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Virginia Dohm Coulter, owner of Old Mission Flowers, will be donating all May Day proceeds to the Old Mission Women’s Club. That means when you buy flowers at Old Mission Flowers on May 1, you’ll be helping the Old Mission Women’s Club and their many charitable programs.

May Day celebrations date back to the Roman Republic era, according to Wikipedia, with the Floralia (festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers). May Day was a traditional summer holiday in many European pagan cultures, but evolved into a popular secular celebration in Europe and America, best known for traditions of dancing around the maypole and crowning the Queen of May.

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old mission flowers, virginia coulter
Virginia Coulter, Owner of Old Mission Flowers | Jane Boursaw Photo

With Ginny’s generous offer, this seems like a great time to bring back “May Baskets” on the Old Mission Peninsula. These are small baskets filled with flowers and treats, and left at someone’s doorstep. The giver rings the doorbell and runs away, leaving the basket to be discovered by some delighted OMP resident.

Organized in 1931, the Old Mission Women’s Club is a non-profit group designed exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. I’m a member, as is my mom, Mary Johnson, who served as president from 1975 to 1977.

The group organizes a variety of charitable projects to help those in need, including Christmas stockings, Thanksgiving baskets, Kids In Our Backyard, Satin Pillowcases and more. Old Mission Women’s Club also makes monetary donations to local groups whose mission is to help others.

Old Mission Flowers is located at 16550 on the Old Mission Peninsula, 14.4 miles north of Traverse City at the corner of Ladd Road and Center Road (the entrance is on Ladd Road). Read more about my long friendship with Ginny and the Dohm family here.

The self-serve garden is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Ginny says the best time to cut flowers is in the cool of the morning or evening, but you’re welcome to visit whenever is convenient. Containers, water, flower preservative and scissors are available. There are also notepads and pencils for you to keep track of what you pick.

The flowers are sold by the stem and range from 10/$1 (such as lavender) to $3/stem (multi-blooming lilies and roses). Bulk pricing is available upon request. Purchases are made with cash or by check on an honor system.

Ginny suggests bringing:

  • Sensible shoes, a hat, and a jacket
  • Water bottle – the garden water is not for drinking
  • Camera
  • Containers or vases to transport your flowers without spilling

She notes that children are especially welcome and may cut flowers with adult supervision. Dogs are not allowed in the garden, and there is no restroom available to the public.

Email Ginny at [email protected], call (231) 499-5474, and check out her website and Facebook page.

A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers and magazines like the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So I started my own newspaper.

Because Old Mission Gazette is a "Reader Supported Newspaper" -- meaning it exists because of your financial support -- I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks our way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the OMP. In a time when local news is becoming a thing of the past, supporting an independent community newspaper is more important now than ever.

To keep the Gazette going, click here to make a donation. Thank you so much for your support. -jb

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