Remember the sight and scent of the blooming lilac bush outside your grandmother’s back door? Such memories often tug on our hearts and bring smiles to our faces. After all, many of us grew up watching our mother or grandmother tend her flower garden. This month’s activities are designed to evoke memories of mother’s flower garden. You can use many of them to celebrate special spring days such as May Day and Mother’s Day.

  • Pass around garden/flower magazines. Ask: Do you like to garden? Did you grow flowers? Tell us about the charm of a classic flower garden. Did you get inspiration from your mother’s or grandmother’s garden? Which flower do you most associate with your mother?
  • Sing some songs related to flowers: “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” “Jeannine, I Dream of Lilac Time,” “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,” “Yellow Rose of Texas,” “When You Wore a Tulip,” or “Daisy Bell.”
  • Cut out pictures of some classic flowers (petunias, geraniums, begonias, morning glories, pansies, daisies) and ask participants to name each one. Write a poem about a favorite flower.
  • Make some simple flower-related crafts – a felt flower mobile, clothespin butterfly, bird plant picks, or coffee filter flowers.
  • Plan a visit to a local greenhouse, nursery, or botanical garden.
  • Make a simple silk floral arrangement, with a specific color scheme. Talk about the perfect palette for a flower garden. Example: How would you color your garden if your starter color was yellow?
  • List people who are named after flowers – Daisy, Lily, Rose. Ask: Did you know someone who had a “flower” name? Did the person’s name match her personality?
  • Show pictures of the vintage quilt pattern, Grandmother’s Flower Garden, which became popular in the 1920s and 30s. Or, locate an old quilt with a floral pattern. Ask: Do you like to quilt? Did you learn the art of quilting from your mother or grandmother? Do you remember seeing family quilts in an old attic trunk? Tell us about some of your favorite quilts.
  • In honor of Mother’s Day on May 9: Host an intergenerational garden tea party (indoors). Decorate with fresh flowers. Don old hats with floral accents or put flowers in hair. Wear a floral scarf. Sip jasmine or rose-flavored teas in old china cups with floral designs. Serve petits fours decorated with flowers.
  • Invite a speaker from the local Garden Club to talk about community beautification projects or a favorite event, like a flower show. Design a garden club hat, using silk or paper flowers.
  • Celebrate National Wildflower Week, May 2-9. Hang wildflower art posters. Reminisce about the simple pleasures of picking a bouquet of wildflowers. Name favorite spring wildflowers.
  • Make sachet bags (using potpourri from dried rose flower petals or lavender). Ask: Do you remember your mother or grandmother keeping sachets in bureau drawers? Which scents were her favorite?
  • Discuss the meaning of the proverb: “Stop and smell the roses.” List some practical ways that a busy mother can apply this proverb to her life.
  • Bring in samples of different varieties/colors of roses (minus the thorns). Talk about cultivating a rose garden. Show photos of prize-winning roses. Pass around a bowl of rose petals for participants to touch.
  • Pass around bridal magazines and look at bridal bouquets. Ask participants to talk about their wedding flowers. Reminisce about flowers for other special occasions and holidays. (Show your group an old book with pressed flowers in it.)


  1. Name some flowers that begin with the letter ‘p’. Peony, pansy, petunia, primrose, poppy, periwinkle (Other answers are possible.)
  2. What kind of colorful spring flower is Holland famous for? Tulips
  3. What is a perennial? Plant that lives more than two years
  4. The bluebonnet is the official flower of which large Southern state? Texas
  5. Which flower is most associated with Valentine’s Day? Rose
  6. What do daffodils and jonquils have in common? Different names for the same flower
  7. Finish the following proverb: April showers bring… May flowers
  8. Which flower is worn on Veterans Day as a tribute to veterans of war? Red poppy
  9. Finish this song title: “Red Roses for a… Blue Lady”
  10. What is the name of the New Year’s Day parade in Pasadena, California, that features floats covered in fresh flowers? Tournament of Roses Parade

“MOTHER’S FLOWER GARDEN” written by Sue Hansen. © 2010 ElderSong Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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