Free Winter Warmth

Every year around this time, we take a trip to the greenhouse and exotic plant store located about twenty minutes from us.  My husband and I are warm weather fans and the winters can be long and depressing. Even before we had children, we visited Ott’s yearly for a dose of color and warmth.  It has now become a  yearly educational trip for the kids as well.  We leave the jackets in the car and walk into an indoor jungle.  It is an opportunity for the children to see plants they would never see in Pennsylvania.  There are banana trees and pony tail palms, citrus trees and tropical flowers.  There are several rooms to wander through.  The kid’s favorite boasts a fish pond and a walkway that takes you up over it with a view of a room full of tropical foliage.

I am partial to the warmest, sunniest room where the citrus trees are bearing fruit in the middle of February.  The colors are a treat to the eyes that have only seen gray and brown for several months.  It is warm and bright like a late spring day in this part of the store and it feeds the soul to walk through it in the middle of winter.

This is a great opportunity to investigate lots of types of plants and talk about what they need to grow and why they can not grow outside in winter in PA.  It is a way to show the kids how some types of fruit grow without driving south!

Plants are labeled with their names and what they need to grow, a great educational tool for identifying and comparing.

This plant was a great lesson on how roots continue to grow no matter what the space constrictions.

Ott’s is located at 943 Gravel Pikein Schwenksville, PA.  It is a great place to kick the winter blues and to give your children many valuable science lessons.  While Ott’s is obviously a special place to visit, you can get some of the same experiences at your local plant store.  Just looking at green and growing things in winter can have a positive impact on your family.  Of course it is a huge plus that exploring a plant store or greenhouse is free family entertainment, unless you decide to bring some of that green home with you.  In the middle of February, it is hard to resist.

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