The creative aspect of assembling flowers of all shapes, sizes and colors was part of a collaborative effort between local flower growers and designers that aimed to support the mourning of approximately 20 attendees at Hope Flower Farm in Waterford Tuesday.
Tom and Sarah Precht, owners of Grateful Gardeners, an organic cut flower farm in Boyds, Md., Said they were contacted by Megan Wakefield, owner of Walking Wild Herbs Farm in Shepherdstown, West Virginia with the idea and they got together. partners to make it happen.
The Precht’s mission, he said, is to grow flowers and share them for a good cause. So they reached out to Capital Caring, a hospice and hospice charity serving Virginia, Maryland and DC, to bring flower growers and designers together with those in need of grief support.
The contributing farms are part of the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, which includes members from Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia. Growers brought large buckets of cut flowers and set up stations in a barn at Hope Flower Farm, where designers taught the art of floral design to create a bouquet that attendees could then take home.
Monica Delaney, a bereavement advisor at Capital Caring, said she believes the event is a creative way to support grieving for those struggling with loss.
“We like to provide interesting activities for people when they are grieving,” she said. “We use art, coffee groups and other means. Gardening and growing are great ways to show people how you can appreciate something for the time that we have it. It is an important part of bereavement.
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 another illness in January. Martinea said they are planning funeral services for the two in September.
“We are here to prepare our souls for the funeral ahead,” 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 fits perfectly with that theme, said Holly Chapple.
Floral designer Shanda Zelaya of Flor at Casa Designs in Tysons Corner, who said she purchased her flowers from the Old Dominion Flower Cooperative, volunteered to attend and help with the event.
“Flowers are a part of any milestone or event in life,” Zelaya said. “I have not met a human who is not comforted by a bouquet of flowers. Hope this will make a sad day a little better.