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Most people like flowers to some degree. Maybe they don’t buy themselves a nice bouquet every week, but it’s hard to find someone who just doesn’t like flowers at all. Even most men will begrudgingly admit that flowers are “ok.”

Have you ever wondered why this is the case? Could the answer lie in our evolutionary history? If you have wondered something similar then you’re not alone, because scientists have recently started looking at that very question and some of their results are very interesting.

For some time now, the scientific community have acknowledged that there are psychological benefits to exposing yourself to flowers on a regular basis. Some of these scientists are even going as far as to recommend that people who are stressed in their daily lives can alleviate some of their stress with “flower therapy.” It sounds crazy but there is actually some good evidence to back this up and with mental health at the forefront of everyone’s minds at the minute, we thought it would be a good idea to let you know how a red rose or a super sunflower can help you.

A New York Study on Flowers

One study in New York wanted to measure the effect on receiving flowers over certain other gifts like a pen or fruit basket. They thought that there is something special about flowers that other gifts, even those with a higher practical value, cannot match. They took 147 women and interviewed them before any gifts were given in order to gauge their baseline state. Researchers then noted the looks on the faces of the gift recipients when they received their gifts. Finally, a follow up was done 2-4 days after the giving of the gifts to see if there was any long-term change in mood.

When presenting the gifts, the main thing the scientists wanted to measure was the number of genuine smiles. These are the “full face” smiles that indicate that someone really is feeling happy. 90% of participants receiving fruit and 77% of those receiving a candle gave true smiles, while 100% of those receiving flowers were genuinely happy to receive that gift. Several days later during the follow up calls, it was revealed that all participants had lower negative emotions, but only those who received flowers had an increase in positive emotions. So it seems that flowers do make a difference to your mental health, but the question is why?

The answer may lie in our evolutionary history. It wasn’t that long ago that all of our ancestors lived and evolved amongst nature. It’s only been since the industrial revolution that most people began to live in cities. They lived in forests, jungles, the Savannah; all areas where you are surrounded by plants and flowers all day every day.

Another difference between our lives and the lives of our ancestors is the amount and type of stress we face. Our ancestors had higher peaks of stress; coming face to face with a dangerous animal is about as stressful as things get. However, most of the time they had lower levels of stress than we do. Our problem with stress is that it’s chronic.

 

Japanese Research

Researchers in Japan found that one way to reduce our levels of chronic stress is through exposure to plants and flowers. They showed that it wasn’t just receiving flowers that could help us with our daily lives, but just being exposed to them can help as well.

The research team took 30 office workers and exposed them to flowers for a few minutes. At the end of this period, it was found that they had, on average, a lower level of stress compared to the earlier state. They had lower levels of anxiety and there were even differences noted in their parasympathetic nervous system. So it seems that it’s not just your psychology that can be improved with flowers, but also your physiology.

Exposure to Flowers and Plants

A lot of health problems in today’s society are caused by excessive stress. Heart disease is a good example of this. If exposure to plants and flowers can help reduce stress in the wider population, then it makes sense to try and use it to prevent the diseases from happening in the first place.

Physicians are beginning to suggest to their patients that as well as traditional treatments, they should also consider therapies such as bathing in forests and spending time in city parks. Scientists believe that a small amount each day is beneficial, so you don’t need to sell your house in the city and live in a cabin in the woods to see some benefits. And if this isn’t possible either, at least you know that sending some flowers to a loved one will put a smile on their dial and leave them in a better mood for a few days.

Only time will tell what scientists will discover next!

Discover your Garden with Peace of Mind

What scientists have discovered is that surrounding yourself with flowers and plants out in the garden is not only a good hobby, but it is also good for your mental well-being. Our personal alarm system will still work outside in the garden, with a range of up to 100m, so if you have a fall whilst gardening you can call for help.

For further information about the personal alarm service, please contact our friendly advisers on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, you can complete our contact us form and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.

If you’re looking for a sign that warmer weather is on the way, then be on the lookout for Spring flowers. It’s that time of year again and if you’ve got a green thumb (or would like one), then over the next few weeks you might want to get out in the garden and get your Spring flowers growing.

Not all flowers are ideally planted at this time, however, so we’ve asked the professionals from Flowers Across Sydney to select a few favourites for your consideration.

1. Pansy

Pansies are one flower that prefer the slightly cold weather. It’s an easy flower to grow in the garden or in a container on your window, so even if you’re not an experienced gardener, the pansy could be for you. It also has a wide range of colours, so you’re not restricted by colour range at all. To get the most from your pansies, keep them in the sun with only a little shade.

2. Lilac

Another great choice for your Spring planting is the lilac. Lilacs not only look great, but they have a pleasant fragrance as well. Unlike some of the other recommendations here, lilacs come in shrub or tree form, so you won’t be able to plant them in a small container, so you’ll need to find some space in your garden first.

To get the most out of your lilacs, plant them somewhere with plenty of sun and don’t be too keen to prune them since the flowers actually bloom on old wood.

3. Iris

Whatever your colour preference, there’s a good chance that there’s an iris for you. They can take a little while to bloom, so you might not see the benefits of your labour until towards the end of spring, but they are a welcome addition to most gardens, regardless of style. Again, you’ll want to plant these somewhere that gets plenty of sun and keep the soil well drained.

 

4. Daffodil

When people think of Spring flowers, daffodils are usually what come to mind. They’re bright, fun and are just the trick for taking you out of a cold Winter and warming you up for a nice Spring. They also come in a wide variety of sizes, so you can find a spot for them no matter what size your garden is. As with the other flowers, make sure they get plenty of sun and are kept well-watered.

5. Tulips

Another great choice for your Spring garden is the tulip. They add brightness and colour, and can really stand out. They are also quite versatile and can be used in lots of different styles of gardens; from more formal to more modern and casual settings. They come in plenty of different shades and sizes too, so no matter what size your garden is you’ll find somewhere for some tulips, which is why we’ve rounded out the five top flowers for Spring with them.

So there you have it; a quick selection of five flowers to potentially start your new Spring garden off with. Of course, there are more options out there but if you’re unsure of where to start then you can’t go wrong with the list above. Just pick one or two to get started and you’ll be rewarded with new flowers sooner than you think.

Personal Alarm Information

Remember, our personal alarms will still work outside in the garden (up to 100 metres). This means that if you have a fall whilst your planting your new flowers, you can press your pendant and help will be sent your way. For more information about our service, please get in touch with our friendly team on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, complete our contact us form and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Remember to use the discount code BLOG2018 when you order one a personal alarm on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £5 off.

Picking out a Christmas gift for older people can be tough. At this stage of life, material possessions tend to mean less than they used to, so buying something flash and expensive often won’t have the same impact it would on a younger person. As we get older, the sentiment behind the gift is often the important part. This is something that many people seem to miss these days.

It’s for this reason that flowers can make a great gift. It’s hard to find someone who actively dislikes flowers (even amongst men), so you can be confident that your gift will go over well. Some people are cynical and refuse to buy flowers on the basis that they die quickly and therefore are a pointless present. These people miss the real reason behind giving flowers; sentiment.

Flowers carry an intangible message when they’re sent as a gift; they tell the receiver that someone cares about them. Recent research also suggests that it might be more than just mere sentiment; it appears that flowers can even benefit your mental health, so if you’re wracking your brain trying to think up an appropriate gift for the elderly, why not consider flowers?

We’ve listed a handful of the most recommended flowers to send this Christmas.

Roses

Roses are often synonymous with romantic love, so perhaps this isn’t the best choice of flower to send your grandmother, but if you have someone in your life who isn’t exactly a spring chicken, then you can’t really go wrong with roses.

They are the gold standard and are typically thought of as quite expensive, so many people love to receive them over other types of flowers, particularly if they’re of the more traditional type.

Speaking of tradition, giving roses in the past meant red roses, but these days there are a wide variety of roses to send people. You can choose from a bouquet of multi-coloured roses or even rainbow roses!

View the variety of roses available today.*

Gerberas

The gerbera is another popular option for gift giving. While less traditional than roses (and without the romantic overtones), they can be a great gift, especially for someone who needs their spirits raised a little.

With their bright, warm colours, gerberas have the ability to make just about anyone feel a little better. When you want to convey a message of happiness, it’s hard to go past a gerbera. Gerberas come in a variety of colours and sizes, so you can typically choose from a wide range.*

Irises

Irises are another popular choice when choosing to give flowers. They’re even less traditional than gerberas since their shape is slightly funky and unique, so if you have an older person who is a little different than the norm then this might be the perfect flower to gift them for Christmas.

They come in a wide range of colours and sizes, so there’s a good chance that what you send will be unique. Whether you’re after something pink and blue, or something a little mellower, irises can make a great choice.

There are lots of combinations to choose from if you do elect to give irises; you can click here to view some of the types available.*

Lilies

Lilies are another hugely popular choice and while less traditional, they will still make a great gift idea for older people. However, before you select a lily, make sure that the person you’re giving them to doesn’t have an allergy.

Because of the high pollen content of lilies, some people are allergic and unless you’re a real sadist, you don’t want to make the mistake of giving an allergy sufferer something that triggers their allergy. Lilies aren’t ideal for cat owners either since they can be poisonous to our feline friends.

That said, if you are confident that your friend is neither an allergy sufferer or a cat lover, then there are a wide variety of lily bouquets to choose from.*

Orchids

Another flower you can’t go wrong with is the orchid. They’re popular all over the world for their long life and as an added bonus, they’re readily available for Christmas in the UK. They’re often given as sympathy flowers when given in muted colours, but if you want your recipient to feel a little more upbeat, then you can choose to give them in warmer colours.

Because of the different variety of orchids, you can give them to a variety of people. Whoever you want to give them to, you should be able to find a bouquet that matches them well. Click here to view some of the varieties available.*

Remember to use the discount code BLOG2017 when you order one of our personal alarm systems on a Monthly or Annual Plan to receive £10 off.

*Please note that links provided to Flowers Across Sydney are to show you the types of flowers available. UK readers will need to visit a British florist. 

Want to order your alarm or have a question? Get in touch!