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How Flower Power can help heal and nourish our emotions

Flowers come in many shapes, colours, sizes and their aromas can have a long-lasting effect on us for years to come, as well as helping support our health and wellbeing. Often, people are not aware of the impact they can have to boost our mental health.

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How Flower Power can help heal - Fiona tending to flowers in flower garden
How Flower Power can help heal - Flower garden seeds and pots

Last year, after years of admiring the Chelsea and Hampton Court Flower Shows and to nurture our own love of flowers, we decided to grow our own cut flower garden.

It was an aspiration of ours, to be able to grow the flowers from seeds and experience their glorious beauty, knowing that we had cultivated them and in addition, we wanted to share them with our clients as part of their own healing journey.

Flowers come in many shapes, colours, sizes and their aromas can have a long-lasting effect on us for years to come, as well as helping support our health and wellbeing. Often, people are not aware of the impact they can have to boost our mental health.

Throw in being out in nature whilst you are cultivating and nurturing your patch, then you have a wonderful magical mix of health and wellbeing benefits.

There’s something about flowers, they give us such joy and promote the feel-good factor in us.

What are the healing and healthy impacts?

Flowers can boost our mood, brighten our environment, uplift our spirits, and give us a boost to help reduce our stress, anxieties and worries. You will find yourself blooming too, as their positive energy, boosts yours, making you feel better than before.

Offered as gifts or perhaps an act of kindness and connection, they make the sender happy as well as letting those who receive them know that they are loved or thought about and have been found to evoke what is known as ‘a true smile’, evoking emotions of excitement and happiness.

This ‘happiness’ has also been proven stay a few days after someone has received flowers, the kindness and appreciative affects are lasting! They have a positive impact and enable us to communicate emotions when it may be hard to say the right words.

The have been shown in studies to boost creativity, at home, at work and in schools. Loneliness can be reduced by flowers being the mode of re-connection with others, helping friendships and relationships and creating a warm, friendly and welcoming atmosphere, wherever they end up.

Positive emotion is healing, many NHS Trusts now have their own gardens to aid the healing process, studies have shown that real flowers hastened the recovery time for patients and sick individuals at home and in hospital.

They can help lessen depression, reduce stress, increase happy thoughts, encourage health & wellbeing, enlarge circles of friends, and help you feel better about yourself and others.

A Morning Boost for those of you who describe yourselves as ‘non-morning’ people

A Harvard study confirms that flowers may be the perfect pick me up for people who do not consider themselves “morning people”. The study participants reported being happier and more energetic after looking at flower’s first thing in the morning.

“The morning blah, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example – manifesting much later in the day,” says lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. “Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.”

So, grab yourself some flowers and put them in the places you spend most time in the morning!

How we got started

The creation of our two raised beds was the first design step to achieving our final cut flower patch. However, before we could plant anything out in the Spring, we had a lot of seed sowing, growing and nurturing to do in the meantime.

We started in February, gathering up our seeds and sorting them into groups, so that we could plant them in phases.

We learnt about the different requirements of the seeds, some had to be put in the freezer first for a couple of weeks, some need to be soaked in water before planting, some like to be planted ‘on the surface’ whilst others needed to be further into the soil and some needed to be put in darkness for a while in order to germinate, so it turns out they all have their likes and dislikes just like us.

We found a lovely lady who has set up The Cut Flower Patch’, a monthly subscription service that is all about sowing and growing together. For every set of monthly seeds, they sell they donate £1 to Make 2nds Count, a charity that supports people living with secondary, advanced breast cancer. So, it has multiple benefits, which is especially important to us in the work we do. Community is one of the keys to success, we can all learn together.

There is no failure, only feedback

We learnt so much about the growing process, from seed to vase and how our clients responded to being given or choosing the flowers. We have now documented our learning so that we can adapt our growing and planting for the next growing season.

Everyone loved seeing the flowers each day, they were an absolute joy to behold. It’s a truly mindful experience, and our own health and wellbeing really blossomed too throughout the process.

One of our mistakes was inadvertently ‘forgetting’ to close the greenhouse cover one evening, it was a night of severe frost and unfortunately, we lost 90% of our plants and we learnt our lesson.

We started again, mindfully sowing the seeds and gradually potting them on & moving them around as they grew. We found it very enriching and noticed how very calm and stress free we felt, it engaged our very soul and we have grown as a result throughout the process.

Our placement of the seedlings in terms of their final height was a bit haphazard, we went with it and to be honest, it didn’t really matter as the flowers were a real delight.

Letting nature take its course is freeing in many ways. Our clients admired them for 3 seasons, spring, summer and autumn & they evoked such joy and surprise whenever clients were asked to choose one to take away with them that resonated with them either before or after their sessions. They ‘anchored in’ the feel-good factor.

Sharing is caring

The act of sharing flowers and seeds has brought joy to us and those receiving them, it is showing care for others, our environment, as well as ourselves and that is the essence of Kora.

We hope to be able to share much more flower power in the coming year. Growing them has undoubtedly brought more wildlife to us, with bees, butterflies and birds going about their daily business around the patch.

It is quite mesmerising to watch all the activity that naturally occurs as a result of the flowers presence, as well as their colours, combinations, scents & fluidity of movement.

It really does give you the sense of us being part of something so much bigger than ourselves, the interconnectedness and integration of life really helps to build a community.

How Flower Power can help heal - Flower garden
Top tips for promoting flower power
  • Leave some flowers and a kind message out and about for someone to find- you will make someone’s day
  • Place some small vases of flowers in places around your home or work environment where you spend most time to boost the feel-good factor
  • Start to cultivate your own seeds and simply see what happens when your focus and attention are on nurturing something within nature
  • Notice how the flowers are supporting the wider eco-system, what comes to visit as a result of them being there
  • Dry, press or make up posies for others to enjoy – there are so many things you can do to benefit from the flowers beauty months after they have disappeared outside

 

Go on, give it a go, we look forward to hearing and seeing your own flower journeys over the coming year.

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