Although the seasons are more subtle here on the Valley Isle than in other parts of the world, Spring still bursts forth with a bounty of blooms. Gathering flowers and having creative fun with the textures, scents, and colors can be a grounding and festive way to celebrate the season.
Here are just a few ways to play with flowers. Use these for inspiration and create your own traditions that your children will cherish through the years.
Gather flowers and foliage that have longer stems. A variety of textures makes it fun, just be sure that there are no thorns involved. Lay stems on top of each other and use raffia, twine or ribbon to wrap the length of the stems, leaving the “crown” of flowers open at the top. Depending on what blooms you choose, the wands can dry beautifully, or simply provide a few hours of twirly fun.
Creating a flower crown, known as lei po’o here in Hawai’i, is a classic spring activity. Perfect for Lei Day or for any day of the week! Gather a variety of blooms, ferns, and other interesting foliage that is not pokey—remember, this will be worn on the head. Soak raffia for 10 minutes in water to make it more pliable, and use a strand of banana stalk or a braided strand of raffia as a backing. Make small bundles of your plant material and wrap it to the backing. Lay one bundle on top of the stems of the other bundles so the backing doesn’t show. Add ribbons to the ends for extra flair when worn tied around the head.
The simplest of all flower fun, these gathered blooms will brighten any room. Vases are traditionally used to hold arrangements, but think outside the box and look around for anything that will hold water. Perhaps a teapot that is sitting unused and collecting dust on a shelf, or mug that has lost its handle. You can put small pieces of chicken wire in the container to help hold the stems in place, but be careful of the sharp edges. Let your creativity lead the way as you and your keiki combine blossoms and greenery, and don’t shy away from adding branches and other unusual objects to make your flower arrangement your very own.
Where to find flowers? Visit a local flower farm or go to a farmer’s market for locally-grown blooms. You might also have fun foraging for flowers and greens when you go on outings. Just be sure that you harvest thoughtfully, never taking too much from one place, and of course, don’t harvest from anyone’s yard without permission.