A Rhododendron with Lavender Curly and Delicate Petals

Below is another one of my older rhododendrons. 🙂

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This rhododendron is a lovely lavender just as another one I have.  This one has more curly and delicate petals.  The darker purple are the little buds getting ready to explode! 🙂

Oh, when I clipped it from the bush to bring in for my provocations, I noticed something dark moving!  Sure enough it was a moth that was slumbering inside one of the small flowers towards the center.  I quickly, and I mean quickly ran back outside and shook it out.  I was careful, because my intent was not to hurt the little bug, but to get it off the flower and not in the school! 🙂  And of course, I really am not that big a fan of bugs.

school pics 044  The second picture I took with the flash off.  Sometimes my old camera will think it needs more light, when in fact it may not.  I kind of prefer natural light to a flash when possible.

I had trimmed a good deal off of this plant last year and earlier this year pulled some nasty blackberry vines out from underneath the bush.  Now my poor old Rhododendron is much happier.  If you can tell with these two pictures, the leaves do not have those yellow dots. 🙂

If you have a rhododendron like this one or similar please share!  I would love to see pictures and read your thoughts on these lovely flowering bushes. 🙂


Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Flower, Paint and Crayon Provocation

This may look daunting, but just wait, I will explain. 🙂

school pics 003      I set up a lavender rhododendron, purple and pink tempera paint (washable), two different paint brushes, green and brown crayons, small rectangular paper and finally blue play dough.  I also made sure there were half filled jars of water with rocks at the bottom for weight. (No tipping 🙂 )

school pics 004  The idea behind this is for the children to explore a provocation with a multiple layer of artistic materials.  Due to there being more materials to work with and the table being much more busy than with just one provocation, I like to have a class meeting to inform the children of items they will use.  Then I like to generate a discussion with the children to find out from them what kinds of ideas they have for those materials.

Here are some ideas we came up with:

* making flowers out of the dough and painting the dough.

* counting the round dough and writing the numbers with the crayons and then painting over the crayon.

*painting the flower and using the dough as a name tag or marker for the kind of flower each person paints.  Then using the crayon to add the stem and leaves.

*making flowers out of the dough and using the paint to outline the flowers.  After that adding the stems and leaves with the crayons.  Asking Ms. Heidi if she would write our words for our pictures. 🙂

*Ms. Heidi can write our words for our stories. 🙂

Preschool Tour!

Saturday, May 30th, 2015 will be a Preschool Tour! 🙂

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Please join me at The Marigold School of Early Learning from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a tour of the preschool!  I would love for you to come and see what this amazing small in-home preschool has to offer your growing child ages three to five years! 🙂

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Please email: marigoldschoolofearlylearning@gmail.com or phone the school number:360-597-6307 if you would prefer to schedule a tour.  For your convenience let me know the days and times that best work for you and I will pencil you in!  

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning 🙂


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The above picture is of my red rhododendron.  About two years ago I trimmed it way back and it came back strong and healthy the next year, however this year it seems to have a problem.  The leaves have a spotted yellow color instead of the nice solid green.  Does anyone else have this issue with rhododendrons?   My rhododendron shrubs are all older plants, yet I’ve always heard they can live super long if they have proper fertilization and care.

The whole bush is blooming strong with really nice large flowers, but it just looks unhealthy to me.  If there is an organic fertilizer that is better for this type of flower please let me know in the comments. 🙂

I would love to have students enjoy the flowers disease free if possible. 🙂



Thank you so much I appreciate any advice on this subject! 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning 

Pencil me into your schedule!

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Don’t forget to stop by for a tour of The Marigold School of Early Learning!  We will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  So during your busy Saturday stop by and see if my small in-home morning preschool will fit the needs of your intelligent and kindred spirited three to five year old girl or boy!

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Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Canterbury Bells Question?

Heidi's School Pics 007   Sorry for the blurry picture, but my camera refused to focus on this flower. 😦                                                                                                                              

This is my canterbury bell plant.  This will bloom in a blue-purple shade and it seems to only bloom every other year for me.  Is this true of any of you who have this plant too?

I thought it had died and a different flower had popped up, which was I believe a balloon flower, lavender in color.  I love this flower too yet the balloon flower does not seem to pop up every year either. And I don’t remember ever planting the baloon flower, just the canterbury bells.

I can hardly wait for the canterbury bell to bloom!  I love how they look so much like little bells and how bright and vibrant they are among other flowers. 🙂   I am thinking of buying more plants in a range of colors and putting them in different spots just because they are so unique and tall enough to be a nice background for shorter plants.  

Have any of you planted canterbury bells and what colors?  Do they only pop up every other year or is that just an issue I’m facing?  Please comment on my page and let me know your thoughts. 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Preschool Tour May 16th!

The Marigold School of Early Learning will be open for a tour on Saturday, May 16th, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  If you are interested in seeing the school and finding out the type of Early Childhood Program I run, please stop by! 🙂

If Saturday doesn’t work for you please check out my website and email or call the school number to schedule an appointment for a more convenient time.  I will gladly accommodate for your schedule. 🙂


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Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning


Violets and Irises

More science and observation with flowers!  Violets and Irises are two lovely flowers that grow from two different sources.  One is from a seed and one is from a bulb.  This would be a great discussion to have with young children, because it is too easy for young minds (even older ones) to assume that all plants come from a seed.  Seeds are more commonly discussed and showcased in books and other media, so it is a good idea to show the difference with a variety of colorful and lovely flowers. 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 010  Violets are so pretty this time of year!  They travel all over the yard and right now a good portion of my side yard are filled with them.  The great thing is you can supply young children with good quality magnifying glasses and let them explore up close and personal each bunch they can locate.  The other great thing for me is when they have bloomed out, I just pull them up and because they reseed, new and fresh flowers bloom once more! 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 005  If anyone knows what kind of annual this flower is I would love it if you could enlighten me.  I planted this last year and somehow it wintered over!  I lost the tag, so I just don’t remember what the name is.  Comment on my post if you know. 🙂

Heidi's School Pics 007  The lovely rain has come and is working on keeping the plants well hydrated and green!  This is the iris I mentioned in an earlier post.  And guess what?  I managed to capture a resting bee!  Anyway, this iris is a bit deceiving at first because the buds make it appear to be a lovely deep purple, yet when in full bloom you can see the cream color takes center stage and the deep purple fans out into a lovely warm plum.  Flowers that change in color are also a wonderful discussion topic for young and curious minds. 🙂

Please share your flower experiences and any plant explorations your child or class has been up to this spring.  I would love to read about them too! 🙂


Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning

Mother’s Day Pie

Mixed Berry Gluten and Sugar Free Pie!

For Mother’s Day I made this mixed berry (blueberry, raspberry and blackberry) pie with a gluten free crust (almond flour, buckwheat flour and coconut flour) and no sugar.  I used xylitol a natural sugar substitute and gelatin to thicken so it wouldn’t be too runny, which usually happens to my pies no matter what thickener I try.  So I thought why not try gelatin.  🙂

Below is the pie just before I put it in the oven.  I baked it at 425 degrees F, for about 30 minutes.  I checked on it often.  

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    The two pictures to your left and right are of the pie when it was finished  baking.  I was going to take pictures of the slices, but we dug in and I forgot all about pictures.  I did serve it with cool whip and coffee.  No ice cream for us. 🙂            

If you made a desert for Mother’s Day please share!  I would love to read what food traditions or just foods you decided to try for a special day like Mother’s Day. 🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning                                             

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Irises are so pretty and they come in so many different colors, designs and sizes!  The one below is in the stages of blooming and despite the dark purple appearance, this one is heavier on the cream side with the edges being dark purple.  I love watching the actual blooming process in action.                                                                                                                                   Heidi's School Pics 012            The picture below shows one bud is peeking out a bit more so the cream color is starting to show.  The morning sun does the flowers justice too. 🙂

                                                                                                                                                 Heidi's School Pics 004

A different angle of the same bud shows how curly the edges will be too.  I wanted to mention that with any plants, flowers, vegetables etc. it is extremely important to note poisonous ones and keep those out of reach of young hands.  Pictures can do wonders if you can’t actually have the real deal as a provocation or simply on display.  Educating young minds on plants that are safe and those that are not really does stick in their minds and they apply this knowledge to their home lives too.  

                                                                                                                            Heidi's School Pics 005 Enjoy the season of Irises because like so many other lovely flowers of spring time, they last for such a brief time!  🙂

Heidi, The Marigold School of Early Learning