Share a Little Flower Power

Few things lift the spirits like a cheerful bouquet of fresh-cut blooms.
Karen Lingo / Photography: Van Chaplin

Sometimes a simple act of sharing can have a big impact. One morning last summer I walked into my office with a briefcase full of work and a huge stack of mail to open. I was not a happy camper. But there on my desk sat a lovely bouquet of zinnias.

I smiled for the rest of the day―and the next―as I enjoyed the homegrown gift from Senior Writer Donna Florio.

Over the next couple of months, more cheerful bouquets, all harvested from Donna's yard, showed up on other desks. By placing flowers in vases and giving them away, she brought joy and happiness into the lives of everyone around her.

A Ready-made Flowerbed
As a member of our Foods staff, Donna is well known in the culinary field, but we were all surprised by her green thumb. "There really isn't much to growing zinnias," she protests. "I lost a huge oak in a storm. It had shaded the entire front of the house, and then suddenly I had a yard full of sunshine." She also had a ready-made place to grow something where the tree had stood. So she planted zinnias.

"I like flowers that are easy," Donna says, "and I've always loved zinnias. I didn't want to till the soil and do all the things you have to do to prepare for plants, so I bought some packets of seeds and sprinkled them around. Once the plants came up, I went back and filled in bare spots with more seeds. They started blooming in mid-June and bloomed right into September."

Make Someone's Day
In addition to sharing her bounty with co-workers, Donna also created bouquets for her neighbors. She says, "One older lady told me, 'You've made my week.' Hearing that made my week too."

If you don't have room or time for a garden, consider purchasing inexpensive bouquets to share with neighbors and friends. It's an act of kindness that brightens the lives of both giver and receiver.

TIP: Cut to Last
When cutting flowers, use a sharp knife or scissors, and place blooms immediately into a container of water so they won't wilt before you're ready to use them.