My little girl, Sally, had so much fun at her friend, Cindy's, eighth birthday party.
The invitation was shaped like a sunflower. It said, "Please come my flower birthday party on Saturday, at 12:00 p.m. at my house. We will visit the botanical garden and return to my house for fun in my garden. I would love it if you would come. Please bring a little flower pot to paint."
Sally and I bought a ceramic pot for her to bring and some miniature gardening tools decorated with sunflowers to give Cindy as a birthday present. Sally said that Cindy loves gardening, but all of her mother's tools were too big for her. These were the perfect size.
Sally wore a cute T-shirt with violets on it to the party. Five other mother's and daughters were there when we arrived. We all piled into a big van and headed for the botanical gardens which are only a short distance from where we live. Cindy, Sally and the other girls were enchanted by all the many varieties of flowers, the lovely colours and enticing scents. The gardens are part of a larger farm park, so the children spent a short time petting the rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters in the small animal corner and feeding the ducks, geese and swans on the lake. We had some tea, muffins and butter cookies at the small garden cafe before heading back to Cindy's house.
Jane has a green thumb and her garden is beautiful throughout the year. Today, Cindy was in charge of re-planting the beds around the patio. The girls decorated their pots with acrylic paints while the mothers prepared the food. Sally painted a rainbow on her pot, with a cloud at each end. When they were finished, the girls left their pots to dry and went inside for lunch. There were lots ham and cheese mini sandwiches, fruit salad, potato salad and pasta salad. The girls drank raspberry lemonade. After lunch, Jane brought out Cindy's birthday cake. It had been decorated with a frosting picture of a little English cottage and garden and looked just like something from a Thomas Hardy novel. It was so pretty everyone took pictures and it was almost a shame to cut it. It was however extremely delicious with a raspberry filling.
While Cindy opened her presents, the other mothers and I cleaned up the paints and put out stacks of multi-coloured tissue paper, paper clips, twist ties and dowel rods cut into twelve inch pieces and painted green. When they came back outside, Cindy gave each girl a bulb and Jane showed them how to plant the bulb properly in the pots and how to take care of it so it was sure to sprout. No one would know what colour their flower was until it bloomed. I also picked up some good tips from Jane. I learned why the tulips I planted never came back the following spring.
After the bulbs were planted, Cindy showed everyone how to make tissue paper flowers. We picked five or six colours of tissue and folded them in a stack accordion style. A paper clip was used to secure them in the middle and a twist tie attached the tissue paper to the wood dowel. The final step was separating the layers of tissue to make them look like fluffy flowers. Sally put a few drops of my perfume on her flower so it would remind her of me.
Sally went home with a grin, some tissue flowers, a pretty flower pot with a baby flower, and a strong desire to take a nap. I had a wonderful time, too. Sally's bulb sprouted and is a tulip. She wants me to plant it and help her make her own little area of garden at our house. I think that's an excellent idea.