When Maureen and Jim Nelis got married in January 2018, they had to decide what they’d do for a honeymoon.
For the couple from Derry, Ireland, the choice was a little different than for most. Both of them had been married and widowed, so they decided to forego a honeymoon completely and bringing the party somewhere closer to home, where it would have a lasting impact.
Instead of traveling, the couple encompassed their street in beautiful flowers. And then the neighbours got involved.
Maureen has lived on Harding Street for more than 30 years, and she’s had a long-standing tradition of decorating the Spanish steps that can be found there. When Jim moved in with her, they added his plants to the decoration, livening the street with colouring.
But they had more plants than space to decorate. So, the BBC reports, they started giving plants away to the people who were most special to them. Then, other neighbors asked if they could be given some plants too. And that’s when the Nelises stimulated their decision.
“Instead of going some place to look at something beautiful, and then come home and still not have any blooms here, we forgot about the honeymoon and set the money back into the neighborhood, ” Maureen told the BBC.
So: no more trip to Florence. The couple started planting instead.
Maureen and Jim gifted their entire neighborhood with fresh buds. And it’s changed everything .
Almost as soon as they’d made a decision to give everyone in their proximity window boxes, hanging blooms, and other adornments, neighbors started congregating to look at each other’s flowers and share tips-off on keeping them prospering with one another.
Anne McGrotty, nearby residents who lives down the street, told Upworthy that it’s really changed the way neighbours connect.
“The blooms[ have] brought the neighbors closer together, ” strong> she writes in an email. “They chat while out watering their blooms and have even got to know each other better. Some didn’t know each other before this. It has given a sense of pride to the street.”
Maureen said that she never expected that the flowers would make such a difference or receive such attention.
And though she would likely be reluctant to say this is the beginning of a motion — she just wanted to do something nice for her neighborhood! — how great would it be if more and more of us focused outward when it came to considering how to spend our leisure time?
Maureen and Jim Nelis — they know how to get things started right.
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