Giving Back

 

When I donated a floral workshop to be auctioned at the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club last year, I didn’t know it would end up being such a rewarding experience for us, let alone cause a bidding war at the fundraiser!

 
 Stevens-Coolidge Estate Les Fleurs Andover flower workshop
 
 

venue

We fulfilled the auction item last week by hosting 8 women for a floral workshop at the historic Stevens Coolidge Estate in North Andover. We staged and decorated the all-white greenhouse with smilax vines and fairy lights which stood out among the pastoral background. The 91-acre estate with its French-influenced gardens provided the perfect surroundings for the group.

 
 Stevens-Coolidge Estate greenhouse flower workshop
 
 

history

 Before the tour, I spoke about the history of the estate. The 18th century farm was originally owned by the Stevens family and inherited by Helen Stevens. In 1914, Helen and her husband, John Coolidge, began turning the property into an elegant agricultural estate following the “Country Place” style, similar to European gardens, which was popular at that time. In 1962, they donated the property to the Trustees of Reservation, who continue the estate upkeep and restoration.

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 Lawrence Boys and Girls Club donation workshop
 
 

the workshop

After a tour of the pastoral orchards, potager garden (French vegetable garden) and the formal perennial gardens, we had a chance to chat with the workshop participants while enjoying wine and small bites in the greenhouse. We came to learn that the woman who gave the generous donation in exchange for the workshop was a longtime volunteer at the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club; she had graciously invited her close friends and family to join, some coming from as far as Maine and New York.

 Les Fleurs Andover floral workshop supplies
 Sandra Sigman teaches floral design workshop in estate greenhouse
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 Sandra Sigman Les Fleurs Andover floral design workshop

Between floral design lessons and conversation, the 3 hours flew by! When the sun set early, we used candles for light, just as they would have done in the early 1900s. Each participant left with their own fabulous creation designed in a beautiful compote container with fall blooms, some foraged and even a few stems gathered from Helen Coolidge’s favorite cutting garden. This added a special touch to a fabulous evening. 

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 pink dahlias stevens-coolidge estate north andover
 

pay it forward

In addition to raising monies to benefit the Lawrence Boys and Girls Club, this workshop furthered our sense of connection with our community. Hopefully this beautiful space shared by the Coolidge family will continue to inspire many to give back.

xoxo,

Sandra

 
 Sandra Sigman

Sandra Sigman