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Trinity Village Floral Art Cart brings joy to residents and families
In the summer of 2018, Trinity Village unveiled a new Floral Art Cart. The cart was a collaborative effort from the home’s Horticultural Manager Hedi Lee, Volunteer Coordinator Judy McKnight, and several other volunteers, built with a purpose of allowing residents and families to cut their own flowers from the home’s gardens around its border.
“A couple of years ago we started garden makeovers in the beds around Trinity Village’s Care Centre and the Studios’ front entrances,” explains Lee. “We turned long, narrow institutional yew and daylily beds into perennial cut-flower gardens. And our residents, staff and visitors found the transformation exhilarating!”
It wasn’t long before the staff started noticing residents and visitors plucking a flower or two as they passed by.
“Edith, one of our townhome residents traverses the sidewalk and gardens at least four times a day to visit her husband in the Care Centre,” adds Lee. “She’s told us on many occasions just how much the gardens lift her spirits from the burden of caring for her husband. She even marks the seasons with the coming and going of various flower blooms.”
However, with the gardens and their upkeep expanding, finding the time to personally harvest the flowers was becoming increasingly difficult for Lee. So, in an effort to provide more opportunities for resident enjoyment, the idea of a self-directed activity cart was born.
An under-utilized Rubbermaid cart was found in the Studio’s basement and repurposed with the talented efforts of McNight. The cart has vases (available to borrow), water, tools, a guest book, and disposal for organic and non-organic waste. This way, residents, families and staff and harvest the flowers at any time, even when Lee is not available to facilitate.
Visitors to the cart will find everything they need to cut a few flowers from the garden, arrange them in a vase and write a card to go with the bouquet so they can share their floral creation with whomever they please. In the top drawer, there is a guestbook where individuals can write comments and some have taken the time to write positively about their experience.
“The concept and the cart have been we
ll received,” says Lee with pride. “It’s an activity that families can engage in with their loved one as they visit during the day. We’ve had one family write in the guestbook commending us on thinking of such a fantastic idea, explaining how much pleasure the cart has created for her mom.”
Most people are shy about investigating an unattended cart on the patio, even when there are signs inviting them to do just that. So, when out and about in the gardens, Lee never misses the opportunity to personally introduce family, staff and visitors to the cart and show them the possibilities it can provide for enjoyment together.
“As knowledge of the cart spreads around Trinity Village, we are certain that its usage will increase, with the result being more lifted spirits all around us!”
In photos (top to bottom): A resident cuts some dahlias for herself from the home’s gardens; Volunteer Coordinator Judy McKnight poses with the Floral Art Cart; Kathy Bender and Kirsten Aitken harvest sunflowers to create a bouquet.