Updated: June 10, 2013 1:30PM
From daffodils to dogwoods, and dandelions too, it seems that right now plants are in bloom nearly everywhere you look.
How fitting that tomorrow, Friday, May 10, is National Public Gardens Day. And how nice that Better Homes and Gardens teams up with other garden organizations to offer free admission coupons to many lovely gardens across the country.
Locally, the coupon will be accepted at Taltree Arboretum and Gardens in Valparaiso, which has tours and special programs planned for the day.
“For anyone who hasn’t experienced Taltree before, or for anyone who wants to see the highlights of the season and the highlights of the garden, there will be guided tours every two hours, at 10:30, 12:30 and 2:30,” said Britney Rice of Taltree.
“Taltree is unique in area gardens in that Taltree has an in-house arborist,” Rice said. “On Public Gardens Day he’ll do a climbing demonstration and while he’s up in this beautiful, great old tree, he’ll explain what an arborist does and how arborists help to care for trees. People get a kick out of seeing him work up in the tree.”
For visitors with gardening questions, Porter County Master Gardeners will be on hand to help. For visitors with children, craft activities will be offered in or near the depot by the railway garden.
“Visitors can also see the new Fairy House exhibit if they take a hike along the Heron Trail,” said Rice.
Whimsical little houses crafted from natural materials found at the gardens have been placed along the trail. Visitors will also see the mayapples, wild violets and trillium that are currently in bloom and also gracing the trail.
This weekend, Taltree will host another special event: Art in the Garden.
“Living art is across all of Taltree, and this event adds fine arts and performing arts. This event will be very different this year to make it more family friendly,” according to Rice.
Art in the Garden is Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Admission is the regular general admission of $10 for adults and children age 13 and over, $8 for college students and seniors age 55 and over, and $5 for children ages 5-12.
Taltree Arboretum and Gardens is at 450 West 100 North in Valparaiso. To get there, go south on 500 West from U.S. Highway 30 and then follow signs. Food concessions will be available and picnics are welcome at both events. Seasonal hours are from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information go online to www.taltree.org or call 462-0025.
Families with children who are interested in film will find inspiration at the Cineyouth Festival tonight through Saturday at Columbia College, 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago. This event celebrates short films by filmmakers age 21 and younger and includes a weekend of film screenings plus an opportunity to make and edit a film over the weekend under the guidance of adult mentors.
Cineyouth kicks off tonight with a presentation by filmmaker and actor (Freaks and Geeks, Bones) John Francis Daley, a 27-year old-native of the Chicago area. For complete details, go online to www.cinemachicago.org and click on “cineyouth.”