When COVID-19 caused them to cancel all their weddings, rather than let the hundreds of beautiful peonies that grace the grounds of the museum go un-enjoyed, the blooms were donated to retirement communities, schools, elderly neighbors and others who deserved a pretty pick-me-up.

Victoria Seaver, M.S., R.D.
June 17, 2020
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Sally Carpenter Photography

This time of the year is typically when Louis Godin, the special events and meetings coordinator at Shelburne Museum, and the rest of the Vermont wedding industry are working nonstop to make sure every wedding is as special as possible. But with the world turned upside-down because of the coronavirus, sadly there are none. Rather than let the hundreds of beautiful peonies that grace the grounds of the museum go un-enjoyed, Louis and his group of colleagues and friends made bouquets and donated the blooms to retirement communities, schools, elderly neighbors and others who deserved a pretty pick-me-up.

It all started earlier this spring when the museum clipped lilacs from the grounds and donated them to hospice patients. After the lilacs were done for the season, it felt natural to do the same for the gorgeous peonies—they called it "Project Peonies." This barely made a dent in the gardens and still clipped enough flowers to make 40 stunning arrangements.

Sally Carpenter Photography

"I'm an event planner with no events to plan," says Godin, who typically coordinates 15 weddings a year on top of lots of other events. So, this was one way to keep busy and give back to the community. Godin is no newbie when it comes to that though! He heads up an initiative called, "Continue to Love," which repurposes wedding flowers and donates them to nursing homes and coordinates other impactful community initiatives that support the local food bank and Alzheimer's association. "It's not just me, though," says Godin, "There are a lot of people who help make it all happen".

When the world seems to be upside-down and inside-out, acts of kindness, like Project Peonies, are a good reminder that there is still a lot of good happening in the world.

Louis Godin
Sally Carpenter Photography