Renfrew-Collingwood Community News

News stories from the Renfrew-Collingwood community in East Vancouver


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Flower arrangement workshop makes gifts for seniors

The Ava Maria Garden workshop turned out to be an opportunity for community members to connect with each other. One participant brought children who assisted and enjoyed Valentine cookies. Photos by Deanna Cheng

BY DEANNA CHENG

Jane Wong led a group of participants on February 8, 2020 to create artistic flower arrangements with preserved roses, preserved hydrangea and moss. The workshop was held at St. Mary’s Elementary School and is an initiative of Ava Maria Garden, a charity based in Hong Kong.

The former florist said the event had two purposes. First, for each participant to take home a personal gift of flowers to brighten her home. “These are good as gifts for those who don’t want to take care of it, like watering and changing the soil.”

She added, “If there’s dust on the flowers, just blow it gently with a fan or a paintbrush. You could even use a makeup brush.”

Jane Wong used to run her own business in the wedding industry for over five years, back in Hong Kong. She arrived in Vancouver this past summer and was looking for ways to get to know the community.

Preserved flowers are different from live ones, Wong said. The ones used in the workshop are treated with a machine and chemicals and they will last from one to three years with minimal upkeep.

Over time, the colour will fade but the blooms will retain their shape, she said. More thought and consideration is put into the arrangement of preserved flowers because recipients will have to look at them for a long time.

“Layering the flowers in your arrangement will make it look more natural like a garden,” Wong said. “Nothing is straight and even in nature.”

Workshop participant Vee Caylin was interested in the event because she had never worked with preserved flowers before. She works in the event industry and only interacts with live flowers. It was also her first time creating a flower arrangement around a miniature statue.

The second purpose of the workshop was to create extra flower arrangements as gifts for seniors at Courtyard Terrace Seniors Community. Wong said the ones for the seniors will be created with silk flowers because they will require minimal care and they wouldn’t aggravate any allergies.

The next flower workshop Wong is hosting will be for Mother’s Day. For those interested, she can be reached at jane@avamariagarden.org.

Deanna Cheng is a freelance journalist and copy editor. Her work has been published in New Canadian Media and Vancouver Courier. She has also been a resident for the last 15 years. Contact: dmwcheng7@gmail.com.

Copyright 2020 Renfrew-Collingwood Community News