“Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.” Francis Bacon
This activity takes place in late May and early October in our perennial gardens where there is a learning center with a large table, benches and lots of flowers. Each session takes about 90 minutes of Garden Educator time (30 minutes prior, 30 with the class and 30 afterward).
It is best if the same peson leads the activity each time.
Though not complicated, knowing the best types and combinations of flowers, how to insert them in the tubes without breaking the stems and how to handle them once they are filled saves a great deal of frustration for everyone involved.
- Arrive about 30-45 minutes before you are to meet the class and collect the supplies.
- Use the work table for students to assemble their bouquets.
- Set up four stations – one in each corner of the table to prevent crowding.
- Decide which flowers to include in the bouquets this week and cut one of each to show the students.
- Show them where the flowers they are cutting today are located.
- Each bouquet should have 3 flowers. Select flowers with stiff stems.
- Our bouquets system is:
- A sprig of chocolate or pineapple mint, lavender or other herb for fragrance.
- Something “airy” like baby’s breath or feverfew.
- A larger, focus flower, i.e. zinnia, marigold, dahlia or small sunflower.
The first time out:
- Explain: What is Meals on Wheels? Why might some people need such a service?
- Show students samples of the kinds of flowers to pick and explain why.
- Show students how to determine if a flower is new and fresh or old and fading.
- You will have to monitor their flower selections to ensure each senior receives a beautiful, fresh bouquet.
Notes for other programs:
- If working with first-grades consider picking 2/3 of the bouquet ahead and having the children pick one flower for each of their two bouquets.
- If working with pre-school children, consider pre-picking all of the flowers. It will be challenging enough for them to put the flowers in the water tubes.
- Floral tubes – in back of the green barn, under the shelves in square plastic buckets. Count out 58, along with caps, and put in a smaller bucket or basket.
- Four small square buckets of water for students to fill the water tubes.
- Scissors to cut flowers – the teachers will be instructed to have the children bring out their own but sometimes they forget.
- Two small square buckets or other container for transporting the bouquets. Use plastic cups or pint canning jars to create dividers so the tubes do not not fall over.
- Optional – Granny cards to tie to the bouquets and raffia, ribbon or yarn. Give note card supplies to teacher for students to create note cards in class as time permits during the winter.