Garden Club gives flowers and brings cheer

L to R Ginny Thulin, Elaine Menthe, Margery Collins, Therese Burton, Barb Riotte, Lynn Likus. Photo by Karen Vatne

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – On the first Tuesday of every month you can find seven or eight Springfield Garden Club members meeting to make flower arrangements for homebound recipients of the Meals on Wheels program. This activity brings cheer to many and also fulfills part of the Garden Club’s mission to garden as a healing therapy. Club members have been providing these arrangements quietly for 25 years to recipients in Springfield and outlying areas.

There are over 100 meals delivered every day to homebound clients by volunteer drivers of the Meals on Wheels program. The drivers alternate the distribution of 24 arrangements each month.

Long-time member Lynn Likus recalls: “When I first joined the club, our garden therapy was giving a plant to someone! In N.J. we had a program like our current one, doing the same type of arrangements and delivering them through ‘Meals On Wheels,’ so I suggested that, and the club started its own program in 1997. We have been creating them monthly ever since. Flowers and greens are purchased from Woodbury’s Florist, with members donating their own garden flowers during the summer months. That time of year is always more fun, because all arrangements are different, depending on the participants and how many flowers they might have to contribute.”

A cheery slogan or poem is placed into each arrangement. A recent quote used was, “The hum of the bee is the voice of the garden,” by Elizabeth Lawrence. Abby Barney has done the little sayings for a long time and always comes up with something special.

Current Committee Chair Therese Burton single-handedly rescued this program when the pandemic put a sudden halt to the flower arrangements. Instead, Therese designed monthly notecards. They were printed up using many of Karen Vatne’s beautiful images from several town gardens that the club plants and maintains. The cards, containing a cheerful seasonal greeting, were delivered to the site whereby they were placed with the recipient meals to be delivered. The goal was to stay connected with the Meals on Wheels recipients, who were more isolated than ever by the social lockdowns last year.

The club has finally resumed making arrangements again as of February 2022 and is looking forward to the months ahead. If you have an interest in joining the Springfield Garden Club, please visit the website

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