(Cool) Projects: by Carling A.W. Elder
Back in August, Ellen and I had the pleasure of meeting with Heather Weisse Walsh, Editor of (cool) progeny, to hear all about this fun, family-friendly publication, and to see why Local Color Flowers might want a dose of (cool).
Started by Heather and her husband a few years ago, (cool) progeny is an online resource for parents that is dedicated to “putting (cool) back in to the crazy, upside down world of modern parenting.” Heather told us that when she and her husband became new parents, they kept striking out while searching for information about family-friendly events and activities in Baltimore. So they took matters into their own hands, and (cool) progeny was born!
(cool) progeny is bursting with good stuff! The website is divided into seven main categories of: eat, play, learn & create, style, parents, party, and out & about. Each category features articles from guest contributors who are all experts in different fields. When Heather asked if Local Color Flowers would like to partner with (cool) progeny as “Floral Experts,” we thought it might be fun to come up with some kid appropriate floral projects. So we began brainstorming…
The first project was Halloween Terrariums. It was easy to get the kids involved in building a terrarium. They could layer the ingredients of their terrariums (rocks, charcoal, and dirt), plant the succulents, and then have a blast decorating their terrarium vessels! The Halloween Terrariums gave the kids some of their first experiences caring for plants, and they turned out so fun!
Our second project with (cool) progeny was a “Thankful Tablescape” For this project, the kids got to forage for natural elements such as mini pumpkins, seed pods, and Indian corn to place on their family Thanksgiving table. They also got to write what they were thankful for on the gourds and pumpkins. At the same time, the adults could design a seasonal arrangement in a large pumpkin as a centerpiece. The kids had a great time picking out their favorite natural elements for this project, and it was an easy way to include children in Thanksgiving decorating.
The third project was Holiday Swags. A swag (a bundle of greenery that hangs on your door) is perhaps the easiest holiday floral project you can make! I loved working with Lila (Heather’s beautiful daughter) on this project. It was so fun to show her the different evergreen and berry varieties as we made her swag, and to see which decorations she chose. I wasn’t too surprised when she chose a sparkly silver ribbon and shiny Christmas ornaments :).
In the floral industry, we don’t often get to work with children. We mostly work with Brides, Wedding Planners, and well, other adults. As is necessary, conversations are often centered around details, time-lines, and requirements. There’s not much opportunity to just play with all of our amazing plants and flowers and see what comes out of unbridled creativity. Working with the kids and seeing the flowers through their eyes was so much fun!
What I loved most about our projects with (cool) progeny was the chance to create and have pure fun with flowers and these cool kids. I’ve worked with evergreens a million times, but I don’t know if Lila ever had. I could see her curiosity as she felt the different branches and sniffed their spicy scents. Making these floral projects was a first-time experience for these kids, and it was exciting for them. Their excitement was exciting to me.
It makes me so happy to have had a small part in these kids’ first exposure to the floral world. I’m grateful to (cool) progeny for recognizing the value in teaching children early about the world of flowers, and for creating the online space to share these teachings with others. More (cool) progeny and Local Color Flowers collaborations are in the future, and I can’t wait to play some more!