Cylburn Arboretum was the site of this week’s adventure.
We started by going to the Visitor Center to pick up maps of the gardens and trails. The ladies at the reception desk were helpful and extremely kind to the children. There is no charge for admission (although donations are accepted, of course).
We then ventured toward the mansion to see the various gardens. Of course, given the time of year, they aren’t quite as splendid as I imagine they are in spring and summer, but there were still many lovely flowers to behold. We popped into the Cylburn Mansion and sat on a bench under the Japanese Maples. The Garden of the Senses was a big hit with our family, particularly with Linnea because her preschool class has been studying the five senses. The garden contains many cooking herbs and plants, which we dutifully looked at, touched, smelled, and tasted. Particularly interesting was the sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica), which tucks its leaves under when touched. We also stopped by the apiary, where Linnea was impressed to learn (from a staff member or volunteer) that bees drink water just like we do.
Next, we walked along the Circle Trail. This part was not quite as lovely as I had hoped, because the kids were getting hungry and whiny, and started fighting over sticks. You know, because there were only 7 million available in the woods. It’s also unfortunate that one can hear the traffic from the highway, but of course there’s nothing to be done about that. We persevered, took some photos, and then headed back to the car to pick up our lunch, which we ate at one of the picnic tables near the mansion.
At the end of every excursion, Linnea asks each participant to report on his favorite part. Today, hers was the composting toilet in the bathroom in the Visitor Center. Jonas said that he particularly enjoyed “going into the house” (aka mansion). I liked the Garden of the Senses the best.
Their Cylburn calendar has some lovely events listed, including a story hour for preschoolers every other week. They also have a nature museum which is open Sunday afternoons. Given that the Cylburn is only about 15 minutes from our house, I think we’ll be going back for further exploration.