How do you inspire children to fall in love with the oldest rose garden in the United States, while also letting adults learn about the details of those amazing flowers?
Wyck Historic House and Garden in Germantown bought kids and adults together for fairy-house making and an old-fashioned tea party, with house and garden tours, for Sunday’s Mother and Child Tea event.
Families took advantage of the gorgeous afternoon to wander the grounds, seeing the 70 varieties of roses, visiting the chickens and enjoying hot and iced tea, scones and rose jelly.
Christina Moresi, the Wyck youth program coordinator, collaborated with Wyck’s horticulturist Elizabeth Belk, to brainstorm the Mother’s Day activities.
Unofficial start to week-long floral recognition
Wyck’s premier event, the annual Rose Week, ending in the Old Rose Symposium, is unofficially kicked off by the Mother’s Day tea.
Both Moresi and Belk wanted to bring more families and other community members out that wouldn’t necessarily be interested in garden history or horticulture.
“It was nice to see how the day progressed,” said Moresi. “I saw more children exploring the garden, adults becoming involved in the children’s activities, and everybody loved feeding the chickens strawberries.”
Attendees enjoyed themselves
Germantown mom Jeannie Ebert brought her daughter and granddaughter out to the tea.
“We both live in the area and love the older historic houses here, especially in Germantown,” said Ebert, whose granddaughter Sophia was excited to build fairy houses out of natural materials, an activity her and her dad like to do in the Wissahickon park.
Michelle Williams of Mt. Airy and daughter Zoe toured the gardens, too.
Williams is currently studying in the horticulture program at the Barnes Foundation in Lower Merion, and was interested in the rose varieties.
Meanwhile, Zoe “liked the sweets” and took the time to catch up on some reading while relaxing on colorful blankets on the lawn near the roses.
Children were able to make fairy wands, blow bubbles with all kinds of kitchen utensils and listen to stories about the way to build fairy houses in nature.
Dana and Michael Mensah attended with their two daughters, Jolie and Nia, because the girls “love to play princess and make tea parties at home, and we knew it would be beautiful out here today.”
Toward the end of Sunday afternoon, Belk gave an in-depth tour of the blooming roses, pointing out such rare varieties as the Lafayette rose, available only through Wyck and said to be planted in 1825 in honor of Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to the area.