31 Days. 31 Flowers. Teaching kids about Phlox…
Literature, legends and art bloom with FLOWERS, from lovely little nursery rhymes to sophisticated epic poetry and great myths and masterpieces. Knowing the names of flowers, the references to flowers, the symbols of flowers, the language of flowers gives kids a blooming head start in understanding literature and enhancing literacy.
Each day in May, a FLOWER will be presented here at 31 Days. 31 Flowers – 31 Ways to engage your kids in literature, literacy and life in just a few moments a day. Enjoy!
The PHLOX – Greek for flame, the Phlox, with its flaming clusters of flowers, give great character and color to gardens.
Phlox colors are vivid violets, blues, pinks, yellows and whites. Some Phlox grow upright, but many are used as lush ground cover or ornamental blooms in rock gardens or pots. The Phlox is a food source for animals such as rabbits and deer.
Butterflies are attracted to Phlox, making it a delightful flower for children to plant, care for and watch for its butterfly guests to arrive.
The lace-like loveliness of the Phlox has led it to symbolize Sweet Dreams and as a Proposal of Marriage. So, if you know anyone who is thinking of a romantic setting for a Proposal, bring on the Phlox!
Phlox, with its flame-colored delicacy, is a perfect flower to introduce to your kids. It is both hearty and sweet, like kids! Tell of the Phlox’s secrets of Sweet Dreams and Marriage Proposals as you watch butterflies flutter and alight.
And maybe, just maybe, a rabbit or deer family may come to nibble, too!
If you’d like, share 19th century British author and poet Edith Nesbit’s lovely poem To a Child about fairies and flowers and even the lovely Phlox. Read it at bedtime. Read it outside. Read it over and over and over again. Kids will love its cadence and you are sure to recognize many, many flowers in this beautiful piece…
The fairies have been busy while you slept;
They have been laughing where the sad rain wept,
They have taught Beauty to the ignorant flowers,
Set tasks of hope to weary wind-torn bowers,
And heard the lessons learned in school-rooms cold
By seedling snapdragon and marigold.
At dawn, while still you slept, I grew aware
How good the fairies are, how many and fair.
The fairy whose delightful gown is red
Across a corner of our garden sped,
And, where her flying raiment fluttered past,
Its roseate reflection still is cast:
Red poppies by the rhododendron’s side,
Paeonies gorgeous in their summer pride,
And red may-bushes by the old red wall
Shower down their crimson petals over all.
Then she whose gown is gold, and gold her hair,
Swept down the golden steep straight sunbeam-stair,
She lit the tulip-lamps, she lit the torch
Of hollyhock beside the cottage porch.
She dressed the honeysuckle in fringe of gold,
She gave the king-cups fairy wealth to hold,
She kissed St. John’s wort till it opened wide,
She set the yarrow by the river side.
Then came the lady all whose robes are white:
She made the pale buds blossom in delight,
Set silver stars upon the jasmine’s hair,
And gave the stream white lily-buds to wear.
She painted lilies white, and pearl-white phlox,
White poppies, passion-flowers and gray-leaved stocks.
Her pure kind touch redeemed the most forlorn,
And even the vile petunia smiled, new-born.
The dearest fairy of all–green is her gown–
She kissed the plane-trees in the tiresome town,
She smoothed the pastures and the lawn’s pale sheen,
She decked the boughs with hangings fresh and green,
She showed each flower the one and only way
Its beauty of shape and colour to display;
She taught the world to be a Paradise
Of changing leaf and blade, for tired eyes.
Then, one and all, they came where you were laid
In your strait bed, my little lovely maid;
The red-robed fairy kissed your lips, your face,
The white-robed made your heart her dwelling-place.
Into your eyes the green robed fairy smiled;
The golden fairy touched your dreams, my child,
And one, not named, but mightiest, made my Dear
The innermost rose of the re-flowered year.
Enjoy Sweet Dreams with the Phlox!