Spring is definitely here. One glance out my kitchen window, and all I can see are blossoms. The redbud has turned to leaves, and the dogwood blossoms are floating on their curled branches. The azaleas have burst forth, and shades of pink, red and white line the streets of our neighborhood. Mother Nature has unleashed her finery, and I find myself stopping every few feet to admire her floral bounty. Of course, this makes our dog walks very long but all the more enjoyable.
If your child is anything like my three-year-old then you’re watching with equal parts dismay and delight as she tries to pick every bloom within reach. It doesn’t matter if the garden is ours or belongs to the family down the street, the colors are eye-catching and before you can utter “stop!” she has a fistful of stems in her grip. I’ve had to physically hoist her out of our neighbor’s flowerbed to keep her from harvesting all their daffodils. Although my daughter is beginning to understand the concept of ownership and that we can’t pick other people’s flowers, battling the impulse is challenging for a young child. I’ve been racking my brain as to a solution for our flower thievery and finally came up with a small solution: tiny vases.
I bought a simple gardening picture book to show her how flowers need soil and sunlight and water to grow. I explained that after we pick them, we must put them in water or they’ll die right away. I saved the glass bottles that hold the vanilla I use for baking. After peeling off the label and cleaning them out, I found that they’re perfect for holding violets and dandelions. The best part is that small vases will only hold one or two flowers. Luckily for me, there are swathes of tiny wild flowers that grow rampant in the park across the street. I let her loose in the field and let her pick until her heart’s content, but the weeds won’t bloom forever. Plus they’re not as attractive as the cultivated annuals in the garden. The tiny wild blossoms are perfect for the small vase, and both are the perfect size for her to handle. Bonus! If one of the vases breaks, it’s simple and economical to replace it.
This doesn’t stop all the ransacking of the flowerbeds, but she’s talking more about the flowers needing the water in the vase. She’s beginning to see the correlation between the limited space of the vase, the amount of water to the number of flowers. Most importantly she understands that plants outside need extra care if we’re to bring them inside, and sometimes it’s better to leave them alone for everyone to enjoy. After all, no one has a greener thumb than Mother Nature herself.
Amy L Overley is a freelance writer and editor with a side business of trying anything creative at least once. Most of the time over and over again with hilarious results. Have you tried springtime favor boxes?