Don’t Hurt the Flowers – June 1902

Woodend  Farm from Bridge

Woodend Farm from Bridge

There is much talk nowadays of teaching children in country schools rural subjects and a love of Nature.

There is one that has been very thoroughly taught, and that is to gather bunches of flowers. The female teachers — in England, at any rate — encourage their pupils to bring flowers in their season to decorate the windows and their desks. I have heard of the private lodgings of some of them being embowered in flowers.

This in itself is harmless and pretty, but it leads to abuse, and does not really promote a love of Nature. One mother told me that she could not get the good of her own garden flowers because her little girls gathered the best of them every morning to take to school.

Naturally, children know no other use for flowers but to gather them in their hot hands and then throw them away, or, at a little later age, to put them in a cup or tumblers. If they are to grow into a love of Nature they must be taught to see the beauty of things growing and learn to resist the impulse to gather everything to themselves.

Flowers are beautiful indoors, but they are still more beautiful outside and, for my part, I could not find the heart to rob entirely the most sequestered nook of its pretty blossoms. This beautiful island would be still more beautiful if every grown person were to be careful of its natural beauty and it is the children we must begin with.

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