Native growers, designers and capital caring workforce up for grief remedy with flowers | information
The creative aspect of putting flowers together in all shapes, sizes and colors was part of a collaborative effort by local flower growers and designers to provide grief support to about 20 participants at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford on Tuesday.
Tom and Sarah Precht, owners of Grateful Gardeners, an organic cut flower farm in Boyds, Maryland, said they were contacted with the idea by Megan Wakefield, owner of Walking Wild Herbs Farm in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, and they have teamed up to to make it happen.
The Prechts’ mission is to grow flowers and share them for a good cause. So they reached out to Capital Caring, a hospice and palliative care charity in Virginia, Maryland, and DC, to connect flower growers and designers with people in need of grief counseling.
The contributing farms are part of the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, which has members from Virginia, Maryland, and West Virginia. Growers brought large pots of cut flowers and set up stations in a barn at Hope Flower Farm, where designers taught the art of flower design to create a bouquet that participants could then take home.
Monica Delaney, a grief counselor at Capital Caring, said she thought the event was a creative way to provide grief support to people struggling with loss.
“We love to offer fun activities for people when it comes to grief,” she said. “We use art, coffee groups, and other avenues. Gardening and waxing are great ways to show people how to value something for the time we have. That is an important part of grief. “
Anita Martineau, who attended the event with her sister, said they lost their 97-year-old mother to COVID-19 in December and their brother to a separate illness in January. Martinea said they are planning a funeral for both of them in September.
“We are here to prepare our souls for the upcoming funerals,” said Martineau.
The host of the event – Hope Flower Farm, owned by Holly and Evan Chapple – aims to share a platform of community service, and that concept goes well with the theme, Holly Chapple said.
Flower designer Shanda Zelaya of Flor de Casa Designs in Tysons Corner, who said she is buying her flowers from the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, volunteered to attend and support the event.
“Flowers are a part of every milestone or life event,” said Zelaya. “I have never met anyone who is not comforted by a bouquet of flowers. I hope it makes a sad day a little better. “