Time: When People Were The Analog

Green Spring’s Demonstration Garden/Sun clock

Time.

Sun ClockIn our society, we live by time machines. The clock awakens us each morning, regulates our day, signals sleep when the day is done, and drives us crazy on NFL Sundays. Time for humans is an analog clock with a face and hands or an electronic device with digital numbers. Nature has a different system. In nature, there are no numbers. Time is dictated by the sun.

At Green Spring Gardens, the Master Gardeners, with help from Boy Scout Troop 1128 of Vienna, have created a garden for children that celebrates time and the sun. In the center of the garden is an interactive sun clock. It’s made of cement stepping stones with numbers outlined in mosaics and tiled stones that represent the months of the year.

Children visiting this garden learn about time from the sun as our ancestors did. They stand on the stone for the current month, raise a hand high to become the device’s analog and let their shadow fall on the correct time. Daylight savings and regular time are both displayed on this sun clock.

Children also can tell time by the flowers in this sun garden.  The Children’s Garden is planted with morning glories which open as the sun rises; sunflowers that look skyward and move as the sun arcs across the sky; multicolored four o’clocks that awaken in late afternoon to brighten up a dark corner; evening primrose that heralds day’s end with a bright yellow flower; and the moon vine, a flower that sleeps all day and unfolds into bright whiteness when the sun slips under the horizon.

In addition to the sun clock, the Children’s Garden has a teepee that will be covered in bean vines by summer and a sensory garden that excites touch, smell, sound, and sight. Imagination flies at the garden as children take off on new adventures while hidden under the vines of purple string beans and pretzel beans. Scented geraniums, fragrant thyme and chocolate mint add to the taste of the air, while strawberries and jelly bean blueberries add flashes of color.

Like any garden, it grows and changes with the passing of days, so it can be worth several visits. This summer, take some of that time we’ve been talking about and spend it in the children’s garden at Green Spring Gardens.

Come and enjoy an afternoon with your children and celebrate time, the sun and the beauty and fun that nature provides. The Children’s Garden is one of more than 20 thematic, demonstration gardens at Green Spring Gardens, 4603 Green Spring Road, Alexandria, Va.

Author Pamela Smith is the Community Horticulture Program Coordinator at Green Spring Gardens.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , on by .

About Fairfax County Park Authority

HISTORY: On December 6, 1950, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors created the Fairfax County Park Authority. The Park Authority was authorized to make decisions concerning land acquisition, park development and operations in Fairfax County, Virginia. To date, 11 park bond referenda have been approved between 1959 and 2008. Another Park Bond Referendum will be held in November 2012. Today, the Park Authority has 420 parks on approximately 23,168 acres of land. We offer 371 miles of trails, our most popular amenity. FACILITIES: The Park System is the primary public mechanism in Fairfax County for the preservation of environmentally sensitive land and resources, areas of historic significance and the provision of recreational facilities and services including: o Nine indoor RECenters with swimming pools, fitness rooms, gyms and class spaces. Cub Run features an indoor water park and on-site naturalist. o Eight golf courses including Laurel Hill, our newest, upscale course and clubhouse located in Southern Fairfax County o Five nature and visitor centers. Also seven Off-Leash Dog Activity areas o Several lakes including Lake Fairfax, Lake Accotink and Burke Lake, with campgrounds at Burke Lake and Lake Fairfax o The Water Mine Family Swimmin’ Hole at Lake Fairfax, Our Special Harbor Sprayground at Lee as well as an indoor water park at Cub Run RECenter o Clemyjontri Park, a fully accessible playground in Great Falls featuring two acres of family friendly fun and a carousel o An ice skating rink at Mount Vernon RECenter and the Skate Park in Wakefield Park adjacent to Audrey Moore RECenter o Kidwell Farm, a working farm of the 1930s era at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon, now with historic carousel o Eight distinctive historic properties available for rent o A working grist mill at Colvin Run in Great Falls and a restored 18th century home at Sully Historic Site in Chantilly o A horticulture center at Green Spring Gardens in Annandale o Natural and cultural resources protected by the Natural Resource Management Plan and Cultural Resource Plans, plus an Invasive Management Area program that targets alien plants and utilizes volunteers in restoring native vegetation throughout our community o Picnic shelters, tennis courts, miniature golf courses, disc golf courses, off-leash dog parks, amphitheaters, a marina, kayaking/canoeing center o Provides 274 athletic fields, including 30 synthetic turf fields, and manages athletic field maintenance services at 500 school athletic fields PARK AUTHORITY BOARD: • A 12-member citizen board, appointed by the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, sets policies and priorities for the Fairfax County Park Authority. Visit http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/news2/social-hub/ for Fairfax County Government's Comment Policy.

One thought on “Time: When People Were The Analog

  1. Mary E. Hanlon

    It sounds like a wonderful adventure wish we lived closer to the children’s garden!We hope many children come to experience this magical place. Enjoy!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s