RUMFORD — The Briar Patch Greenhouse opened for the season Tuesday, just in time for Mother’s Day on Sunday.

“Our busiest time of the year is easily when we first open,” employee Terri Irish said. “There’s Mother’s Day on May 8, and Memorial Day at the end of the month. It’s a busy time of year for us.”

The greenhouse at 85 Lincoln Ave. serves as a vocational program for Hope Association, with several clients volunteering there, Irish said.

“We started out in the second week of March by planting seeds and filling pots,” she said. “It’s really awesome to see the clients volunteering and getting the chance to do some gardening.”

One of them, she said, has cerebral palsy and is confined to his wheelchair, but he’s able to fill pots with soil.

“It’s really something to see him pitching in and getting the soil in the pots,” Irish said. “It’s really therapeutic. You can see that it really helps.”


Greenhouse manager Patty Flaherty said she has been working in the greenhouse for 13 years, but the operation began “long before that.”

All proceeds benefit clients of Hope Association, which provides a wide range of services for people with developmental disabilities.

The greenhouse is open daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and can be reached at 364-2388.

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