Flower Arranging Class Fulfills Dream

December 15, 2015

A master gardener by training, Ernestine Edmondson, who lives in Assisted Living at Lake Prince Woods, loves flowers and gardening and “digging in the dirt”, as she said.  Unfortunately health issues prevent her from doing that any longer, so Lake Prince Woods provided a trip to Norfolk Botanical Garden for Ernestine and her daughter Laura to take a holiday arrangement class through the UCHS Foundation Grant A Dream program.

“It was wonderful!” said Mrs. Edmondson of the day.  “I was so surprised when I found out we were going. The Botanical Garden staff did an excellent job.  They furnished all the supplies and the instructor was very well trained and patient with us.”  She proudly brought her arrangement back and shared it with other assisted living residents in their commons area.

Mrs. Edmondson credits her mother with her love of gardening.  “We always had vegetable gardens and flower gardens when I was growing up.  Every Sunday my mother would cut flowers from her garden and take them to church.”

While Mrs. Edmondson and her husband operated a business and raised three children she didn’t have much time for gardening, but after the children had grown and moved out of the house she took the Master Gardening class from Virginia Tech.  As part of the criteria for taking the class, participants agree to volunteer in community and neighborhood gardening projects.  Mrs. Edmondson took her volunteering seriously, accumulating more than 1,000 hours.

Laura Solomon, Mrs. Edmonson’s daughter, accompanied her on the Grant A Dream trip and was thrilled her mother had the experience.  “Even when we were riding through the botanical garden my mom would point out various plants and flowers and tell us what they were.”  Laura noted.   Mrs. Edmondson has helped Assisted Living Activity Director Stephanie Lohr in planning landscaping for a garden area near their craft room.  It was Stephanie who arranged Mrs. Edmonson’s trip.

Mrs. Edmonson was able to go to the flower arranging class as part of the Grant A Dream program at Lake Prince Woods and the other facilities of United Church Homes and Services (UCHS).  The goal of Grant a Dream is to renew and celebrate a passion while creating joy within the hearts of seniors. The core of the program is to grant basic dreams for residents within United Church Homes and Services communities, Lake Prince Woods being one of them.