Botanical Enchantments

Three herbal projects introduce young girls to the joys of the garden.

| June/July 2001

  • sweet grass hair ornaments are easy to make and lend a colorful touch to Annika’s play outfit. At left, dreaming heart herb baskets show off a collection of flowers, herbs, and grasses from visits to the garden and meadow.
    Photography by Anybody Goes

  • Lace the sides of the hearts together with ribbon, yarn, sweet grass, or raffia. This heart pattern was used for the hearts in these photographs, but you can make yours larger.

  • dried flowers and herbs, glued onto cardboard, then to barrette backs, make lovely hair ornaments for dress-up occasions.

Do you find that your herb garden brings out your inner child? The garden is a great place to play with both your inner child and real children, who get along very well together. Invite them all for a playful day of making crafts using materials from the garden. Bring scissors, a gathering basket, and a sense of fun.

Below are three projects to make with and for children. For ages eight to twelve (or younger if the child knows how to braid), there are pretty ponytail holders and friendship bracelets made from sweet grass (Hierochloe odorata). For ages six and older (younger girls will need adult assistance), dreaming heart bouquets can hold a child’s double handful of gatherings from the garden. Finally, dried-flower barrettes are challenging enough for older girls ages ten to fifteen, or for an adult who wants to make a special gift for a little girl’s dress-up occasion.

You’ll want to hit the craft store first for materials such as barrette backs, wood veneer, and ribbons or lacings; then gleefully go searching for the natural materials. When your baskets are full, go inside, have a cup of peppermint tea, and enjoy a day of making things from the garden.


Dreaming Heart Herb Baskets

These baskets are for hanging on the wall near sleeping heads. Mugwort and yarrow were traditionally used to influence happy dreams, but you and your children can use any herb or flower that brings you delight. Angelica, St. John’s wort, lemon balm, roses, lavender, and linden are excellent choices; lamb’s-ears and dried sage also work well. Let your child add any dried weeds or flowers that enchant her with their color or shape.

If your child is too young to use pointed scissors, prepare the punched hearts in advance, and supervise closely as she laces the hearts together.



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