CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Area children are invited to the Clay Center from noon to 5 p.m. today for the "Gateway Grow Challenge."
The Gateway Greenspace is a very interesting project. Designed to soften the entrance to the city from the interstates, it's eco-friendly and has educational, cultural and historic components that will make it a go-to place for students and adults alike. Called a "Slice of West Virginia natural heritage" by Greenspace, it will be located adjacent to the Clay Center on the corner of Leon Sullivan Way and Washington Street.
"This is a great way for Generation Charleston to promote community involvement by teaching children about the environment," said Rob Rosano, community outreach co-captain for Generation Charleston. "The Greenspace will be an East End treasure, and it's important that kids feel at home."
The first 50 children, ages 10 and above, who register for the Gateway Grow Challenge will receive a plant to care for and to watch grow at home courtesy of TerraSalis Garden Center. Children will be asked to return their plants in November for a planting party at the Greenspace. Prizes will be awarded to children who successfully return their plants.
"Children will receive the Allegheny pachysandra for the Greenspace Growth Challenge," Rosano said. He gave the following description of the plant:
"The native Allegheny pachysandra (Pachysandra procumbens) is an excellent choice, with richly patterned, two-tone leaves that persist valiantly through winter. The fragrant white flowers that appear briefly in April are followed by a second-story layering of fresh, spring-green leaves.
"This is definitely not the pachysandra your aunt grew -- the Japanese Pachysandra terminalis, much overused and now playing host to a variety of unpleasant pests and diseases. The multi-tone leaves of Allegheny pachysandra are an artist's delight and likened to the matte finish design found on pottery."
Children also can enter the Gateway Grow Challenge essay and drawing contest "What Does Being Green Mean to Me?" The Charleston Gazette will publish the winning essays, which will be on display at the Clay Center in November.
There will be all sorts of other fun things to do at the Clay Center today, as well. For a listing, visit www.theclaycenter.org or call 304-561-3570.
One of my favorite readers, Lawton Posey of Charleston, sent this e-mail following a recent column about scented flowers in the garden:
"Let me add my two bits (or two smells). Bridget and I love our butterfly bush (Buddleia Davidii) for its pretty fronds and its attractiveness to pollen seekers. The odor is delightful, and interestingly enough for us amateurs, 'winey' or 'grapey.' Our single bush has grown immensely, even though it was somewhat pruned earlier this year.