Garden Club gives flowers and brings joy

Left to right Ginny Thulin, Elaine Menthe, Margery Collins, Therese Burton, Barb Riotte, Lynn Likus. Photo by Karen Vatne

SPRINGFIELD, Vermont – On the first Tuesday of every month, you can find seven or eight members of the Springfield Garden Club who get together to make flower arrangements for in-home beneficiaries of the Meals on Wheels program. This activity brings joy to many and also fulfills part of the Garden Club’s mission of gardening as healing therapy. Club members have been quietly providing these arrangements for 25 years to beneficiaries in Springfield and outlying areas.

More than 100 meals are delivered daily to homebound customers by volunteer drivers from the Meals on Wheels program. The drivers alternate the distribution of 24 arrangements each month.

Long-time member Lynn Likus recalls, “When I first joined the club, our garden therapy was to give someone a plant! In New Jersey, we had a program like ours, 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’ve been creating them every month since. Flowers and greens are purchased from Woodbury’s Florist, with members donating their own garden flowers during the summer months. This time of year is always more fun, as all the arrangements are different, depending on who attends and how many flowers they might have to give. »

A cheerful slogan or poem is placed in each arrangement. A recent quote used was, “The buzz of the bee is the voice of the garden,” by Elizabeth Lawrence. Abby Barney has been doing the little sayings for a long time and always comes up with something special.

Current committee chair Therese Burton single-handedly saved this program when the pandemic brought flower arrangements to a sudden halt. Instead, Thérèse designed monthly note cards. They have been printed using many beautiful images of Karen Vatne from several gardens around the city that the club plants and maintains. The cards, containing a cheerful seasonal greeting, were delivered to the site where they were placed with the recipients’ meals to be delivered. The goal was to keep in touch with Meals on Wheels recipients, who were more isolated than ever by social shutdowns last year.

The club have finally started making arrangements again from February 2022 and are looking forward to the months ahead. If you are interested in joining the Springfield Garden Club, please visit the website www.SpringfieldGardenClub.org.

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