We grow all sorts of wonderful veggies and fruits to feed and fuel our bodies, but we also grow an abundance of beauty to feed our senses and souls. While it is certainly satisfying to share our edible abundance, in many ways it is a special joy to give away my flowers.
Flower Philanthropy…An Idea I’d Love to See Grow
‘Flower Philanthropy’, as I call it, is an idea I’d love to see grow! I am now enrolled in the Master Gardener course through our county’s Extension Office, where I have learned tons AND found a committed community of like-minded – okay, fanatic! – gardeners. Who better than Master Gardeners to talk with about the possibilities of sharing a bounty of beauty.
The first project I was involved with this past summer grew out of wanting to share the gazillion flowers I grow. I contacted our town’s community garden and asked if they could think of some way to use these blossoms and blooms. There are many Master Gardeners involved with the Community Garden, still none of us could foresee how many, many people this sharing effort would reach, and touch.
Each Thursday throughout the summer, two dedicated volunteers, Jane and Ted Metzler, came to my gardens and cut baskets and buckets of flowers. Sometimes Jane’s sisters Pat and Pam joined in picking, and even crafting the mini-bouquets of those flowers.
Mini-bouquets for Meals on Wheels
Those bouquets were distributed locally to Meals on Wheels recipients. I don’t have words big enough to tell you how much those bouquets meant to everyone. The volunteers delivering the meals were touched by the recipient’s obvious pleasure. Over 500 of these mini-bouquets were distributed in 2012.
Jane shared some of the responses to the flowers…
“Best comment from a client was a letter filled with praise for the kindness, beautiful colors, the smells, and dreading the day when the frost would halt the project. The men and women who delivered the meals with the flowers got as much reward from the project as the recipients. Our client who sent the letter full of praise said “ps I do like the meat loaf that you sent too but the flowers are the best.”
Dried Flowers Extend Flower Philanthrophy Through Winter!
We do have long winters here in Maine, so we knew how much folks would miss the blooms. Hmmmm… I dry enormous numbers of flowers all summer…statice, strawflowers, astrantia, celosias, ageratums, and so much more. We had planned to fill miniature pumpkins with dried flowers for each table at the Community Garden’s annual Harvest Supper, but oh! what Jane and Ted did with the remaining dried blossoms!!
Flower Philanthropy, in this case, sharing the bounty of beauty, is an idea that could easily grow across the country. I can’t imagine anyone better suited to this possibility than Master Gardeners, who are so generous in sharing their time, energy, expertise, experience, and love of all thing green and growing!
Do you participate in or know of ‘flower philanthropy’ type of opportunities near you?