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Robyn 26th Jun 2018 Healthy Ageing Advocate
Hi all!
We'd like to do some flower arranging in our residential facility but are short on funds. It might sound like a funny question but does anybody have any suggestions on how to access flowers/greenery for free? I have thought about op shops and artificial flowers or just picking flowers/greenery but this can take a fair bit of time also (and I don't seem to be able to find anything outstanding).
Any ideas would be welcome. Thanks - Robyn
Kirsten 28th Jun 2018 Activities Director
If you are non-profit you can ask local florists or grocery stores for donations, even if you aren't non-profit you might still be able too, i think it just depends. We use artificial flowers and rearrange them once a month; but i work with memory care clients so many don't recognize its the same batch month after month.
Karen 28th Jun 2018 Lead Activity Co-ordinator
Yes, you could ask for donations. It seems like the best idea. Do you have a garden in your place? You could cut flowers from there as well.
Solange 2nd Jul 2018 Diversional Therapist
Hi Robin, great idea for an activity. One way is to place a request on your newsletter asking residents’ relatives and staff to donate whatever they have in their own garden. Give them a list of suitable foliage suitable like English Ivy (or any other ivy), ferns, groundcovers, common rosemary, olive tree branches, and any evergreens with small leaves. Don’t forget to condition the cut foliage properly for several hours - water containing flower food - before you start the activity. Good luck!
Elaine 3rd Jul 2018
Call your local funeral homes. Many donate flowers.
Rachel 6th Jul 2018 Activities
Hi Robyn,

We have a weekly flowers and crafts class here. I submitted letters to small local grocery stores (bigger stores aren't always willing to work with you) asking for donations of flowers that are past "expiration date", but still have flowers that are usable. Let the stores know you will put something in your newsletter so everyone knows where the flowers are coming from. I have a volunteer that calls the store every week to check with the stores and picks them up if they have any. If they don't we do a craft project that we keep prepped just in case we don't get any flowers. Then we don't have to cancel our class. We make the flower arrangements for our dining room tables. If we don't have flowers we try and make something to decorate the tables. We also get them from local funeral homes and weddings. Sometimes they will drop them off at your facility.
Marguerite 31st Jul 2018 Support Person
can any of your residents walk in your facility garden with their walkers to pick flowers, even if you cut them and they place them in the baskets of their walker.
Robyn 31st Jul 2018 Healthy Ageing Advocate
Thank you all for your suggestions - really appreciated..
Karen 7th Aug 2018 Lead Activity Co-ordinator
You're welcome Robyn... it's all I could think of at the time! Did you manage to find your flowers? All the suggestions here are really good by the way.
Janey 15th Aug 2018 Human Being
I have been getting donated flowers for about a year now....Most come from wedding venue establishments. A local venue can have up to three weddings per weekend and I have established a relationship with them where I pick up left over/donated flowers every Monday.....super beautiful arrangements. Hotels will also donate leftover event/wedding flowers. Contact the event coordinator at the hotel....not all will help but there are nice people everywhere ;-)
Robyn 15th Aug 2018 Healthy Ageing Advocate
Thanks Janey
Trish 15th Aug 2018

To add to the list of places to call, sometimes churches will donate flowers if they are left after a funeral. Sometimes funeral homes also have left over flowers. Maybe keep the requests in your town to let people know everything they donate stay in the community.

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