Cork flower farmer donates bouquets to local nursing home for residents to enjoy

Cork flower farmer donates bouquets to local nursing home for residents to enjoy
Felicity Howe and Garda Robin Jose of Bandon Garda Station, who delivered the flowers to Bandon Community Hospital.

Residents of a Cork nursing home were treated to fresh flowers from the owner of Howe Hill Flower Farm near Kilbrittain at the weekend. 

On Saturday, Gardaí from Bandon assisted with the transfer of flowers supplied by Felicity Howe to brighten up the day for residents at Bandon Community Hospital. 

Speaking to The Echo, Felicity said the kind gesture was inspired by a friend who has a flower farm in Kerry. 

"A friend of mine, Jiska Healy, has a flower farm in Tralee and I saw on social media that she donated flowers to local nursing homes, with the assistance of Gardaí who delivered them. 

"I thought it might be nice to do something like that myself," she said. 

Felicity Howe - owner of Howe Hill Flower Farm.
Felicity Howe - owner of Howe Hill Flower Farm.

During the current pandemic, Felicity can continue to grow and sell flowers locally but explained that deliveries have largely been put on hold. 

"I have mountains of flowers at the moment but I can’t really sell them at the moment, except for people who are really local to me and I can leave them outside the gate. 

"After seeing Jiska’s post I decided to donate some flowers to Bandon Community Hospital. They were delighted. "There’s nothing like a flower to bring joy – everybody loves them," she said. 

Felicity’s affinity with the world of floristry began when she was just 15, working part-time in a garden centre in Bandon. 

After school, she moved to Galway to study Art & Design at GMIT and worked part-time at a flower shop near Eyre Square where she honed her craft, before turning her hand to jewellery craft and design.

Returning to floristry from 2007 to 2019, Felicity worked in a busy retail and wedding florist, and whilst she did enjoy the job, there were elements of it which caused her to become frustrated. 

Howe Hill Flower Farm near Kilbrittain.
Howe Hill Flower Farm near Kilbrittain.

"People think it sounds like such a beautiful job, working in a flower shop, but there were things that began to bother me, like all of the packaging and plastic and the chemicals that are sprayed on the flowers," she explained. 

Felicity then explored the idea of growing her own flowers and herbs and in 2017, encouraged by her friend Sarah O’Brien, owner of OHK Café in Kinsale, Felicity began supplying fresh herbs and flowers to a handful of customers. 

In May 2019 she became a full-time flower farming florist, supplying local artisan grocers, The Roughty Foodie in the English Market, as well as doing flowers for various occasions.

"There’s around 100 of us in Ireland with flower farms proving all organic high quality flowers," Felicity explained. "I love it."

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