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Secret Gardeners

Making Mementos

February 22, 2004

On January 29, the Secret Gardeners of Barn Hill Care Center in Newton, New Jersey, gathered in the recreation room to press fresh flowers that were bought at the local supermarket. The flowers were white daisies, purple daisies and pink/yellow mini-carnations. The plan was to dry the flowers and create framed pieces of pressed flower art for their rooms.

Gardeners shared vases of flowers, which were placed before them. Although some could not reach for their picks, they pointed out which flowers they wanted to use. Each gardener placed the flowers they chose on tissue paper to dry. They each wrote their name on a post-it to identify their flowers. We sandwiched the tissue paper between newspaper, placed it on cardboard, stacked them under heavy books, and stashed them high on a shelf for three weeks.

On February 19, they met again to check their bounty. We unveiled the pressings, and Voila! they were dry. Each gardener had before them -- their dried flowers, colored construction paper of their choice, a small cup of white glue and a tongue depressor for applying it, and their frame.

They set to work and glued the flowers to the paper, some being very methodical in placing the flowers. They cut ribbon and some framed the paper in it. Others used bits of red or gold ribbon to accent the work. They shook glitter over the extra spots of glue and some applied more. They snapped them into the frames and Voila again!

Works of Art!

Billy talked about how his Aunt Clara would have loved to be there.

Each happy gardener took their piece back to their room for hanging or placing on a dresser.

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