life tales

flower power

15 February, 2016

Fresh flowers are definitely one of those little indulgences that I adore. 

Last week, my Aunty went to the local flower market and picked up the most divine bunch of lilies (which are definitely one of my favourite flowers). Over the course of the week the flowers have opened in a spectacular, aromatic display of beauty. I don’t know why, but something about having fresh flowers around just makes everything seem brighter and life a little bit more beautiful. 

fresh flowers

 I also absolutely love giving flowers to someone as an random or purposeful act of kindness. Even if it is just a single flower picked from the garden. Any excuse will do. 

fresh flowers

In a fascinating 3 part study conducted in the US, it was found that flowers have immediate and long term impacts on inducing position emotional reactions, moods, social behaviours and even improved memory in both females and in males (Havilland-Jones et al., 2005). 

In the first part of the study, women who were presented with flowers consistently showed a true smile and reported more positive moods after 3 days. In the second, a flower given to a woman or a man in an elevator elicited more positive social behaviour than other stimuli (in this case, a pen).  In the final part, flowers were presented to participants aged over 55 years, who then reported more positive moods and had improved episodic memory. 

You can read more about the study here

fresh flowers

It is incredible to think that such a simple thing can have such powerful impacts on improving mood, memory, social interactions and emotions. It makes you realise how often we underestimate the huge effects of those little ways to spread love. 

xx Liz 

Fresh flowers

p.s. can you tell that I am completely into study mode at the moment? Published journal articles come at me. 


Haviland-Jones, J., Rosario, H. H., Wilson, P., & McGuire, T. R. (2005). An environmental approach to positive emotion: Flowers. Evolutionary Psychology, 3(1), 147470490500300109.


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  • Reply Judy 15 February, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    May we have flowers often in our homes.

  • Reply Lisa 15 February, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    What a gorgeous bunch of flowers, Liz 🙂 The Havilland-Jones study sounds really interesting. I love the way science can actually put into words and facts the emotions we feel every day, it’s really fascinating. I also love fresh flowers, but unfortunately Daniel is allergic to pretty much all types of flowers (as well as dust, animal hair etc.), so we don’t ever buy them. It’s a tiny compromise in the scheme of things, but the other day I found a great way to get around it anyway – I bought a little glass jar with artificial peonies, and I’m loving them! Of course they don’t look quite like the real thing, but if you choose ones in natural shades that are stylishly presented, they look pretty similar, and they really brighten up the room. They’re in the bedroom at the moment, but I’m thinking I’ll need to get some more for the living room and kitchen soon, too! 😀

    • Reply Travelling Table Tales 16 February, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Oh dear. It would be so difficult to be allergic to all of those things! They are not exactly easy to avoid everyday. As long as he buys you amazing chocolate instead.
      What a good idea. Some of the artificial ones are actually really beautiful. I have a friend who uses ‘real touch’ artificial flowers to do wedding flowers. She can then send them all over the world. The cost is about the same as normal arrangements and they look truly incredible. I was so surprised when she first showed me, but it’s a really practical idea!

  • Reply Claire 20 February, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    It’s so true how the little things can make such huge differences in someone’s life! One thing my college does that I absolutely love is bring in a florist on Fridays to the main cafe. They sell inexpensive single-wrapped flowers to buy and stuff in mailboxes, and I know it absolutely makes my day SO much better to find a flower in my mailbox on Friday afternoon!

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