July 4, 2018 I broke my leg badly. My husband of 46 years, Lynn, declined and died of Alzheimer’s on August 24th, the same summer. It left a big hole to fill. I needed something absorbing, challenging, beautiful, and fulfilling.
All my life I’ve been drawn to flowers and gardening. And after experiencing the needs of seniors in assisted living, I felt I must respond. I studied. A lot. I planned. I ordered books. And seeds. And dahlia tubers. And old english roses. And lumber and soil and gravel and weed cloth and more. I was fortunate to have Ginger for a coach and Miguel and his father, and Ignacio to do the work to make it all a reality while I fussed over baby seedlings and told them to grow. It was happening!
From the start the goal has been to sell flowers to cover costs. Then the majority are picked, arranged and delivered to residents and caregivers in assisted living or acute care, people who need and deserve a special bouquet surprise. As one nurse put it, ”You are giving to those who are unable to reach the flowers themselves.”
In typical fashion, I planted seeds for Everything that looked feasible, fun, different or just too pretty not to. In every color. Lots of them. They succeeded. I planted out the raised beds. Guess what. Little detail of avoiding the math to figure out how many plants go in how much space. Hmm. The upper pasture was tilled, amended and planted in flowers. Abundance, Bigger flower farm.
Year two, the upper pasture was fully planted out. We constructed the cutest little garage that will never see a car. It features a walk in cooler, sink and prep area to insure that you will always receive the freshest blooms. The vintage look flower stand is now at the end of the driveway to feature flower combinations that change weekly and are available for purchase on the weekends. Hundreds of bouquets went out weekly to seniors and caregivers from March through September.
Now, year three, in this more difficult time, I feel blessed to live in paradise. It continues to be my mission to brighten the day of lonely elders and their exhausted caregivers. It is clear, however, that the costs of infrastructure and production are not sustainable without public support. We are now fully capable of producing the highest quality local old-fashioned flowers. But we need your help.