The Magic of Spring

The Magic of Spring

Hellooo from Flower Friends and a happy springtime to all you lovely people!

Flower Friends is back, growing and giving flowers to bring floral love to the elderly and vulnerable in our local community.

What a spring for blossom! Absolutely beautiful!! It’s wonderful to have started the season in a cloud of camellia and cherry and lilac and now the cow parsley and apple blossom are through. Blooming bliss!

This year we are excited to confirm that we are giving our flowers to Willesden Court, a sixty bed care home run by charity Methodist Homes, many of whose residents have complex care needs and dementia. And we’re now making up our flowers solely out of the Brent Mencap garden on Thursdays (such a relief from having to condition the flowers in my bathtub)!

So far we’ve given over ninety tins of gorgeous flowers to Willesden Court residents, including Deborah, featured in the main picture.

And we’re so happy to have received their wonderful feedback, which, according to activities coordinator Aly, started off with curious cries of “Where did those flowers come from?” to moans of “Why are you taking away my flowers?” to demands of “When are my flowers coming?” Ali says that even non-verbal residents light up with a glimmer and smile when the flowers are brought into their room. It can’t get any better than that!

This week we’ve given ‘thank you’ bouquets to the amazing staff, including Joan, Khadijah, Pedro, Fernanda, Aly, Shaista and Faith (with our volunteer Christine) below, who work incredibly hard to look after those in their care. You are wonderful, we applaud you!

We’ve also been busy in our community gardens, working with the Brent Mencap gardening group to sow annuals, move and transplant roses from our Chiswick plot and to relocate Shasta daisies and oriental poppies to different beds in preparation for new perennials, as well as sorting out the compost heap and other glamorous gardening jobs.

Busy too are the volunteers at Harlesden Town Garden, who’ve planted more roses in their rose garden just for us and have been preparing their dedicated Flower Friends beds for a new crop of cut flowers.

We cannot express enough our gratitude to Brent Mencap and Harlesden Town Garden for their continued support. May the flower gods always be with you!

This month, two of our volunteers, the lovely Christine in Queens Park and Jeanne in Kilburn, had great fun choosing the plants that they’ll be growing for us in their own gardens and are now having not so much fun preparing the beds for them. The things we do for love!

We were also delighted to welcome a new volunteer, the fabulous Karen, a floral design student at Capel Manor College, who’ll be helping us maintain the Chiswick plot with the help of hardy Flower Friend, Ros, of Bryarrose (member of Flowers From The Farm) and also with our marketing and fundraising. The possibilities are endless, although I don’t think Karen has quite grasped what she’s getting herself into! 😊

As usual, my weekly cutting trips to the community gardens have led me to a plethora of local adventure! On one visit to Harlesden Town Garden, I barely survived being trolled by outraged bumble bees bent on revenge. To assuage my guilt I dropped in to see Nalika of Nilly Flowers to introduce her to Flower Friends. What a lovely woman and so passionate about giving back to the community.

Heading home I dropped into the chemist where I saw a male member of staff happily usher two teenage boys to the perfume section. I’ve always wondered why NW men smell so good and now I know – they start at an early age! 😊

But enough of my idle prattling. I’ll leave you for now, all you brilliant volunteers and potential volunteers, with a message from the Brent Mencap art group and the names of just some of the beautiful spring flowers and foliage we’ve used so far in our arrangements, with a plea to help us bring floral love and joy to many more of the vulnerable people in the community who can’t get outside to enjoy the beauty of nature for themselves, reminding them that they we are thinking of them and they are not alone.