Thursday, August 19, 2021

Two Grand Openings

The Grand Opening of Ugly Plant

I have a very unusual plant, affectionately called “Ugly Plant” but in truth, a Night Blooming Cereus.

This plant has limited qualities, shall we say, as plants go. It’s loaded with prickers, gets spindly and takes over window space.  

And a little more background here.

This clipping originally came from my parents. Once a year, for one night only in the middle of summer, Ugly Plant would put on a spectacular show! On this occasion, my parents would invite family and friends to join in and watch the Grand Opening. 

So when I moved to Elderberry, I decided to continue this tradition!

Towards the end of June, my plant started to produce fuzzy nobs. Over the course of ten days, these nobs began to lengthen and develop.

Finally, one evening around 7:30 pm, the ends begin to “ripen”. 

Tonight will be the Grand Opening!

I sent out an email to the community inviting everyone to come by and watch. The late-night dog-walkers arrived with flashlights (though some people forgot and only saw the sad remains the next morning). 

My photographer friend Scottee has shot this plant for three years and has won awards with her images. On the other hand, I simply use my dependable Ipad!

At 8 pm, the interior of the blossoms start to show.

By 9 pm, the blossoms are fully open.

The Grand Opening!

The blossoms stay open throughout the night. However, by morning, they have closed and wilted. Party definitely over!

Maybe you might join us next year for our bloom-viewing event?

The Grand Opening! Introducing Sambuco,
a Fine Dining Experience in the Elderberry Hive


Last year our Culture Team, comprised of Mary, Vonda, Linda and Joyce, organized a community retreat and check-in to gauge how well members of our community were relating with each other. 

One of the comments received was that people wanted more opportunity to socialize around smaller and more intimate dinners. 

Also during this check-in, we presented an exercise called a spectrum, where everyone stands along an imaginary line to indicate how they might answer a particular question. We discovered most of us like to be invited to events, but are less inclined to initiate social interactions. Yes, we have a fair number of introverts!

With this feedback the Culture Team created Sambuco, Elderberry’s own version of an elegant, sit-down restaurant with limited seating, and reservation only. 

The catch? Members need to invite each other!

The Culture Team transformed the meeting area within our Common House into an elegant dining room with white table clothes, fresh flowers, soft jazz and beautifully printed menus.

Four volunteers who are fabulous cooks prepared and served a four-course dinner for three tables, with all the finishing touches you’d expect from elegant dining.

Lemon Cloud was the finishing touch for dessert, garnished with raspberries, and powdered sugar. And the final detail? Sambuco-inscribed doggie bags for the delicious leftovers!

Opening night was a huge success, with many requests for another evening at “our restaurant". Sambuco is scheduled again for October.

The Dream Team, our gourmet chefs and servers.

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