Flowers Have Power

Peace, y’all

For some reason I was thinking about “flower power,” which those of us who were young a long dang time ago used to embroider on our jeans. If we had VW Beetles, we’d put happy flower stickers all over them, too. I was really into peace symbols, but I was always cheered up when I saw those happy little stylized flowers. I seem drawn to flowers when I’m feeling down or struggling with something going on in my life.

These guys always look like they are opening their mouths to sing.

Since I actually HAVE been struggling with some annoying personal crap, and since we are losing chickens again, I was very much drawn to all the flowers when Anita and I went shopping for some spring plants yesterday. I kept taking extreme closeups of them, probably because I know the sun on my deck would bake them to crisps and I would not get to enjoy them live. (What a Negative Nellie I am!)

I always had to say “perky and pink” when I said petunia.

I have to say that I felt a LOT better when we got home (it may also have been due to excessive smelling of lilacs and chocolate mint, too). So, well, do flowers actually affect mood; I mean, is there scientific evidence?

How do these cheer me up? They are my mother’s favorite colors.

Apparently the answer is yes. A team of “smart doctors” are cited in this recent article from the UK, appropriately subtitled “Does Flower Power Boost Your Mood?” Sure enough, they help with anxiety, even for hospital patients, so be sure to send your friends flowers.

Circus petunia

The article also pointed out that the colors of flowers make a difference:

Red can mean love, anger or danger. Yellow is usually associated with happiness and sunshine. Blue can signify calm or sadness.

Green is linked to safety, which could explain why having lots of leafy plants around creates such a comfortable environment.

On top of this, we each have our own personal relationships with colours that can bring to mind a happy or sad memory and influence our reactions.

6 mental health benefits of plants: Does Flower Power boost your mood

Flowers also help you concentrate: “Sparse, clean offices might look impressive to people passing through, but they don’t offer any visual stimulation for those that have to spend all day there, which could have an impact on productivity,” the article pointed out. Now you know why I try to keep a blooming orchid in my space, and I’m glad there are so many plants at work, even if they are all trendy succulents (they’re “having a moment”).

I love this color combo.

They also mentioned certain flowers (lavender) helping you sleep, plus the health benefits of gardening.

It’s funny to me that the vast majority of articles that showed up in the top group of Google searches for flowers and mood came from florists or flower vendors. No bias there, right? Nonetheless, I feel totally justified in my craving for flowers when I need a pick-me-up.

The purple centers on the pink hydrangea caught my eye.

Want to know some helpful plants?

One last article I read, from House Beautiful, pointed out eleven flowers and plants that can help lift your mood. As a public service, here’s a link to the whole article, and a list of the plants:

Basil, English ivy, geraniums (the scent boosts mood), lavender, Boston fern, roses, peace lily, orchids, rosemary, lily of the valley, and sweet pea.

If you don’t look close, you won’t see the delicate colors, or be able to smell the spicy scent.

Hooray, most of these are easily found in Texas. It’s interesting that some plants are on the list for their scent, some for their appearance, and some for the way they clean indoor air. They’re busy!

We’re smiling at you!

So, my message to you is: go look at a flower, and maybe even bring one in to smile at you today!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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