The Children's Museum Zoo Garden
|Map Location: 43|
Located at the Children's Museum, this colorful garden is planted with annuals, perennials and a few small shrubs and trees. Each of the plants has an animal or insect in its common name such as: dogwood, elephant ears, butterfly bush, snail flower and turtlehead. Many of the plants also play with the senses, such as the soft, fuzzy lamb's ears or the cat mint's fragrant foliage.
Snail Flower (Phaseolus caracalla)
If you enter our Zoo Garden you will find many flowers. One flower that we love is the Snail Flower. This flower looks like a bunch of pink and purple snails. The flowers are very fragrant, like baby powder.
Our Snail Flower is a plant that is from South America. Many of the plants that gardeners love are from areas that are far away. In history, people bring plants with them when they move. Sometimes people would bring plants on boats or by foot. That's how much some people love plants!
There are many plants that are native to New England. Native plants are plants that have learned how to grow in an area without the help of people. They are in their natural environment.
Beebalm (Monarda didyma)
Our Beebalm is a native New England plant that has deep red flowers. Bees love the smell of the flowers, because of this, Beebalm is very often covered in bees! There is a bird that loves Beebalm as well, can you think of which it is?
Turtlehead (Chelone lyonii)
Turtlehead is another native plant in our Zoo garden. Its purple flowers look like an open-mouthed turtle. Turtleheads are plants that like to grow near streams and ponds. Can you see why it is named Turtlehead?
Crabgrass, are you a weed?
Crabgrass is welcome in our Zoo Garden. This plant is very strong and grows fast by putting roots out all over the ground. These roots soak up all the nutrients or food that other plants use to grow.
Crabgrass is a friend in the Zoo garden because of its name, however, in any other garden it is an enemy. Since crabgrass grows very fast and strong it is called a weed. Weeds are plants that are unwanted by the gardener, but also by other plants. They compete and fight with other plants to take over their space and soak up all the nutrients. Crabgrass, don't leave the Zoo Garden!