstown, Ohio won first place in the ‘Monochrome’ category for his photograph, Girls Skipping Stones.

RS: My father, Gus Wyant, was an amateur photographer back in the days of dark rooms, chemicals and film developing so I suppose that’s where my original interest [in photography] came from. I’ve been taking pictures of the MetroParks for approximately 6 years. My brother Tom invited me along for a walk on the trails and I’ve been taking in the sights of the MetroParks ever since. I believe we’ve walked every trail on the map and some that aren’t.

My winning photo was taken a few hundred yards down from the Mill. Skipping stonesThe young ladies throwing rocks in the creek seemed to take me back to a time when life was slower and enjoyment was simple and innocent. This is my second First Place win in the photo contest. A few years ago I won first place in Creative Photo with my Mill Mosaic picture. I’m looking forward to getting a better camera (I’m using a Kodak 12 megapixel camera now) and getting some pictures of the wildlife inhabiting the MetroParks.

The Nature Photography Exhibit runs through March 9 at Ford Nature Center. Click here for event details. Look for more profiles of photographers featured in the exhibit all this week!

Nature Photography Exhibit 2014 | Photographer Profile: Susan Ramdin

Sue Ramdin of Canfield, Ohio won first place in the ‘Wild Animals’ category for her photo, Junco, and also took first place in ‘Wild Scenes’ for Lake Milton State Park!


LC: How did your interest in photography begin?
SR: When I was in high school I got my first “real camera” and have been photographing since.

LC: How many years have you been taking photographs?
SR: 40+ years.

LC: Tell us about your winning photographs.
SR: Junco: I’ve taken many photos of stationary birds in my yard and I wanted to take it up a notch and get them in flight. This was taken in my back yard.
Lake Milton: I was going home from the lake at the right time and the light was perfect so I pulled over and photographed it. I was at Lake Milton from the Ellsworth Road bridge looking south east.

LC: What kind of camera/gear did you use?
SR:  Canon 5D Mark ii

LC: What’s your day job?
SR: I am a registered nurse at Akron Children’s Hospital of Mahoning Valley, and I have no desire to earn a living with photography. I am lucky enough to be able to do it simply because I’m passionate about it.

The Nature Photography Exhibit runs through March 9 at Ford Nature Center. Click here for event details. Look for more profiles of photographers featured in the exhibit all this week!

Photography Exhibit 2014 | Photographer Profile: Richard States

Dick StatesThis is the first in a series of profiles highlighting the winners of our Nature Photography Exhibit.
Richard States of Cortland, Ohio won first place in the ‘Wild Plants’ category and also took Best of Show for his photograph, Milkweed!

LC: How did your interest in photography begin?
RS: I started teaching horticulture in Warren in 1972. I did not have any good slides to teach my students plant identification, so I purchased a used camera and macro lens taught myself how to take pictures and developed my own slides. After 5 different slide series and the script to go with them, I could then teach plant identification. The students were required to learn 125 different trees and shrubs by common and scientific name.

LC: How many years have you been taking photographs?
RS: 42 years.

LC: Tell us about your winning photograph, Milkweed.
RS: I found this milkweed growing along Mosquito Lake on the east side along the road that goes along the lake by the bridge. I always take pictures of milkweed; it’s one of my favorite subjects. There’s so much variation in each pod with the seeds spewing out as they ripen and the wind blows. They have great texture and beauty all by themselves. There’s just so much beauty in nature.

Richard States - MilkweedLC: What kind of camera/gear did you use?
RS:  Nikon D-700 with a Nikon D200 macro lens on a tripod and cable release. Taken at F22 with 1 second exposure.

LC: What’s your favorite kind of photography?
RS: As a photographer I do mostly close-up/macro photography. I enjoy being outside and finding flowers and plants to take pictures of. I put many of my images together and do PowerPoint programs for groups.

The Nature Photography Exhibit runs through March 9 at Ford Nature Center. Click here for event details. Look for more profiles of photographers featured in the exhibit all this week!