Wednesday, 14 April 2010

How does your garden grow?

Well, it's been an exciting couple of days. Lavender Blue and Flower Power, my Nursery Rhyme Time sessions at the Geffrye Museum, are done and dusted. A sense of achievement is upon me; a glass of wine is on the horizon.

Yesterday's tea party with Peter Rabbit was so lovely it was almost twee. There were letters from Mary (of Mary, Mary Quite Contrary fame) and Mrs Rabbit (Peter's mother). Unable to attend, Mary had sent a basket of flowers (neoprene shapes) for us to plant in our flowerbed and asked for them to be planted in rows, of course. When we came to water them we discovered Peter Rabbit in the watering can. The children enthusiastically played In and Out the Dusty Bluebells with him (as had been requested by Mrs Rabbit) - a classic game from the old days that I think is ready for a revival. Then we sang Lavender's Blue and Roses are Red whilst sampling the smell of dried lavender and rose petals. And we made pretty Victorian-style lacy sock drawer sachets. The lavender had a most calming effect on the children and grown-ups alike and we all enjoyed a very relaxed story, the Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter, to close the session. Just lovely.

By contrast, today's aptly named Flower Power was a lot more punchy. I included a demonstration of re-potting plants where all the children got to see, close-up, the roots of the little flowering plants photographed above. I wasn't quite prepared for the absolute sensation this caused. When I tried it out with my two, yes, they were interested, but in the session today they went wild! There was so much excitement and screaming I had to talk about 'shy butterflies being scared away'. Thank goodness it all got a little calmer with some songs about plants and how they grow, and a lovely, funny story - Flora's Flowers by Debi Gliori. Phew. But the craft activity also proved too much for a couple of the children who got a bit tearful over their tissue paper petals. Snacks soon restored positive energy and calm and they all went home happy with their little baskets of flowers. But how I wished for that lavender again. There's definitely something in it.

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