Hope in Bloom is a 501(c)(3) charity that provides gardens free of charge at the homes of women and men who are undergoing treatment for breast cancer (yes, men can get it, too). They began planting in the summer of 2007 and have installed two dozen gardens in Massachusetts (note that they are only planting gardens in MA, for now). Founded by Roberta Dehman Hershon, Hope in Bloom is based in Massachusetts, but plans to expand to other states in the future. From their website, www.hopeinbloom.org:
“Hope in Bloom gardens offer people a beautiful, tranquil place to sit, reflect and escape from the world of doctors, hospitals and sickness. We create life-affirming indoor or outdoor gardens (container, patio or in-ground) for any breast cancer patient undergoing treatment who requests one (the garden may be planted after treatment is over, but must be requested during treatment). All have symbols of life including color, texture, fragrance and sound incorporated into their design. Each garden is tailored to the recipient’s residential situation and lifestyle.”
Here’s a quote from one of their recipients:
“Thank you so much for my beautiful garden. What a transformation! After it was planted, I thought I would nap but instead found myself returning again and again to the garden with the energy of a puppy. That was a strange, magical, joyous feeling. After eight years of treatment, I am used to being tired and depleted. Today I have found myself swelling with a surge that I can only describe as hope.
I am tempted to wrap myself in a blanket and sleep in the hammock chair amidst the new plantings. Even at night I can see the blossoms. I am nourished by the beauty of the space, and by all of the caring everyone put into creating it. It’s the combination of the two that makes it a place of renewal and healing.
I’m here not just because of medical advances that knock down the cancer, but because of gifts such as the garden that give me a more profound strength.”
Hope in Bloom welcomes donations of funding, time (design, installation, and maintenance) and materials (plant material, pots, garden furniture).