Flower Power

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?

18 thoughts on “Flower Power

  1. Rhyelysgranny

    I popped over to Imagine. What a talented lady. I have no gift for flower arranging. Flowers in my hands do exactly as they like and not what they are told. isn’t it a lovely idea? Where i worked we used to get all manner of flowers for our patients to enjoy but it was down to our flower arranging nurses to sort them out. I had the difficult job of admiring them 🙂

  2. Grannymar Post author

    Rhyelysgranny – Judy is a very talented lady. Admiring is an important job! 😉

    Nick – I am sure there are other organisations that could do the same.

  3. Rummuser

    It has been years since I had anything to do with any function or occasion when flowers played any part. For the past many years, people visiting us sometimes would bring a bouquet of flowers for Urmeela, and that too has stopped now that she is no longer around. So, I really cannot contribute any ideas to your question.

  4. ernestine

    my comment out of place – but here goes. After my divorce – a number 20 years ago – my ex, sent me flowers on our would be anniversary.
    I told the delivery man i did not want them and he replied “what am I to do with them” – I answered take them to the hospital and give them to some of the patients….

  5. Baino

    That sort of thing happens here too although flowers don’t last long thanks to the heat for 8 months of the year. I’m a chronic thief of table centres . . .I know, I should give them to some old lady but hey, nobody buys me flowers any more so I pinch ’em for myself.

  6. Nancy

    @ Baino,

    .”I know, I should give them to some old lady but hey, nobody buys me flowers any more so I pinch ‘em for myself.”

    I love this statement,Baino…and thought that perhaps I could be the old lady you gave the flowers to. BUT, Since we live 15,882 km ( 9,869 miles) apart
    that might be a challenge. You think?

  7. wisewebwoman

    I don’t care for cut flowers at all. Never have. But I love flowers that are alive and glowing either in gardens or in pots or baskets or jardinieres.
    I never gift or send dead but always plants.
    I think we should do more of this.
    Stop the flower murders already!

  8. Magpie11

    In many ways I understand WWB and agree but I have nothing against growing flowers for cutting…we grow them to eat ( or rather, to eat their fruits)

    In our family we always have bouquets and cut flower arrangements at funerals and then they are given to a nearby hospital or home.

  9. Grannymar Post author

    Ramana – You made the effort to comment and that is more than enough.

    Ernestine – Your comment is fine and I agree with what you did with the flowers.

    Baino – Flowers never live more than about three days in my house, so I discourage people from spending money on flowers for me…anyway I associate them with illness and death.

    Nancy – You are a Rose and need no adorning! 😀

    WWW – I am with you on the plants rather than flowers.

    Magpie – I like the idea of eating flowers!

  10. Magpie11

    Nasturtiums….nice and peppery

    deep fried marrow/squash flowers (that’s Italian I believe)

    Rose petals in a salad or (like violets) crystallised…

  11. Grannymar Post author

    Magpie – i was aware of the nasturtiums, but not the squash flowers. Thanks for that.

  12. stwidgie

    What a good thing to do with those flowers!

    I kept my wedding bouquet, and nearly 15 years later (at the risk of sounding like Miss Havesham) it still brings us pleasure when we look at it (now living in a vase on a very high shelf).

    Recently my dad donated flowers to the church in memory of my mother’s birthday. After the service, he brought them to the hospice. (He also cuts flowers from the garden and brings them to the vase mounted at her grave, so she gets flowers too!)

  13. Grannymar Post author

    Stwidgie – I am fascinated that you still have your bouquet. Was it easy to dry it out and have the colours faded much. That was a very nice gesture that your father made, remembering your mother is so many ways.

  14. Maria

    The flowers our family received at the time of funerals have not gone on to the cemetary, but instead they were given to hospitals and homes for the aged.

  15. Brighid

    When we have a wedding, funeral, etc in the family we use live plants and at the end of the service give them to those who want them. I snagged a beautiful redwood tree at my brother-in-law’s funeral. He lives on in my garden…


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