Things To Do: Teach Kids About Flowers / Where to pick, plant and see flowers this spring

WORDS
Beth McGee
PUBLISHED
March 2017 in
DallasChild, FortWorthChild, CollinChild
UPDATED
February 27, 2017
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April showers might bring May flowers, but tulips, poppies and pansies are already in bloom here this month. Here, we’ve picked out the best Dallas area spots for kiddos to embrace the arrival of spring and experience flowers from every angle, from planting to picking to painting. 

Create a Bouquet
Take a flower-picking excursion to Texas Tulips, a family-operated farm in Pilot Point bursting with over 90 varieties of bulbs. The farm traces its roots to the Netherlands, where the owners mastered the production of early-blooming bulbs before moving the company to Texas. When you arrive, grab a basket and let your flower children loose to wander endless rows of red impression, Texas flame and pretty princess tulips. After your kiddos make their selections, the farm staff wraps the tulips in paper and submerges the stems in gel to keep the flowers fresh for the commute — or while you enjoy a meal at the on-site picnic tables. The farm is open for picking through mid-April.
Cost: Entrance fee, $3 (free for children 1 and younger); flower-picking, $2.50 per stem
Where: 10656 FM 2931, Pilot Point, 940/230-6512

Bloom and Grow
Get your hands dirty by adopting a plot at Harvest Community Garden, a joint venture of Redeemer Covenant Church and Keep Carrollton Beautiful that supplies veggies for local food banks. Flowers are a vital part of the operation, as they attract the pollinators needed to produce a good crop. To get involved, commit to a plot you’ll oversee for a year, grab some tools from the garden shed and plant vegetables, edible flowers such as nasturtiums and squash blossoms and flowering herbs like dill and fennel. If a full year of gardening is more than your tiny cultivators can handle, bring your brood any Saturday morning to harvest veggies and plant flowers along the perimeter of the garden.
Cost: $20 for a 4-by-10-foot plot; $40 for a 4-by-20-foot plot
Where: 1518 E. Frankford Road, Carrollton
972/466-0054

Dig in at WestWind Church Community Garden, where you and your family adopt a plot to grow flowers and produce. The public garden unites green thumbs and good hearts to cultivate veggies to donate to local food banks. Flowers are a vital part of the operation, as they attract the pollinators needed for a good crop — xenias, marigolds and pansies are garden favorites. To get involved, commit to a plot you’ll oversee for a year, purchase seeds or transplants and get shoveling (it’s BYO seeds and garden tools). The goal is to donate half the food you grow — you get to keep the other half. You can tend to your sprouts on your own schedule, but plan on devoting several Saturdays a year to community work days. Reward your hardworking gardeners with a trip to the nearby butterfly garden; March offers the first sights of the fluttering creatures, and the garden is filled with beautiful perennials. Call to get started.
Cost: $20 for a 4-by-4-foot plot; $25 for a 4-by-8-foot plot; $35 for a 4-by-16-foot plot
Where: 1300 Sarah Brooks Drive, Keller
817/428-6775

Get your hands dirty at Common Ground Community Garden of Flower Mound, where you and your kiddos can learn how to grow flowers and produce. Hosted by Church of the Resurrection, the organic garden supplies veggies for an emergency food pantry in Lewisville and monthly meals for the homeless in Denton. Flowers are a huge part of the equation, as flowers attract pollinators to the garden — the more pollinators, the more produce. Pollinator-friendly flowers are planted throughout the 1,200-square-foot garden, and there’s a bed reserved just for flowers. Take your crew on the first Saturday of each month (the next volunteer day is March 4 from 10am–noon) to water plants in the green house, plant seeds and cross other tasks off the weekly to-do list. Visit the gray shed for kid-sized garden tools, and if the kiddos dig it, ask about adopting a plot.
Cost: Free
Where: 2801 Morriss Road, Flower Mound
972/355-0111
 
Stop to Smell the Roses (and other blooms too)
Make a trip (or two) to the Dallas Arboretum for this year’s Dallas Blooms festival. The largest floral festival in the Southwest is always a must-see, and the groovy “Peace, Love and Flower Power” theme makes this year’s festival extra cool. See 500,000 vibrant blooms including daffodils, tulips and poppies daily through April 9, but definitely go to the Planting Flower Power program on March 11–12, where kids celebrate Plant-A-Flower Day at the Rory Meyers Children’s Adventure Garden by planting a flower in a biodegradable pot and creating a pressed-flower craft. Come back March 18–19 for Fashion Forward Weekend to craft flower wreaths, dress paper dolls and don henna tattoos in celebration of the ’60s.
Cost: Events are free with admission: adults, $15; ages 3–12, $10; ages 2 and younger, free; Children’s Adventure Garden, $3 per person. Admission is free for members.
Where: 8525 Garland Road, Dallas
214/515-6615

Make a trip to the Fort Worth Botanic Gardens to see the flourishing pansies, daffodils and other springtime blooms in the Fuller Garden (it’s the most vibrant garden in March). Kiddos love running around and playing in the gazebo, and benches provide plenty of spots to relax and enjoy the beauty of the garden. Before you go, visit the website to download the Walk About, Talk About guide, which includes games, items to look for and a map to lead you and your little ones during your visit. As you get your family flower fix, use the guide to help the kids measure flower petal lengths, search for blooming wisteria and learn all about pollinators.
Cost: Free general admission
Where: 3220 Botanic Garden Blvd., Fort Worth
817/392-5510
 
Stroll through Texas Discovery Gardens to see about a thousand blooming plants — the later in March you go, the more blossoms you’ll see. For the best blooms (and butterflies) visit the Butterfly Garden, where the flowers are labeled so kiddos learn to identify the plants while watching fluttering pollinators in action. And don’t miss the daily noon butterfly release in the Butterfly House and Insectarium.
Cost: Garden admission: adults, $8; ages 3–11, $4; ages 2 and younger, free. Visit on Tuesday for pay-what-you-wish admission.
Where: 3601 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dallas
214/428-7476

Fashion Florals
If all the colorful blooms leave your littles inspired, take them to Michaels for the Fingerprint Floral Canvas class on March 18. While you shop kid-free for 30 minutes, mini Monets (ages 3 and older) use the instructor’s guidance, acrylic paint and their trusty fingers to adorn take-home canvases with a floral design. Sign up online or drop in from 10am–noon.
Cost: $2 per child
Where: Multiple locations
SIDEBAR

Pressing Flowers

1. Gather flowers from the garden or wildflowers from a field. Make sure they’re dry.

2. Place the flowers between two layers of paper (avoid materials that hold moisture, like wax paper and paper towels). Put the paper inside a heavy book.

3. Place heavy objects or other books, and leave the flowers undisturbed for a week. If they’re not dry after a week, change out the paper and replace the books.

4. When your flowers are dry, remove them gently — using tweezers is a good idea — and laminate them to preserve them.
 


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