Grossmont Gardens resident achieves dream of becoming a floral designer for a day

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Grossmont Gardens resident Elena Stafford got her wish to be a floral arranger for a day as part of the facility’s Second Wind Dreams program. “My habit was to put a flower in a vase,” 96-year-old Stafford explained. “But I’ve always had an interest in (floral) arranging,” she said.

Grossmont Gardens resident Elena Stafford got her wish to be a floral arranger for a day as part of the facility’s Second Wind Dreams program. “My habit was to put a flower in a vase,” 96-year-old Stafford explained. “But I’ve always had an interest in (floral) arranging,” she said.

That opportunity came for Elena when the senior living facility took her to Allen’s Flowers in La Mesa recently. Once there, she said she could have her way and show off her style in putting together a basket.
She explained how she put her floral arrangement together. She began with a basic brown basket and foam base. “I then started in the middle with a stalk and added well-placed greenery. I then added button and cover greenery on the bottom over the foam base.

Then I put layers all around the basket with various flowers. I then added my finishing touches, which included a ribbon,” she concluded proudly as she showed off her floral arrangements.
Stafford, who lived in El Cajon for years before moving into Grossmont Gardens seven years ago, maintained a garden with vegetables and also 51 rose bushes at her previous home.

Elena also noted that at 50 cents a flat back in the day for tomatoes, one would “be a fool not to can.” And can she did; her own vegetables and ones she got cheap.

Elmcroft Senior Living Facilities participates in the Second Wind Dreams program, which provides their residents all kinds of ways to fulfill not their first dream but second dream wish. A different twist on the proverbial “bucket list.”

Returning to your favorite fishing hole, reconnecting with someone from your past – family member or old friend, or whatever the reasonable desire is – that is the basic premise of the Second Wind Dreams program. So where did her Second Wind Dreams floral masterpieces end up? Back at Grossmont Gardens in a communal area so others could enjoy her artistry.

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