Jiska Healy owns and operates a floral farm in Ireland, and every year her “cash crop” is her homegrown tulips. Under normal circumstances, she sells them at farmer’s markets, makes custom bouquets, and uses them to decorate weddings. But, because of the coronavirus, these are not normal circumstances.
Jiska grows thousands of tulips on her farm, and when around one thousand of them bloomed all at once she says she “knew [she] had to make a decision” as to what to do with them. With thousands more left to bloom, and no one to help her disbud them, she didn’t want the gorgeous flowers to go to waste, so she came up with the sweetest plan for what to do with them.
On her Instagram page, Jiska said, “I contacted some nursing homes nearby and offered them our flowers. They were delighted to take them and once I heard their stories about how isolated the elderly are at the moment I knew I had made the right decision.” Unfortunately, though, due to all of the restrictions, Jiska wasn’t allowed to deliver the flowers herself.
She continued, “At some point I picked up the phone and rang our local garda station for advice. Maybe they would let me deliver under the circumstances. But the guards came up with something even better: ‘Don’t worry miss, we’ll pick them up and bring them to the nursing homes for you!'”
Some of the lucky recipients of the tulips were residents at the Ocean View Nursing Home. On their Facebook page, they shared a number of photos of their residents with their personal tulip bouquets.
In the post, the nursing home thanked Jiska and the Guards, “A huge thank you from the whole team here at Ocean View to Yesca’s Flowers, who kindly provided our home with delightful bunches of tulips. Delivered by our local Gardai, the smiles, excitement, wonderful colour, scent and atmosphere this has created in our home is beyond words. Yesca’s Flowers – you have Brightened our day.”
It didn’t take long for Jiska’s story to go viral, and she has been vocal about her gratitude. In a Facebook post she said, “We didn’t really expect this to happen at all. We thought it was just something nice to share with you but the reactions were phenomenal.” She also said that calls have been pouring in for local orders and deliveries.
Jiska finished the post in the sweetest and most humble way possible, saying, “It’s a tough time and the end [sometimes] seems far away, but it will come. We might only have lifted the spirits of a few people in isolation, but their reaction and yours have lifted ours.” Little does she know she lifted spirits far beyond just those in the nursing homes.
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