Documents: Special Interest: Horticultural Therapy:

Hope in Bloom
by Chris Biesheuvel
by Chris Biesheuvel


Chris Biesheuvel a retired Horticulturist from McKenzie Seeds in Brandon Manitoba.

Chris is active in the Lethbridge Horticultural Society. He owns Dutch Touch garden consulting business.

His flower photography is well known. Lately Chris is promoting the health effects from gardening in writing and in speaking engagements.

October 19, 2008

Lady Bird Johnson said once” Where flowers Bloom, so does Hope!”

Mrs. Beverly Eisenberg was an enthusiastic gardener. In 2004 she learned that she had breast cancer and died from this disease in the summer of 2005.

As a gardener in heart and soul, Mrs. Eisenberg spent hours and hours in her pride and joy, the garden. When the time came that she could not do this any more, her friends took over and kept her garden and house filled with flowers to bolster her spirit.

Out of this team work, the charity organization Hope in Bloom was borne.

Hope in Bloom is a non profit organization to provide indoor and outdoor gardens free of charge at the homes of female and male breast cancer patients. The first 24 gardens were planted in 2007 and Hope in Bloom has at the moment more than 100 qualified requests for gardens in the state of Massachusetts.

I think the message is clear, for cancer patients and care givers; a garden is a place of peace and an awesome medicine!

The gardens that Hope and Bloom, with their mighty force of volunteers creates, includes every thing like an indoor place with tropical plants, outdoor gardens, container gardening for balconies, even butterfly and bird gardens etc.

Hope in Bloom works with landscape designers and nursery men who donate their time and expertise to create a place that meet the needs of each individual patient. The impact that those gardens have on the cancer patients is amazing, it has rejuvenated the spirit of many patients.

The result of the work of Hope in Bloom is that there is now a trend toward healing gardens at hospitals, and other health facilities, also here in Canada. This trend proves the power of flowers-(see my article about flower power.)

In an interview Dr. G.Wulf of a breast cancer clinic in Massachusetts said “The patients I’ve had who have had such a garden planted have found it comforting, healing, and truly pleasing. It’s really remarkable that there are volunteers out there who create these gardens for breast cancer patients.”

By helping to create a place of peace in the midst of dealing with illness, anger and pain could mean the difference between a bad day and a hopeful day. One of the Hope in Bloom volunteers said “the work we do is so magical and yet so simple”

For the patients it is a statement of how many people care about you!

Roberta Dehman Hershorn, the founder of Hope in Bloom, started this wonderful program to honor her close friend, Beverly Eisenberg. By doing this she brought hope and relief to many breast cancer patients. It started in Massachusetts and I hope it will snowball all over the USA and Canada.

The death of a wonderful lady has brought, thanks to flower power, hope and inspiration to lots of people.

The lesson here is that we gardeners together can be an important part of a cancer patient’s course of treatment. Flowers and plants are great stimulators in the healing or accepting process.

For more information go to

  • New Eden
  • Kids Garden
  • Plant a Row Grow a Row