Saturday, April 18, 2009

Earth Day Honeycomb

Today Madame Beespeaker lead an Earth Day eco-art activity at the Mount Pleasant Community Centre. I helped children decorate chalk outlines of hexagons with dandelions, forsythia and daffodils. I was out early this morning gathering dandelions in back alleys and the big vacant lot near our house. I found they didn't open fully until 9:30 a.m. just in time to soak up the sun. I took them home, trimmed off the ends of the stalks and headed to the Community Centre.

Children and their parents and caregivers drew pictures celebrating the earth in the inside of the kiddie pool and we created this corridor on honeycomb on the side of the pool. I spent about 20 minutes with a girl who was about four years old. She had a great design sense and her facts about bees were liberally sprinkled with images from her imagination. She drew "k'nectar" in the honeycomb with chalk and explained to me how the bees were going to gather it for their babies which would then turn into caterpillars. When I said "Did she mean larva?" She said, "Yes, of course, larva."

One child just came and put his hands on each soft patch of dandelions--a simple performative gesture.

I'd forgotten how dandelions smell. Have you? And do you remember how the milky goo in the stem gets on your fingers and makes them sticky and coated with dirt?

And who do we find at the end of the yellow honeycomb road? Lois Klassen as Garden Gnomad!

A mobile solar-powered photo booth that places your image in a garden.

An art piece that connects people to gardens...

And gardens to people.
We had a lovely time meeting other people who were passionate about gardening, exchanging e-mails, writing down the dates of plant sales and gardening workshops. Children came by and proudly showed us the seeds they had planted and the next generation of gardeners begins to grow.

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