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Back at Mama's: Colored Easter Flowers

Published on Monday, April 7, 2014

Spring is one of my favorite seasons of the year. The weather starts to warm up (which is even more appreciated this year), the sun stays out longer, and the Earth wakes up from its winter slumber and begins to come to life. I love seeing the grass and fields turning green, hearing the birds start to chirp, and watching the flowers begin to bloom.

Although when spring arrives, for me at least, I always feel that I get even busier than in the winter. This spring, one activity that has kept me especially busy is planning my wedding. This isn’t a bad thing because I enjoy planning and am excited for the big day to be here, I just sometimes get wrapped up in it all and forget to take a second to stop and take everything in.

This past weekend, I traveled home to southern Indiana for my dress fitting and in between all the hustle and “bustle”, I finally had some time to relax and enjoy the beauty of spring. [See what I did there?...bustle?] :)

Anyway, since I have been living north of Indianapolis, one of the things I have missed most about spring in southern Indiana is all of the beautiful Easter flowers that grow in our area. These are actually called Daffodils, but for as long as I can remember, we just called them Easter flowers. (I’ll explain more about the reasoning for this name in a minute.)

               

Even throughout college, I always loved coming home on the weekends and seeing them pop up all over the place. It was the first sign that spring was officially here.

While I was at my parents’ this past Sunday, I decided to pick a bouquet of Easter flowers and bring them back with me as a little piece of spring.

After I arrived back to my house, I put the flowers in a vase and turned on the Academy of Country Music Awards. At about the middle of the show, Tim McGraw came on stage to perform. It was a new song that I’d never heard before. I had only been back from my trip a couple of hours, but as I listened, the lyrics took me straight back home.

                                                
                                     Meanwhile Back At Mama's - Tim McGraw and Faith Hill


It didn’t describe my life word for word, but the subject of busy lives and the comfort that comes from going back home when you’ve been away perfectly described my weekend.

And this part especially got me… “Oh I miss yeah a little dirt on the road, I miss corn growin' in a row. I miss being somebody everybody knows, there everybody knows everybody. I miss those small town roots, walkin' around in muddy boots. The sound of rain on an old tin roof. It’s time we head on back.”

As I reflected and reminisced about my favorite parts of home, my bouquet of Easter flowers came back into mind. I was just planning to display them in their natural beauty, but it reminded me of an activity we used to do all the time when I was younger – making colored flowers!

It’s really simple, but this is a fun family activity to do as you decorate for spring and prepare for Easter.

                           

The daffodil is regarded as one of the most popular flowers around Easter. In England, daffodils are known as the “Lent Lilly.” They are the first flowers of spring (when nature is reborn) so they remind us of the season of Lent and the resurrection, and rebirth, of Christ.

Colored Easter Flowers

Supplies:
  • Bouquet of fresh cut daffodils (or any light colored flower)
  • Vase or jar with water
  • Food coloring
           - You can use any color of your choice
           - Amount: 20-30 drops

        

Coloring instructions:
Take your flowers and cut them to length to fit nicely in your vase. For best results, cut the stems at an angle, this prevents them from sitting flat on the bottom of the vase and allows them to be most effective at taking in water.

Fill your vase about ½ - 2/3 the way full and add your food coloring. I used 20 drops for this example.

Place the flowers in the water and watch them over the next several hours. You will see the color begin to appear and become more vibrant within 24-48 hours.

And that’s it! After a day or so, you’ll have a fun display with some added color for your spring decorations!

 

Coloring flowers this way is also a great opportunity to teach your kids about the science of how plants take in water. The reason the color appears in the flower is because of the way water travels up through the plant. Water is lost due to evaporation occurring at the petals. The water travels up through the xylem vessels, which carries water up through the plant, and replenishes the water. You will notice that the color is more vibrant around the edges of the flower first as these are the first places for water to evaporate.

To get even more creative, you can put several groups of flowers in different colors to see which colors look the best and how fast they absorb the color. And for an even further color experiment, you can cut the stem, but still leave the flower intact, and put one side of the stem in red coloring and the other in blue (or any color you choose). Each side of the flower will turn the color it is sitting in – creating a neat effect!

I’m so happy I was reminded of this childhood activity. It’s something so simple, yet it brings back many good memories of growing up and spending time at home with my family.

I hope you’ll try this with your family as well! It could be a fun, new family tradition to start for Easter.

There is an old legend that the gift of a bouquet of daffodils is said to ensure happiness throughout the year. May this be my gift of daffodils to you and your family. Wishing you many blessings and much love and happiness on Easter, and all the days to come.

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Chelsea O'Brien
Chelsea O'Brien>

Chelsea O'Brien

Beck's Hybrids marketing associate, social media specialist, southern Indiana native and advocate of agriculture.

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