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Royal Garden Party

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!"
~ Robin Williams
Every summer, The Queen hosts at least three Royal Garden Parties at Buckingham Palace, and one at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh. Over 30,000 people attend. Garden parties have been held at Buckingham Palace since the 1860's, when Queen Victoria instituted what were known as 'breakfasts.'  Today, the Garden Parties have evolved into a way of rewarding and recognizing public service. They are attended by people from all walks of life. Here is a link to see a Royal Garden Party.

With this traditional special event in mind, and because I love flowers, I thought it was time to host a Royal Garden Party in my retirement community. Over the 16 years that I have worked for my company, I have accumulated many different types of silk flowers. I also have two wonderful "sister-communities" within a 10 minute drive from my community who use silk flowers for their decorations, and was able to borrow flowers and vases from them.

For this Royal Garden theme party, I suggested to the residents that they should wear floral attire. Many of them did. I had a few couples come as royalty also. They were very clever. I also ordered paper crowns and made them available for all the residents to wear. I wasn't sure if the men would put them on or not, but they did when I said they were unisex, and that we needed a King and/or Prince for the evening among all the Queens and/or Princess there. (There are other crown options and accessories in my Activities Director's Store.)

I happen to have a King's crown that came from my husband's work (don't ask) and used it as part of my decorations. I am not sure where they got it, but it looked a lot like this King's crown. I wanted to make it a centerpiece, so I shopped for an over sided pillow that looked royal and/ or would go with the floral theme. I knew what I wanted, but when I was shopping I did not find something that was as "special" as a king would use. I did find something that went with the theme and with the color of some of my flowers.  I set the King's crown on the pillow and then surrounded it with flowers.

Flowers were placed in the Lobby for the reception. Residents ate appetizers and found the crown of their choice at the party. They had a special dinner in the dining room - where the servers had on the crowns also. After dinner, I had a guest speaker in the Auditorium from our local botanical garden. He brought a visual presentation to showcase the beauty that is local to our area. I called this an arm-chair tour of the garden. I had a good audience and those who attended really enjoyed it. I never know how an evening show will be accepted when it is not pure entertainment (music, drama, etc.)

This was a very easy theme night to put together. I personally enjoyed creating the 25+ floral arrangements. I do know that if I had asked, there would have been resident volunteers who would have loved to make the arrangements also. If you need to, make sure to ask the residents to help you and as Robin Williams says, "Let's Party!"


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