While we’re staying in someone else’s house, it’s fascinating to watch our girls play with objects that are not usually toys. The fridge magnets become central characters in elaborate games, a set of Christmas cards take on lives of their own, and bendy drinking straws develop personalities that are somehow kept straight despite their close physical resemblance to each other! And flowers — they, too, are important playing pieces in our children’s imaginations.

Roses in Lloyd's garden, December 2011
There are several blooming bushes in Lloyd's garden — our girls are never short of petals!

Rose in a glass, December 2011
This beautiful rose is sitting (unwatered) in a glass, waiting its turn to be part of a game.

Flower petals on a chair, December 2011
The flowers are stripped of their petals which are used in a variety of games — some are made into recipes like apple pie while others are beds for fairies.

Calista playing, December 2011
Calista brings me a selection of petals on a small dreamcatcher and invites me to take a bite. How can I resist such a beautiful offering?

“Leave green things growing,” is our gentle suggestion to our girls when they want to pick flowers and bring them inside. But sometimes flowers are begging to be brought into the house and played with. At this house, there are so many roses blooming that we don’t mind the quantity that end up inside!