I want you to feel great this weekend, so get out and plants some flowers, go cut some flowers from your garden or get a beautiful arrangement from a floral shop. I want all of you do to this for your well-being, and I have proof that it works. You see, with the exception of my cranky, old neighbor Steve (whom by the way, is a avid gardener) studies have shown that people feel more compassionate towards others, have less worry and anxiety in their life and feel less depressed when flowers are present in their home or if they work with them in their landscapes. This is all according to a behavioral study conducted at Harvard University.
Granted the study was funded by the Society of American Florists, but I still believe in its ultimate validity. They financed the leading scientist, a lady named Nancy Etcoff at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard Medical School, to explore the effects of flowers on people.
What they found, in the psychological vein, was that people who live with flowers report fewer episodes of anxiety and depressed feelings. The study's lead scientist says her results suggest that flowers have a positive impact on "well-being."
I'm not a psychologist myself, but I have always felt that same sense of well-being every time I plant new flowers, take cut flowers from my garden or even groom my existing flowers in my landscape. Take it a step further and think about your favorite independent nursery/garden center (usually family owned & operated types), where the staff is usually very eager to help and always with smiles. Don't they always seem like they are in the best of moods? I can point to The Arbor Gate as a great example that encompasses that entire theory. Can you think of another?
I also have a great friend named Sia, who owns The Plant House on Westheimer, and I promise you've never met a more upbeat and positive person in your entire life. Just think about how Sia has to deal with nasty, stressed-out brides (and their more cantankerous mothers) on wedding days for a living. So I think that his working around beautiful, cut flowers his whole life is what puts him in that great mood.
I'm sure you can think of still other examples as I can where (when surrounded by flowers) people are always in a great mood. I submit the annual Rose Bowl Parade as a fine example. Another case in point is the Chelsea Flower Show in jolly, old England every May - a Horticultural event like no other, which I have been fortunate of to have paid a visit to just eight short years ago. (I need to go back!)
The Harvard-based study further concluded that study participants reported feeling more compassion towards others, less negativity and experienced and energy boost. Besides the obvious candidates of employees at garden centers and floral shops, the study also reported that participants were most likely to place flowers in kitchens, dining rooms and living rooms, or were persons who spent an exceptional amount of time around flowers.
Bottom line: It never took this Aggie long to understand what it took several hundred thousands of dollars and a bunch of Harvard blue-bloods to study something I think we all subconsciously knew, "It's good fer ya to be 'round 'dem flowers."
P.S. I was just kidding about Neighbor Steve… at least the "cranky" part… I can't help him being old!
Until next issue, here's to Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard exclusively, 6-10 a.m. Saturdays and 7-10 a.m. Sundays, only on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
GardenLine Listeners and E-mail Tip Subscribers can purchase a copy of my new book at discounted price! Check it out! "Gulf Coast Gardening with Randy Lemmon"
Our Printer-Friendly Version
Click Here for a complete
KTRH program schedule
E-mail The Editor. Please feel free to forward this issue to friends and associates. Anyone can subscribe for free.