There’s nothing like picking a rose, artichoke, or carrot from your own garden. Fruits and veggies somehow taste sweeter than what you pick up at the store. Instead of eating on the run, you tend to stop everything when you bite into a juicy strawberry that you grew yourself. You study the range of colors you can see in just a single dahlia. There’s a sense of awe knowing that it came from right outside!
Once I started gardening more often in 2020 (hello, pandemic!), I quickly realized that I had more food and flowers than my husband and I knew what to do with. I thought back to the year before when one of my favorite things to do was host surprise flower giveaways for people in my community. There’s a magic about flowers that connects people, brings a genuine smile to their face, and really just lights them up. That was when the idea was born to create a “Giving Garden” called “The Flower Remedy.”
Right now, I use 3 garden beds to grow all kinds of flowers including cosmos, amaranth, dahlias, ranunculus, anemones, sweet peas, snapdragons and more to create bouquets to give away. I’m adding 4 more beds to the backyard very soon and can’t wait to have more space to grow.
The goal is to give away 1 million flowers. Many of the flowers I give are from my own garden, but I also work with other local gardeners and a market that is kind enough to offer me their leftover flowers that haven’t sold.
We give flowers to a variety of different local community members including:
- We work with local senior living homes and seniors centers to give flowers to their residents and members. Recently, we gave 50 flower bouquets to seniors who tested positive for COVID.
- Those who are grieving a loved one
- We give flower bouquets to locals who have recently lost a loved one. We have a sign-up form on the Flower Remedy website so that their family/friends can nominate them to receive a bouquet.
- We deliver flowers to hospitals for patients going through a hard time.
I’m lucky to have an amazing group of two types of volunteers for the project. The first type of volunteers are gardeners who offer up their extra flowers to create bouquets. The second type of volunteers are community members who love flowers and want to give back. They help with putting together flower bouquets and delivering them.
Are you interested in giving flowers to your local community? Here are some tips and tricks we’ve learned along the way:
- Use old jars as vases. Some of my favorite vases are old coconut water glass bottles, pasta sauce jars, and salsa jars.
- Join your local “Buy Nothing” Facebook group and post in the group asking your community if anyone has any old vases or jars that they don’t want anymore. I’ve received probably 90% of my vases from this group!
- If you don’t have enough flowers to give away in your garden, ask a local grocery store if they ever give away their flowers that they can’t sell anymore. Usually independent grocery stores are open to giving away their flowers that are slightly past their prime. Just take out the flowers that aren’t in perfect condition and re-work them into bouquets using the best-looking flowers of the bunch.
- Decide who you want to give to and reach out to a local organization who works with that demographic. They are usually thrilled to receive the flowers and can help with coordinating to make sure the flowers go to the appropriate people.
- Add a tag on the vase with a nice note that will help brighten their day even more!
Are you a gardener or are you interested in gardening? Comment below with any questions you have about gardening or gifting flowers!