Fernwood’s a feast for the body and soul

Published 9:55 am Saturday, May 6, 2006

By By ANDY HAMILTON / Niles Daily Star
NILES - The folks at Fernwood are gearing up for another spring season.
The botanical garden and nature preserve resumed its summer hours April 2 and is preparing upcoming exhibits, festivals, concerts and more. Fernwood is open to visitors Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
People are already touring Fernwoods gardens, trails, nature center and galleries and the seasons first event, Herb Day, begins today.
Founding curator of the Michigan State University 4-H Childrens Garden and children gardening expert Jane Taylor will give pointers on creating gardens for the backyard. Visitors can also take a tour of Fernwoods herb garden, attend three of her workshops and make a purchase at the herb plant sale.
Fernwood's first major event of the season is May 13 and 14.
The Mother's Day weekend celebration starts with a Saturday afternoon concert on the Green with the Wooden Nickel bluegrass band. Visitors are also encouraged to take in the sights and smells of the many plants, flowers and trees already bursting with color along the trails and in the gardens, and listen to the song birds that call the preserve home.
Michigan Community Blood Centers is also holding a blood drive at Fernwood the same day from noon to 4 p.m. Those who donate will receive a free pass for the days events.
The festivities continue on Sunday, May 14 with a musical performance from Lake Effect Winds.
The woodwind quintet based out of St. Joseph will begin playing at 4 p.m. African violets will also be on sale Sunday for Mothers Day gifts.
Other upcoming Fernwood events include the Knee-high Naturalists May Flowers nature walk Friday, May 19 for four and five-year-olds.
The children receive lessons on many spring wildflowers including trilliums, lady slippers and jack-in-the-pulpits.
Fernwoods spring plant sale takes place on May 19-21 during regular hours. This annual event offers a variety of new and unusual plants for gardeners, including shrubs, herbs, hardy ferns, prairie plants, woodland plants, and plants from Fernwoods own collections. Potted arrangements are also available.
For more information on Fernwood events and memberships contact the botanical garden and nature preserve at 695-6491.
Fernwood is located near Buchanan, in Niles. Take US 31 to Walton Road, exit 7.