Friday, April 22, 2011

Flowers, Love and Earth Day

Victoria Park Florist donated flowers to the NC
Botanical Garden Horticultural Therapy Program. 
A bucketful of flowers, slightly past their peak, has the power to transform someone’s day. We discovered this recently in doing horticultural therapy with men with severe brain injuries.

Fred cannot participate in most of our gardening projects because of damage to his hands. He often seems somewhere else, gazing into space and failing to respond to greetings or simple questions. Then a florist began donating flowers to our program.

When I placed the bucket of flowers on the table in front of Fred, he gave a rare smile. I began making small hand-tied flower arrangements, asking Fred to choose the flowers one by one as I placed them in the bouquet. He exhibited a nice sense of color and contrast, smiling almost the whole time. He even spoke a full sentence at one point. “I want the yellow one, there.” A small miracle.

Today we celebrate Earth Day. What more can we all do to share our love of flowers, plants and nature with others? I believe that love of nature in all its forms, not fear of destruction, is what ultimately will save us.

11 comments :

Donna said...

What a truly incredible way to share gardening, the Earth and bring happiness to those whose lives are changed by injury...what you are doing is bringing life to these men...outstanding!!

Sheila Read said...

Thanks for your comment, Donna. It's brought me joy to share what I love with others who rarely have beauty in their lives. And I'm hoping other gardeners will be inspired, too. The florist probably had no idea of how much it would mean to someone when she donated the flowers.

The Sage Butterfly said...

So simple, and yet, so profound!

Karin / Southern Meadows said...

What a joyous story! It makes my heart happy inside to hear that y'all found a way to this man's soul. What a wonderful way to celebrate Earth Day!

Sheila said...

Sage Butterfly and Karin, I'm so glad the story resonated with you. One thing I'm finally discovering is that it's the simple things that often mean the most.

p3chandan said...

What a beautiful and meaningful gesture you have made to Fred! Im touched by your story.Happy Easter and Earth Day!

PatioPatch said...

Hello Sheila - so glad you found me so I found you. A charming post to remind us all about the simplicity of life at it's most significant. Reminds me of my time gardening with deaf people and the communication of silence.
Happy Easter to you too
Laura

Kate/ Beyond the Brambles said...

I can appreciate this post very much! Horticultural therapy can be such a valuable tool, and one that I think a lot of people discover on Earth Day. I hope to use it more and more with in my gardening practices.

Sheila said...

p3chandran and Laura, Happy Easter to you, too!
Kate, yes, horticultural therapy is wonderful and I'm glad to hear you're practicing it. I've been volunteering doing it for a little over a year, and was apprehensive at first, but now it's a highlight of the week.

Cat said...

Sheila, This story is so touching. The beauty of nature has such an ability to bring people together. What a wonderful way to serve others. Thanks for sharing. Also, thank you so much for the honor of the fave. So glad to have found your blog. I'll return the favor once I gather more points - I can't "fave" until I get more! Happy Easter!

Sheila said...

Hi Cat, so glad you dropped by and left a message! I am glad to have found an outlet with this blog to share my love of nature with others, and to find so many who have been doing the same for much longer. You've shed light, too, on the mystery of why some bloggers seem to have more "faves" to give than others :) I'm still figuring out how Blotanical works!