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02/09/2012

Why don’t we plant flowers together?!

Last October and November, JEN staff members and volunteers planted young flowers of viola and tulip bulbs at several makeshift housing complexes in Ishinomaki City.

This event was realized in cooperation with Felishimo Co., Ltd. And supporters, who helped us providing planters, soil and young flowers.

What is the most important in doing some activities in the makeshift house complex is to inform the residents of a program in advance.  One week before this event, JEN handed out each door the leaflet saying ‘Let’s plant flowers together!!’

The local seed shop owner helped us provide young flowers and bulbs of flowers and on that day he taught JEN staff members how to plant young flowers and take care of bulbs.

Explaining how to plant flowers to JEN staff members

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When the time to start this program was coming, residents gathered one by one, and JEN staff members explained how to plant flowers.

‘Tulips don’t wake up unless they are exposed to cold.’
‘This time planters are not deep enough, so please plant nearer to the surface of soil; otherwise they could not grow their roots deep enough.
‘Oh, that’s new to me!’

[photo] Residents listening to JEN staff members

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So, time to start!
‘I can’t decide what color to choose.’
You can choose the colors for violas but you can’t tell what colors to come up as they are bulbs.
The event went on in a peaceful and pleasant atmosphere, and residents got stuck on planting flowers.

[photo]  Residents working on planting without saying anything

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On that day some families were not able to take part in this event due to their private business.  Some other residents were kind enough to plant flowers in planters for such families. 
JEN placed the planter with a leaflet. 
We finished planting flowers for all residents and also placed planters of flowers around the meeting place.
You can enjoy violas in winter and tulips in spring.

[photo] Residents enjoying chatting

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After planting flowers, we all gathered at the meeting place and had some tea.
‘I had not been gardening for the past six months.’
‘I feel pleasantly tired.’
I’m convinced everyone felt refreshed.  Good job!

[photo] Chatting over a cup of tea

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Later, we received thank-you calls from the residents.
‘When I came home, I was surprised to find a planter in front of my house.
Since I live alone, this made me happy.  Thank you.’
‘I received a planter JEN provided.  I was just about to plant some flowers. Thank you so much.’
Those voices have made us happy, too.

We hope to see the good smiles again in spring when colorful tulips are in full bloom.
JEN will go on taking mental care and supporting community activities in the hope of extending friendship ties.

February 9, 2012 in Tohoku earthquake |