When Poppies Grow in Flanders Field: A Day to Remember

CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=414786Friday, May 26, is Remembrance Day; and you may see people selling red paper poppies around your neighborhood. There’s a long history of how The Red Field Poppy became an international symbol of those who have fought and died in war.

The red field or corn poppy (papaver rhoeas) flowers each year in May through August. The wind disseminates its seeds, which can lie dormant in the ground for a long time. If the ground is disturbed from the early spring, the seeds will germinate and the poppy flowers will grow. In the spring of 1915, the churned up World War I battlefields of France and Belgium and newly dug graves of fallen soldiers provided the perfect conditions for this “Miracle Flower.” In Flanders Field, Belgium, a Canadian soldier, John McCrae, noticed these flowers blooming amid the devastated landscape. He was moved to write the poem “We Shall Not Sleep” also known as “In Flanders Field.”US Commemorative Stamp honoring Moira Michael issued 11/9/1948

After reading the poem, Moira Michael, a YMCA canteen volunteer wrote her own poem “We Shall Keep the Faith”. Then and there she vowed to always wear a red poppy in remembrance. Working for the Staff of the Overseas YMCA Secretaries, Moira launched a campaign at her own expense to promote the poppy to honor the memory of those who had died in the service of their country and those who were returning with mental, physical and spiritual needs. Thanks to her efforts, the newly founded American Legion adopted the Flanders Fields Memorial Poppy as the United States’ national emblem of Remembrance

A French woman, Madame Anna E. Guérin, founder of The American and French Children’s League, organized French women, children and war veterans to make cloth poppies, which could be sold to benefit people suffering from the war. She also spearheaded the effort to introduce the poppy to nations which had been Allied with France during the First World War. During 1921 she made visits or sent representatives to America, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.

For more information and to read the poem, go the U. S. Department of Public Affairs website

We here at Power of Flowers appreciate the service of all men and women in all the conflicts over the years, and we never miss an opportunity to demonstrate this appreciation. This past Tuesday we delivered 72 bouquets to the Billerica Council on Aging to be used at their Veteran’s Appreciation Breakfast

We sincerely salute all the service men and women and their families. Have a safe and happy Remembrance Day and Memorial Day.

Lilacs Blooming in Doorways At Last

Bouquet of Lilacs by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Bouquet of Lilacs by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

One of the many pleasures of spring is inviting fresh fragrant seasonal scents into your home. The loveliest of these is the lilac. I like to gather large bunches and bring them indoors and strategically place them in vases throughout the house.

Once cut, lilacs have a very short shelf life; so here are a couple tips to help them last longer:

• Cut lilacs from the bush first thing in the morning when they’re well hydrated
• Once indoors, re-cut stems at an angle and immediately plop them into a vase with water
• Some people smash the ends of the woody stem with a hammer to increase water flow to the blossoms
• Others like to submerge the lilacs in a bucket of water overnight
• Add some preservative to the water; and as you would any cut flowers, replace the water daily.

For more great do-it-yourself ideas, consider one of the many workshops we offer throughout the year. For example, on June 2 there’s a Container Garden Workshop at Weston Nurseries from 6-8 PM. See the website for details

We’ve Got Mail!

Blaire House Tewksbury, MA

Here’s what the Assisted Living Executive Director Richard L. Williams at Blaire House at Tewksbury recently emailed:

“The Power of Flowers Project has been regularly delivering bouquets of flowers to our facility for the past three years. The residents are so happy to receive a gift of any kind, but especially fresh flowers with a recycled purpose. All residents, young and old, male and female, from various cultures are all happy to receive fresh, colorful, fragrant flowers. The flowers always seem to arrive at just the right time such as after a resident has a sudden loss, is not feeling well, or has received some bad news about their health.

The gift of flowers shows that they are thought of, loved and others care about them.

The bouquets are a conversation starter with staff, families and friends, too. The bouquets also serve as a reminder about joyful times they received flowers such as Mother’s Day or their wedding day.”

The Power of Flowers Project has been keeping a date delivering flowers to over 120 care communities like this for eight years in the greater Merrimack Valley. Help us continue to make a difference one flower at a time.

We love getting mail!

Celebrate Older Americans Month!

May is Older Americans Month and getting older doesn’t mean what it used to. For many aging Americans, it is a phase of life where interests, goals, and dreams can get a new or second start. Today, aging is about eliminating outdated perceptions and living the way that suits you best.

Barbara Hillary was a nurse for 55 years who dreamed of travel. At age 75 Hillary became the first African American woman to set foot on the North Pole and 4 years later, at 79, she set another first by stepping on the South Pole.

Actress Betty White, now 95, became the oldest person to host Saturday Night Life in 2010.

Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t start writing until after she retired and published her first book, “Little House in the Big Woods,” in 1932 at the age of 65.

These women are a good reminder that there is no timetable for achieving the success one wants. This year’s theme, “Age Out Loud,” emphasizes the ways older adults are living their lives with boldness, confidence, and passion while serving as an inspiration to people of all ages.

This is a theme that the Power of Flowers Project gets behind every day, every week of the year, not just in the month of May. Our volunteers demonstrate this new zest for life, for giving back, for self-satisfaction. Join us in our mission to bring joy to ‘older Americans’ every month of the year.

We need your time, your talent, your treasure! Regardless of your age!
Volunteer Today at Power of Flowers Project.

Plant Sale A Success!

The rain didn’t dampen spirits at the Plant and Bake Sale.

The grassy knoll beside the Tewksbury Senior Center bloomed with flowers overnight Friday in time for Saturday’s sale. Hardy perennials dug from devoted volunteers’ gardens, healthy nursery-grown plants from The Greenery, begonias and rosemary donated by Tyger Productions….all set off by whimsical chairs and other garden ornaments.

Lucky winners took home outstanding raffle items and a fantastic team effort led by Phyllis D brought sunshine into the hearts of our seniors and others in need…

Thank you to all who came out to support the work of the Power of Flowers Project.

Enjoy these photos from the sale

Perk Up Your Porch or Dazzle Your Deck! Container Garden Workshop June 2

Container Garden Workshop

Need something to perk up your porch or dazzle your deck?
How about a splash of color or greenery in a decorative container?

Mark your calendar for Friday, June 2 6 PM-8 PM to join us at Weston Nurseries of Chelmsford for the Container Garden Workshop!

LOCATION: Weston Nurseries of Chelmsford
160 Pine Hill Road
Chelmsford, MA, 01824

COST: $35.00

This is a hands-on workshop where you will learn about soil,
plant choices and maintenance of container gardens.

Bring your own container or choose one from Weston Nurseries extensive inventory.

Soil and plants will be provided for a medium sized container, about 12″ in diameter.

Additional plantings will be available for sale.

CLICK HERE to register for the workshop!

Donate by May 9th to Send a Beautiful Mother’s Day Card

Remember those times your mother made you smile?
Return the favor this Mother’s Day.

When you make a donation in your mother’s name to the Power of Flowers Project, you honor your mother with hand-made bouquets delivered to those in need of a smile. You will have the satisfaction of knowing that your donation spreads smiles to the elderly, veterans, critically ill, and shut-ins across the Merrimack Valley.

When you donate by May 9th, a beautiful card with the image below will be sent per your instructions. An email will be sent per your instructions for donations received after May 9th.

inside inscription
To honor you for Mother’s Day a donation has been made in your name.
The Power of Flowers is pleased to be part of your remembrance and grateful for your support of its mission.

A donation in your mother’s name is a unique way to remember your mother or to honor her memory this Mother’s Day.



1. We take donated flowers that would otherwise be thrown into some dumpster and save 70% of them. We re-hydrate them overnight and then recycle them in individual bouquets.

2. We use biodegradable cups for these bouquets.

Compostable Cups

3. Each month we recycle for reuse a van full of glass, paper, and plastic items. Hundreds of pounds a year of floral supplies and containers, in which donated flowers arrive from weddings and funeral homes, are cleaned and sold back to the floral industry for reuse.

4. Volunteers regularly take home plant material to compost and take cardboard boxes to the Tewksbury Hospital site to recycle.

We’re proud of our symbol–a flower surrounded by the universal recycling symbol.

That symbol was designed nearly 40 years ago in this country and is now used worldwide, often surrounded by the words: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. We adopted it and added the pink posie to demonstrate how important recycling is to our mission.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…that’s precisely what the Power of Flowers Project does!

Join our efforts….Donate time! Donate flowers! Donate money! Visit us at Power of Flowers Project to get started!