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This summer, Friends of the Soldiers Home is having several events to “bring the garden to the residents” so that more folks can enjoy the beautiful flowers produced on campus. We kicked things off with a flower bouquet making event on a Saturday earlier this month. We brought large buckets of gorgeous flowers to work with, all grown at the garden or at gardeners’ homes. One resident lit up with joy when seeing the gladiolus – he told us about his wife who was a passionate gardener during her life and grew many of that type of flower.

A few residents stopped in for the event, but we reached many more when we placed the bouquets on tables in the dining hall during lunch and in the coffee area. The fresh flowers were met with smiles and words of thanks. Volunteers Linda Cotton and Sarah Clinehens put on the event, and the flowers were contributed by Carol and George Herwig, Susan Minnemeyer, Linda Cotton, Sarah Clinehens and Scot Bohl. Next up will be a tomato tasting and a repeat of the fresh flower bouquet give-away scheduled for Saturday, August 19th.

Friends of the Soldiers Home operates the volunteer garden program so that residents of Armed Forces Retirement Home-Washington have an opportunity to grow things on campus without doing too much of the heavy lifting.

Story and photos by Sarah Clinehens.