Many seniors at Wildflower Lodge are getting a chance to put their green thumbs to good use thanks to La Grande Middle School students.
Many of the flowers grown by the students for the annual LMS Plant Sale were recently donated, following the encouragement of students, to Wildflower Lodge Assisted Living and Memory Care, a facility in La Grande
About six pickup-truck-loads of flowers were donated. The flowers included marigolds, zinnias and coleus varieties. The flowers were planted in boxes and flowerbeds, many in Wildflower’s courtyard.
Jenna Wright, Wildflower’s community relations director, said residents welcomed the chance to plant the flowers and care for them because of their backgrounds.
“A lot of them were farmers or (grew) gardens and flowerbeds,” Wright said.
Residents who have enjoyed planting the flowers include Patty Hukari.
“I want to make it pretty for all residents,” Hukari said.
Wright said Wildflower can make planting opportunities available to residents on a small sale on its own but not to the extent it did this year with help from LMS.
Plants grown by LMS students were also donated to Kids Club at Riveria Activity Center and La Grande’s community garden.
Kathy Nickerson, an LMS science teacher who helps direct the yearly plant sale, said the donations made by the school heighten the students’ awareness of the needs of others.
“It is important for us to always look beyond ourselves,” Nickerson said.
Students gain business experience via the annual project, selling the plants they’ve grown to the public. The items sold at the LMS Plant Sale included 12-inch hanging baskets, 65 varieties of annuals, 33 varieties of perennials, 35 varieties of vegetables and 15 varieties of herbs. All were grown from seed at LMS’s greenhouse.
This year’s sale was conducted at the greenhouse in mid-May. LMS has been conducting its plant sale annually for at least 25 years.