University of Minnesota
College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
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Department of Horticultural Science

Hort 1301 - Floral Design: Hurricane Sandy Floral Grave Blanket

Floral Grave Blankets are historic uses of flowers/foliage designs in cemeteries. Originally brought to the U.S. by Scandinavians settling in the Midwest, these are placed on top of people’s graves as outdoor memorials. In Floral Design class, we have been reviving this long-forgotten floral tribute—with previous blankets honoring the victims of the 35W bridge collapse, the death of Michael Jackson, etc. This year, we honor the victims of Hurricane Sandy.

The Hurricane Sandy Floral Grave Blanket consists of three panels. Each panel was made by a team of undergraduate students who chose the theme.

The left-hand panel represents the boardwalk and carnival on the New Jersey shore. Portions of the destroyed roller coaster, and Ferris wheel are above the waves, while house rooftops also show, along with some burning houses. The central panel is the Doppler radar map of the area after Hurricane Sandy hit. The blue waters of the Atlantic give way to a cluttered shoreline with estuaries clogged with debris. The right-hand panel shows the hand and flame of Lady Liberty surrounded by swirling waters, representing the chaotic destruction surrounding Staten Island, Brooklyn, Long Island and elsewhere in Manhattan. May her flame brighten the cleanup efforts!

Floral designers this year consisted of Emily Beeman, Melinda Binner, Sarah Gesare, Maisee Her, Sarah Hoerth, Amanda Jacobson, Amanda Ling, Morgan MacDonald, Morgan Mangelsen, hanna Mosley, Emily Oster, Sarita Patel, Angela Schuster, Samantha Stephes, Mary Tierney, and Rebecca Zastrow. The class instructor is Dr. Neil Anderson and Ms. Natalie Walker is the Teaching Assistant.