In the early 2000's, when Daniel and my family had grown by leaps and bounds to include three stairstep children, I didn't have much time for gardening. But when I realized that my children enjoyed picking and playing with any type of flower or greenery as much as I enjoyed cultivating it, I began to spend more time on landscaping, resulting in multiple gardens filled with a variety of plants. The children would traipse around the gardens with buckets, loading them with petals and leaves gleaned from the various garden beds and mixing them with water to make what they called "flower soup." We all got to spend time outdoors together, learning about plants, trees, insects and birds. Just as each child had a tree of his/her own, she/he also had a garden to plant and play in as well. I used their enthusiasm as fuel to expand our gardens with ever more colorful blooms.
Have you heard that old saying, "the family that gardens together, grows together"? Well, me either, but I think it may be true!
Below: The original Flower Soup Gang, Tammie and Daniel's three children, are pictured on the left, with two cousins who sometimes joined them in making flower soup at their grandparents' farm.