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April showers bring May flowers, and all over Auburn, gardens are starting to bloom with the first signs of spring. So often when I think of Seymour Library, I think of the internal space. The historic 1903 building designed by the famous Carrere and Hastings architectural firm, glass floors, beautiful skylights, ornamental iron staircase railings, the Italian marble portraits of Theodore Pettibone Case and Frances Fitch Case, not to mention everything housed inside of the building. Now that spring has arrived, I am reminded that the library has spaces just as beautiful and historic outside the building: the gardens!

Like our historic building, the gardens at Seymour Library have evolved over time. Two golden rain trees brought from China by an early trustee grace the front of the building. Other gardens have been added over the years as memorials to those closely associated with Seymour Library. Just last year, the library added a pollinator garden, where children and families released butterflies as part of our Discover Summer program.

With the nice weather finally here to stay (fingers crossed), we are excited to hold even more programs outside. Children and families are invited to celebrate National Photography Month and spring by taking pictures of the great outdoors at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11. Families are encouraged to bring a digital camera, camera phone or tablet for picture-taking. The library will have extra devices available. Materials are limited; so please call the library at (315) 252-2571 to register.

Or take an afternoon to relax and find your zen with chair yoga on the library’s front lawn! Instructors Deborah Daly and Wendy Vitale will lead chair yoga classes from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursdays, May 9, 16 and 23. No mats are required, but please bring a water bottle. Comfortable clothes and shoes are recommended. Classes will be held inside in case of bad weather.

Inspired to start gardening, but not sure where to start? Seymour Library has tools and resources for all ages! Families can explore gardening together with the library’s Learning Backpacks. Topics include gardening, insects, butterflies, birds and more! Each themed kit includes books, games, tools and hands-on activities. Discover! Kits on gardening and bird watching are available for adults, as well.

For those looking for a little bit more instruction, Universal Class offers a variety of online classes, including Introduction to Gardening, Vegetable Gardening 101 and Floral Arrangement 101, all free with your Seymour Library card.

Or try out Kanopy, a video streaming platform with over 26,000 movies and documentaries, including "The Queen’s Garden," "The Fundamental of Sustainable Living" series, "Portrait of a Garden" and more. Choices for children are available as well. Watch up to 10 films a month with your library card!

For more information about upcoming programs, or to explore the tools and resources offered by Seymour Library, visit the library’s website at seymourlibrary.org.

Check out this list of books for more gardening tips!

• "The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener" by Eliot Coleman

• "All New Square Foot Gardening: More Projects, New Solutions, Grow Vegetables Anywhere" by Mel Bartholomew

• "Climate-Wise Landscaping: Practical Actions for a Sustainable Future" by Sue Reed and Ginny Stibolt

• "Plant, Cook, Eat!: A Children's Cookbook" by Joe Archer and Caroline Craig

• "The New Seed-Starters Handbook" by Nancy Bubel

• "Gardening Lab for Kids: Starting a Garden, Fun Experiments to Learn, Grow, Harvest, Make, and Play" by Renata Fossen Brown

• "Dig In!: 12 Easy Gardening Projects Using Kitchen Scraps" by Kari Cornell

• "Garden Renovation: Transform Your Tired Yard into the Garden of Your Dreams" by Bobbie Schwartz

• "Container Gardens: Over 200 Fresh Ideas for Indoor and Outdoor Plantings" by the editors of Southern Living

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Jackie Kolb is community services coordinator at Seymour Library in Auburn. For more information, visit seymourlibrary.org or call (315) 252-2571.

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