Flowers, along with candy, gift baskets, cards and money, are common gifts given to the family of the deceased. Flowers may have a religious or personal significance to the deceased, but after a funeral, a family may have dozens or hundreds of flower and plant arrangements to remove from the funeral home or church. If the family cannot take all of the flowers or plants home, these gifts can still enjoy life in surroundings where they may be appreciated.
After the funeral, invite guests to select a potted plant or flower arrangement to take home. Thank guests for their gifts but emphasise that the family does not have room for all of the flowers and plants at their homes. Share information about the deceased and encourage guests to use flowers in a way that will honour the deceased's memory, such as putting a plant in a garden.
Contact schools and ask if flowers would be appreciated. You could also honour your deceased relative or friend's memory by taking the flowers to schools that were important to her, such as her university or high school. Some schools also have community gardens which may be looking for plant donations.
Nursing Homes and Hospitals
Call hospitals and nursing homes to see if they may be interested in receiving flower arrangements. You may be able to give arrangements to specific patients. Remove cards or notes attached to the flowers before giving them to a nursing home or hospital. Unless you know a particular patient's religious affiliation, do not give flowers that are in a cross shape.
Visit religious centres and see if they are interested in receiving flower arrangements or plants. Keep religious symbols in mind when presenting flower or plant arrangements to churches, mosques or other religious centres. Ask if there are any members or guests of the worship centre who are ill or enduring hardship. You may be able to give flowers to those specific individuals.