The Root-Children (Die Wurzelkinder)

 Design Concept: how our exhibit reflects the theme “Deeply Rooted”
1.                  The Root Children live under the deep roots of a great tree. As winter ends, they wake from their long sleep and set to work creating bright flowers, birds and insects. When all is ready, the Root Children carry their creations up into the sunlight, bringing the world another spring. Their story of annual rebirth is deeply rooted in the human spirit.
Horticultural/Educational Concept:
2a.       This scene is drawn from Etwas von den Wurzelkindern, the classic 1906 children’s story written and illustrated by Sibylle Von Olfers, published in English as The Story of the Root-Children, a fable of natural cycles and changing seasons.
2b.       Cherry birch, also known as sweet birch or red birch, has numerous medicinal purposes. The inner bark contains oil identical to wintergreen oil, and tea made from it is popular for digestive disturbances. Birch also has folkloric associations with both Christian and Pagan legends of spring. According to Germanic legend, a whipping with birch twigs before sunrise on Easter Sunday would transfer disease to the twigs and bring good health to the sufferer. On Walpurgisnacht, or May Eve, witches rode brooms of birch twigs at their annual gathering on the Brocken.
2c.       The bracket fungus growing on the birch trunk is commonly called Hen-of-the-Woods in English, and Maitake in Japanese. It is edible and is said to strengthen the immune system. The fungus plays an active role in decomposing dead trees, returning them to the soil, where they will nourish the roots of the next generation.
What else the public might enjoy knowing:
3.         This miniature garden is a family creation. Design and fabrication are by Katherine and Gwendolyn Holbrow, two sisters who are both artists and children’s book illustrators. Their mother, Master Gardener Mary Holbrow, contributed the plants and landscaping. The Holbrow family has been participating in the New England Flower Show for over a century, so we also are deeply rooted in this tradition.
Hardiness Zone: Fairyland
Date of Garden: April

Plant material forced: None

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