Living Flowers

Floral shop wants to spread joy at local nursing/assisted living facilities

Floral shop wants to spread joy at local nursing/assisted living facilities

Hilltop Florist owner Deb Neuman has faced several challenges in keeping her shop going during the current pandemic.

She acknowledges that while it been tough going for her and other business owners, there are people in Mankato whose lives have been even more dramatically affected by COVID-19.

Neuman wants to mark the anniversary of the deadly coronavirus’ arrival in the area by giving floral arrangements to people who’ve been most impacted. She’s asking the community to take part in a plan to brighten up the lives of the elderly and vulnerable who’ve been isolated — due to health safety precautions — in local nursing and assisted living homes throughout the past year.

“The number (of facilities) where flowers will be sent depends on how many people participate,” Neuman said, describing Hilltop Florist’s new Spread Joy event that culminates the week of March 15.

“This is our first time out of the gate, so we don’t know what to expect; we would like the event to spread to as many nursing homes as possible.”

“It so nice to hear of such a project,” said Marti Titus, community life director with Ecumen Pathstone assisted living.

In recent months, bouquets have been used to relay messages of support to residents on campus who’ve been cut off from physical contact with their loved ones throughout most of the pandemic, she said.

“Flowers have become a ‘go-to’ way to let them (residents) know their families are thinking of them.”

Floral deliveries would be “awesome” and very much welcomed next month at Monarch Healthcare Management sites, said Chief Operating Officer Marc Halpert.

“Flowers always put smiles on people’s faces. Who wouldn’t like to receive a floral arrangement?”

Contributing individuals who pre-order blooms to donate to the nursing home residents also can try their hands at creating the arrangements in the safety of their homes. Hilltop Florist will provide vases and virtual classes in how to work with cut flowers.

Neuman promised a “garden variety” of blooms for participants to use to create gift arrangements. Whether that’s daisies, mums, roses or alstroemeria — all depends on availability, she said.

Kits will contain enough flowers and greens to make six arrangements.

The cost per kit is $125. Orders must be placed by Feb. 19. To place an order or for more information, call 387-7908.

Newman said people who don’t care to experiment with making arrangements may instead, make donations of any amount to Spread Joy.

Hilltop Florist employees will pick up the completed arrangements from participants and handle deliveries to the nursing homes. Participants who’d rather drop off their creations at the floral shop should call ahead.

Neuman said offering floral arrangement classes is one way to give back to the people who are looking for ways to stay busy while staying at home.

“If we can help them be creative when they are stuck at home we are glad to do that.”