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Roses are red, violets are blue

From flower arranging to bocce, Oak Crest has 175 things to do

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July 19th, 2016
(From left) Betty Feroli, Joyce Kleintank, and Dolores Mickolite show off their flower arrangements.

(From left) Betty Feroli, Joyce Kleintank, and Dolores Mickolite show off their flower arrangements.

“Starting here, starting now, honey, everything’s coming up roses!” 

That’s the tune echoing throughout Oak Crest each month as residents learn the art of flower arranging.

Local florist Linda Hart, who owns Flower Expressions on Belair Road in Nottingham, Md., teaches flower arranging classes on-site at the Parkville, Md., Erickson Living community.

“Most people worry they won’t be able to do it, but I walk them through the entire process, and the finished arrangements always turn out beautiful,” says Hart. 

Two years ago, Hart approached Oak Crest Community Resources Manager Nadine Wellington with the idea for flower arranging classes in an effort to share her passion and promote her business. 

“The classes started with just 5 people, and we are now up to about 40,” says Hart. “The residents love it. When they leave the class they have a beautiful arrangement they designed themselves, and they have a blast.”   

Wild flowers

For $15, participants can create a fresh flower arrangement that would typically sell for about $35 to $40 retail.

“We don’t do just a vase of flowers,” says Hart. “That’s too easy! I try to come up with something fun and different. We’ve done pig themes, butterflies, frogs, and bunnies. We also do holiday and seasonal arrangements.” 

Sisters Jean and Lucille D’Onofrio got hooked on the classes two years ago.  

“I’ve always wanted to try flower arranging but never had the opportunity until now,” says Jean. “When I found out they were holding classes right here at Oak Crest, my sister and I both signed up right away. That’s the beauty of Oak Crest. There are so many things to do like this right here in the community. We don’t have to drive or worry about the weather. All we have to do is walk downstairs, and everything is right there.”

 Jean and Lucille share a two-bedroom apartment home at Oak Crest, giving them double the flower power. 

“We love having fresh flowers in our apartment all the time,” says Jean. “We usually display them on the piano in our living room. When the blooms begin to die off, we just pull out the old buds and replace them with cut flowers from the grocery store, and they last all month long until the next class.”   

Darlene Koch had dabbled with faux flowers in the past but never worked with fresh flowers before. Darlene took her first class with Hart two years ago. Now she serves as the volunteer resident liaison helping Hart schedule classes, collect the class fee, and get the word out. 

“I enjoy the class so much,” says Darlene. “Linda brings in all of the live greenery, flowers, and containers. She also brings an example of the arrangement we will be making that class. The arrangements are always fun and creative.”

Sky’s the limit

Darlene moved to Oak Crest four years ago after visiting several different communities in the area. 

“I like to be busy and involved in things,” says Darlene. “Most of the places I looked at didn’t have a lot of activities or things to do. That’s what I liked about Oak Crest—there are so many things to do here.”

According to Wellington, 175 things to be exact.

“We have everything you can imagine, from dance classes and bridge groups to art classes and theater, a woodshop, and dozens of volunteer opportunities,” says Wellington. 

She says the continual influx of new people moving to Oak Crest aids in the rapid input of fresh ideas for new clubs and groups.

“I think many people are surprised when they discover just how many different resident-driven groups we actually have here,” says Wellington. “The people who live here are continuously looking to explore new ideas and try new things. I’m so impressed and amazed at the level of energy that permeates through this community. No day here at Oak Crest is the same.”

And Wellington, along with her team of community resources coordinators, is on hand to facilitate whatever Oak Crest residents need to accomplish their goals. 

“Oak Crest provides you with the opportunity to do things you’ve never done before and maybe something that you’ve always wanted to do,” says Wellington. “It’s a joy and privilege to help residents use their gifts and talents to create a community that celebrates life.”

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