Ralph Waldo Emerson once wrote, "Earth laughs in flowers." What a sweet thought! Some of my most joyful times with my daughters have been spent in the garden or at our local arboretum. There's something so wonderful about being amongst colorful, fragrant flowers, warmed by the sunshine, watching butterflies and bees busily flitting from one blossom to the next.
Each spring, the girls and I eagerly await the first green leaves, and then the first sprouts of color, in our perennial garden. The girls, and even some of the neighborhood children, lose track of time as they pick tiny handfuls of flowers, and then water the beds until there are mini swimming pools around the base of each plant. We even assign names to some of our favorites: Sally Salvia, Miss Daisy, Foxy Phloxy, and so on.
If your children love to play with flowers, as well, why not take the next step and create flower arrangements together? What a great way to extend hands-on time with nature and spark a little creativity along the way. Perhaps start with a few bunches of faux flowers from the dollar store, before working with real flowers from the garden or your favorite florist. Your neighbors will welcome the sight of your children standing on their front doorstep with a lovely bouquet to deliver. You might also experiment with edible flowers used to decorate cupcakes or cakes. And, who's to say that you couldn't create a more permanent arrangement with flowers made from pipe cleaners and decorative tissue paper, or water-colored paper—the possibilities are endless!
It's also getting close to the time of year that I start thinking about forcing bulbs in decorative containers. There's nothing better than the smell of narcissus spread throughout the house, or a vibrant red amaryllis taking center stage on the dining room table.
As with art, there's an endless palette of colors to work with when flowers are your chosen medium. Spring, summer, fall or winter, there's always something in season to inspire your flower creation. All you need is a gentle touch and a little bit of laughter.
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The kids are out of school for a little while longer, the weather is nice, and it's time to get out of the house. Taking walks with our preschoolers can be challenging, though, with their sometimes lagging attention and lack of focus. Here's a soluti... read more