LEGO Botanical Collection: flowers for eternity

Pia Seidel
Pia Seidel
Zurich, on 16.06.2021
Translation: Octavia Hurst

According to the toy brand, LEGO’s first bouquet of flowers will not only be decorative, but also an icebreaker for first dates. With this, it hits the mark twice with me. I love accessories and I’m single.

I thought my LEGO days were over after turning thirty-one. I haven’t touched the building blocks for at least two decades. Until I laid eyes upon the pastel bouquet from the «Botanical Collection». Its design spoke to me. Its characteristics too: it’s durable, and according to LEGO’s promotional video, an ice breaker for first dates.

Bouquet (10280, LEGO Botanical, LEGO Icons)
45.02
LEGO Bouquet (10280, LEGO Botanical, LEGO Icons)
485

The set contains 756 elements that I will put together to make roses, poppies, snapdragons, asters and daisies, as well as various grasses. Also included in the package are instructions and a LEGO divider.

The kit contains new parts. Some of them are made of bioplastics.
The kit contains new parts. Some of them are made of bioplastics.

Many elements are made of bioplastic from sustainably grown sugar cane. After the Danish toy brand devoted itself to art last year with LEGO Art, it’s time for florals now. In addition to the bouquet, a bonsai tree and the plant «Bird of Paradise» will be added to the collection.

The construction

New elements will entice LEGO aficionados and building block connoisseurs. But for me, everything is new. A queasy feeling washes over me while unpacking. Do I have to be strategic about this? Or is it enough that the packages are sorted by number? To be on the safe side, I get bowls to sort the building blocks in. I pull out the instruction manual and start with the rose.

Rose without thorns: only by LEGO.
Rose without thorns: only by LEGO.
The individual petals are movable.
The individual petals are movable.

Although there’s no time limit and it’s supposed to be relaxing, I want to be efficient and decide to put the other two roses together as well while I’m at it. I constantly ask myself if I’m doing everything right. «Click» sounds good, but are the correct parts clicking? My doubts reach a peak when I spot leftover pieces. Even after the third inspection, I don’t detect any errors. Where the heck do they belong?

Lessons LEGO teaches me

Back in the day, playing LEGO felt different. Light and more carefree. Just like the plastic bricks. After all these years, I guess I’ve forgotten to just go for it. I set the remaining pieces aside and move on to the other flowers. This time without pressure.

The poppy looks the most «technical».
The poppy looks the most «technical».
Almost done: the snapdragon.
Almost done: the snapdragon.

I take a more relaxed approach for the daisies and gold poppies. I listen to music. Later, I even make a phone call. At the same time, my hands move as if by themselves and I blossom. Finally. Before I know it, I’m down to the last flower and the stems, which require the least amount of tweaking. What a shame. However, I only have myself to blame for the short process. If I hadn’t relied on simultanouesly building, I might have needed longer than an afternoon.

Pastime, decoration and icebreaker in one?

This brief pleasure can be beneficial elsewhere, maybe even for blind dates. After this set, I’m a firm believer that LEGO building is a joint activity. The flowers provide conversational topics and give nervous hands something to do. Now that I have the flowers for the date, all that’s missing is the actual date. That might have prevented my little crisis at the beginning. Building the next – set whether bonsai tree or plant – seems like a good third date option. Hopefully, I don’t scare anyone off with my many questions about LEGO construction.

Flowers from the LEGO market for the single market.
Flowers from the LEGO market for the single market.

A substitute for real flowers?

No matter in what form – I never get enough of florals. I’m mostly interested in how the final result appears. I arrange the artificial flowers in a glass vase and from the beginning it’s fun. As with real flowers, I match the position of the petals and stem length to the vase.

Dusting instead of watering: individually or in arrangements, these flowers will last without water.
Dusting instead of watering: individually or in arrangements, these flowers will last without water.

Some parts of the flowers are movable. For example, the roses can be closed or open. Such detail and the way some flowers fall makes them look authentic from a distance. Up close, even this can’t hide the artificiality. This is mainly due to the hard material and the shapes, which are angular with few exceptions. Many building blocks resemble those from traditional sets and weaken the natural effect. Organic parts such as the petals look more real.

These are LEGO bricks as you know them.
These are LEGO bricks as you know them.
These pieces could also be from a Polly Pocket set.
These pieces could also be from a Polly Pocket set.

However, the material has advantages: unlike fresh flowers, these plastic flowers don’t need water and don’t fade. They remind me of dried flowers, which I have used for years as an alternative to fresh ones. Both have in common that they need to be dusted over time. But they don’t stain any vase.

Verdict: flowers that stay fresh and relax

Despite my personal initial struggle, flower building is fun. It’s so easy that you can mentally relax while doing it. For me, the result is primarily a substitute for fresh flowers and my already dried flowers. I like that I can always create new bouquets by changing vases and arrangements. Whether on the shelf or on the dining table, the floral bouquet sets a colourful accent and makes for a great gift. Visually, the flowers can only pretend to be natural from a distance. And that’s a good thing. You’ll be prouder of this floral display than the bouquet you bought at the gas station, because you assembled it yourself and have flowers that never fade.

Opaque vases make the flowers look more authentic. They hide the somewhat angular stems.
Opaque vases make the flowers look more authentic. They hide the somewhat angular stems.

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Pia Seidel

«There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. I believe in the latter.»
– Albert Einstein


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