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Gardenias, giggles and great joy

It’s Fresh Friday and the smell of gardenias and fresh ground coffee is wafting through Feros Care aged care village at Bangalow.A dozen Village residents are sitting around tables arranging enormous bundles of freshly picked flowers into vases of all shapes and sizes, while the sound of laughter and a discussion about the best way to grow roses is the hot topic of conversation.Helen McKillop, Positive Living Assistant for the Village picks the masses of flowers from her own garden each week to “bring the outside world in”.She said that for many residents, gardening is one of their strongest memories. “The flowers spark many conversations amongst residents who normally don’t participate very much in other activities.
Everyone gets involved in arranging flowers, we normally finish up with around ten large vases we spread around the Village and one small vase for each residents’ room”.Eighty-six year old Merrill Roach said she loves flower arranging each week. “I had a large garden and I always had flowers inside my home,” she said.Helen doesn’t gro her favourite flower though, so she has promised to plant a large bed of gerberas.Village Manager, Jo Dwyer said it’s such a beautiful end to the week. “The Village looks and smells amazing for all our weekend visitors, and it is our residents who have made this happen. It’s their home and they are proud of making their home look and smell beautiful”.When asked why she spends so much time growing flowers for the residents, Helen smiled and explained “I love bringing some of my garden into their home each week”.

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