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Monday, February 16, 2009


Working with patients in a Flowershop that is also trying to capitalize on the notion of Valentine's Day is exhausting. All of the patients that are assigned to Horticulture Therapy understand the importance of selling flowers and assorted holiday items, but not all patients have the same abilities as others. This is when I as the Horticulture Therapist have to work on my stress management techniques for MYSELF!

It was a very long week last week. The week started in earnest on Tuesday with the delivery of 800 long stemmed roses and assorted cut flowers. 400 of the roses were red roses with the most amount of thorns that I could remember. And each stem had to be dethorned, lower leaves cut, and cut while being dipped in solution. One of my patients is not to be trusted with items such as roses when every rose has such a high price on its head so he was filling up flower tubes. I was short on caseload also since one veteran had quit and the other had ended up in the hospital. So... dethorning began in earnest about 9am. I worked on trimming the ends off of 700 carnations, and a case of: daisies, baby's breath, snapdragons, and alstromerium (that would be about 26 bunches per case) It ended about 3pm...

The conversations were great! Music, dreams, family remembrances of Valentine's past, plans for employment in the future....

So, then started making up arrangements for those who wanted to pick up stuff on Thursday as some folks took off Friday to make it a loooooong weekend. That meant teaching veterans how to tube and box a dozen long stemmed roses. We also made bouquets of cut flowers... various mixes to capture everyone's fancy.

All said and done, I do believe that the economy had an impact on our sales as well. More people bought living arrangements than just flowers this year. Last year, I couldn't make enough arrangements to keep everyone happy. I was arranging dozens and dozens of roses.

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