Floristry students at Northumberland College have been spreading joy by making bouquets of vibrant flowers to surprise local residents.
Every year, florists and flower lovers dedicate one day to making strangers happy by leaving bouquets in a public place to be found by passers-by with a message added asking the lucky recipients to take the arrangement home as a gift from the college.
With the official ‘Lonely Bouquet’ day falling in June the Level 2 Certificate and Diploma students decided to celebrate the international event on their return to campus, taking flowers from Kirkley Hall’s Victorian walled garden and transforming them into beautiful floral displays.
Meg Ellison, Floristry Lecturer, said: “The Lonely Bouquet is a great initiative for our students to get involved in; where they not only make use of our fantastic facilities and gardens at Kirkley Hall, but also put a smile on someone’s face with a small act of kindness.”
The ‘Lonely Bouquet’ is a movement started by Emily Avenson (@Fleuropean) in 2013 through her blog, and is dedicated to ‘spreading happiness and smiles, one flower at a time.’
The arrangements are already bringing smiles to the faces of the people of Northumberland, with many contacting Meg to express their delight and gratitude.
Mrs Jackson: “I would just like to say a huge thank you to whoever made and left the gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the chair outside the church in Ponteland.
“I originally thought they had been left as a remembrance bouquet until I read the note. What a really lovely idea! I had had the most stressful day yesterday and sat down to mull things over when I saw the flowers. Thank you so much to the thoughtful person that left them. They cheered me up no end. They are gorgeous. Thank you again.”
Holly and Raina: “Whilst dog walking we found this beautiful bouquet on a bench at the bottom of our lane in Horsley Village. We thought this was a lovely idea for the students to do because it spreads positivity in these strange times. We have placed them on our window sill so everyone passing can see them!
“We hope your project goes well because we think it is a great idea! Thank you.”
Rhi: “Thank you so much for the beautiful flowers you put together. I came across them outside my children’s nursery and they really brightened my day. Dahlias are actually my favourite flowers and I’ve planted several different kinds in my garden this year and have enjoyed watching them grow and come into flower.
The bouquet you made was gorgeous and it is still keeping me smiling, I’m sorry I didn’t send a message sooner – I’ve just started work again after maternity leave with my littlest so it’s been a busy few weeks! Thanks again!”
Holly: “I found The Lonely Bouquet on my door step this afternoon and what a lovely surprise it was. The bouquet is beautiful and what a lovely idea it is to have your students do that. Thank you.”
Northumberland College’s Floristry students have access to specialist facilities, including a workshop and cooling storage rooms to practice their floristry techniques. They gain real commercial experience by preparing flowers for major events at Kirkley Hall. Students have also entered prestigious competitions, such as the Harrogate Flower Show, winning top prizes and recognition for their work.
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