I am a regular follower of Imagine a blog presented by Judy. In a recent post about the Flower Shuttle she was showing some items of her finished flower arrangements.
In reply to my comment she said
The flowers come from wholesalers, weddings, shops that can’t sell them because they are from the previous week, large parties and other events. They are too old to be sold, but not so old that someone can’t get a few days enjoyment from them.
I will try to take photos showing the room before, during and after – although as we finish one, we take it to the packing table and they get put in boxes for delivery, so it would be impossible to get photos of all our output. The web-site says that almost 60,000 arrangements have been delivered in 4 years
It brought back a topic that I had in mind to blog about.
Here at Northern Ireland Hospice Care, donations of large flower arrangements come from The City Hall on the morning after major functions, they would have graced the tables or pedestals about the rooms used for the events. The hospice also received this type of gift from other large functions. They found new homes in the public areas within hospice and were appreciated and enjoyed by all. Wedding and some funeral flowers were also passed on and these were discretely and carefully taken apart, mixed and reused in smaller arrangements for room and alcove widows.
It was wonderful to see these gifts being recycled to brighten the day for patients, loved ones, staff and volunteers during difficult times.
A team of volunteers known as the ‘flower ladies’ followed a duty rota and came in several times a week to mist the displays or remove the wilted flowers and prepare fresh arrangements.
Then there was ‘Pat the Plant’ She chose to look after all the potted plants. There were so many that each office had at least one. Each year she pruned and potted up slips from the plants and when ready she sold the excess to the staff and all monies raised went back to hospice funds.
In my young day it was often the norm to place a bride’s bouquet on the grave of a deceased grandparent or family member. I chose not to do that. I gave my flowers to my mother. To me, flowers are for the living. Graveyards in Ireland can be sad enough without rain battered and wind torn flowers blowing about the place.
What do you do with bouquets or arrangements of flowers when the special occasion has passed?
Is there a flower shuttle in your area? Would you be willing to start one or help?