GARDEN THERAPY (Elder Outreach)





CHAIR: Sue Reagan

DEPUTY: Ann Helbock and Shiela Toomey

MEMBER(S): Maureen Adams, Nancy Auenson, Diane Benson, Jeanne Boutross, Vernita Bryant, Joan Carlo, Barbara Canney, Barbara Dillon, Retta Dwyer, Diane Herth, Iku Isihara, Lee Drew, Adrienne DuBois,  Lorraine Galler, Carol Graham, Julie Hess, Iku Isihara, Mary McLaughlin, Shiela Toomey, Dolores Roy, Gail Saccone


View our Garden Therapy Photo Albums

View our Garden Therapy Photo Albums


1. Provide a monthly activity of flower arranging for residents of Golden Living Center, a nursing home located at One Chief Justice Cushing Highway (Rt. 3A), Cohasset, MA. The program is held the second Wednesday of each month from 2-3 p.m.

2. Provide a program of 3-4 workshops during the course of the year for the seniors at the Cohasset Senior Center. The program is held on Thursdays, from 1.30-2.30


  • Appoint a deputy to stand in if Chair is unavailable and additional committee members as necessary. It is recommended that Club members who are not Board Members should be included as much as possible. This willspread the workload, familiarize members in the working of the committee, involve them morein the Club’s activities and build succession skills for the future. Submit all names to be included in the Yearbook.


  • Decide program titles. Submit titles, dates and time to the Yearbook Chair by the end of June.
  • Offer residents of Golden Living a hands-on activity using fresh flowers.
  • Visit and converse with the residents during the program.


  • Decide on workshop program titles. Submit, titles, dates and time to the Yearbook Chair by the end of June
    • Offer seniors workshops relating to the Clubs objectives


  • Provide Budget for May Board meeting (to be approved at June meeting)
  • Produce and present Annual Report for June Board Meeting
  • Review Standing Committee Report at end of the second year to determine if any changes are needed.
  • Meet with successor to hand over job description and guidelines and supplies



  • Contact Activities Director at Golden Living in August to explain program, if necessary, and confirm dates and time. Provide the year’s calendar to the Director.
  • Bring a poster for the upcoming program to the Activities Director the week prior to the program.
  • Plan on 20 participants for each program. The budget covers expenses for oasis, containers, flowers, ribbon and any additional decoration. Chair is responsible for gathering oasis, containers and decorations for each program, always keeping expenditures as low as possible. The Chair is responsible for storing such material until it is needed. The Dollar Tree store in Weymouth has been a good source for containers.
  • Oasis should be purchased in bulk by any Club member who has access to the Flower Market.
  • The Chair, or designee, purchases 12 bunches of flowers (depends on size of containers) the day prior to the program. In 2012, we purchased 12 bunches (5-6 stems) at $5.99 each from Stop & Shop in Hingham. In 2013, Shaw’s in Cohasset had better selections. Trader Joe’s is an occasional source. Donations of flowers from member’s gardens or “left overs” from Junior Gardeners or a Horticulture workshop held the same week help reduce the amount that need to be purchased.
  • Sometimes it is necessary to purchase some greens. Since a lot of greens are used for arrangements, the Chair asks committee and/or club members to provide greens from their yards (ferns, pachysandra, rhododendron, evergreens, ivy, ilex, holly).
  • Jeanne Boutross usually volunteers to make bows for the arrangement. We also try to add a fun “insert” for the holiday or season.
  • The day prior to the program the Chair soaks the oasis, cuts it to fit the container, and puts flowers in pails of water.
  • The day of the program the Chair:
  1. Assembles the containers with oasis
  2. Brings pails of flowers, greens, and decorations (i.e. picks and/or bows)
  3. Brings scissors, pruners, roll of paper towels, plenty of newspapers, and large plastic trash bag.
  • At the Center, the committee spreads newspapers on the tables where residents are sitting and at a work table.
  • At the work table, the committee strips the flowers of foliage, cuts them into shorter lengths, and distributes flowers and greens to the residents.
  • Members help residents create arrangements, if necessary.
  • After the floral arrangements are completed the decorations (bows and/or “inserts”) are distributed.
  • Complete any unused containers to be distributed by the Director to residents that cannot attend the activity.
  • Clean up work table and clear off the residents tables
  • Club photographer (or designee) takes a picture of each months arrangement for the next Newsletter and Garden Therapy Committee files. Forward 1-2 pictures to Pat Cammett.
  • The committee members leave when all residents have left or the Director or another staff member is present.

September> See You in September

October> Jack O’Lantern Time

November> Giving Thanks

December> Dreaming of a White Christmas

January> Ring in the New Year

February> You Are My Valentine

March> Irish Eyes Are Smiling

April> The Promise of Spring

May> It’s a Beautiful Day in May


  • Workshops programs can include flower arranging demonstrations and the opportunity for seniors to make their own arrangement, photo slide shows such as the House Tour or talks on gardens such as Eric Eisenhauers talk on roses
  • Contact the Assistant Director, Cohasset Elder Affairs at the Cohasset Senior Center, to explain the program and confirm dates and times
  • A small charge of $3 is appropriate
  • 3-4 volunteers will be needed for each meeting
  • Purchase any necessary supplies and ensure any necessary equipment, e.g. a projector, is available
  • Depending on workshop, set up and clean up following the guidelines for Golden Living


  • April 10 – A slide show of the 2012 Yuletide House Tour
  • April 17, June 12 and October 16 will be seasonally appropriate flower arrangements.
  • December – a possible additional workshop to be decided