US (CA): Local organization gives flowers a new life and recipients

Who has time to repurpose a bunch of flowers? Anne Bell makes time. A floral designer who has worked in the floral and design department at Pebble Beach, Bell arranged the flowers for her daughter’s 2019 wedding at Asilomar and could not bear to throw away the still-fresh hydrangeas and garden roses at the end of the day. So, she did not. Instead, she broke down the bouquets, rearranged them into smaller vases, and delivered them to hospice.

Her efforts and inspiration launched “Second Bloom,” a nonprofit organization dedicated to “repurposing flowers for those who need them most. I copied Second Bloom from a friend who started Petal Connection in Roseville,” said Bloom. “Having volunteered for her, I really understood how much fresh flowers can do to brighten the day for hospice patients and people in nursing homes or those who are housebound, receiving Meals on Wheels.”

Bell and her corps of volunteers receive donated flowers from The Pebble Beach Company and other organizations. They view the arrangements as raw art materials for the new canvas they will create, as they rearrange flowers into donated soup cans and plastic ice cream containers they wrap in festive papers. Larger arrangements add color to reception desks, while individual bouquets accompany a delivered meal or are placed at the bedside.

“We deliver flowers to people who otherwise might not receive them, yet are at such a challenging point in their life,” said Bell.“The person who receives flowers at the bedside and their families and caregivers are always touched by flowers. I never see the recipient, but the hospice nurse or other caregivers are so appreciative of what we bring to them.”

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