Meals on Wheels Flower Arrangements
Garden Club Uses Flowers for Therapy
On the first Tuesday of every month you will find 7 or 8 Springfield Garden Club members meeting to make flower arrangements for home bound recipients of the Meals on Wheels program. This activity brings cheer to many and also fulfills part of the Garden Club’s mission of gardening as a healing therapy. Club members have been quietly providing these arrangements for 25 years to recipients in Springfield and outlying areas.
There are over 100 meals a day delivered to home bound clients by volunteer drivers. The drivers alternate the distribution of 24-30 arrangements each month. Drivers come back from their deliveries with expressions of delight and joy from many beneficiaries. One recipient recently had a picture taken of their Christmas arrangement and posted it on Facebook.
Long-time member Lynn Likus recalls, “When I first joined the club our Garden Therapy was giving a plant to someone! In NJ we had a program like our current one, doing the same type of arrangements and delivering them through ‘Meals On Wheels’, so I suggested that and the Club started its own program in 1997. We have been creating them monthly ever since. Flowers and greens are purchased from Woodbury’s Florist, with members donating their own garden flowers during the summer months. That time of year is always more fun because all arrangements are different, depending on the participants and how many flowers they might have to contribute,” noted Mrs. Likus. Fresh oasis and recycled containers are used, with various people taking turns soaking oasis, preparing the cans, and getting the flowers.
A cheery slogan or poem is placed into each arrangement. A recent quote used was “The hum of the bee is the voice of the garden” by Elizabeth Lawrence. And for February, a Valentine’s quote: “The language of friendship is not words, but meanings” by Henry David Thoreau. Abby Barney has done the little sayings for a long time and always comes up with something special!
Current Committee Chair, Therese Burton, single-handedly rescued this program when the pandemic put a sudden halt to the monthly mini flower arrangements the Club was making. Instead, Therese designed monthly notecards. They were printed up using many of Karen Vatne’s beautiful images from several town gardens the Club plants and maintains. The cards, containing a cheerful seasonal greeting, were delivered to the site whereby they were placed with the recipient meals to be delivered. The goal was to stay connected with the Meals on Wheels recipients, who were more isolated than ever by the social lockdowns last year.
Margery Collins, past Chair states: “MOW has been a learning experience and a journey. It’s one of the most rewarding and personally satisfying things I have done with the Club. The relationships built around arranging flowers can’t be minimized.”
The Club has finally resumed making arrangements again as of February 2022 and is looking forward to the months ahead. If you have an interest in joining the Springfield Garden Club, please visit this page.
Monthly photos -- click on the month to jump to them.
MARCH 2020 - St. Patrick's Day Edition
FEBRUARY 2020 - Valentine's Day Edition