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Thanksgiving Flowers - Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCIThanksgiving is a time when families gather, feasts are prepared, and we say our final goodbye to the growing season before winter covers the ground in a blanket of white.

There is something comforting about this autumn holiday as it provides time to pause and reflect on our surroundings and brings family and friends to the gathering table.

As you prepare for Thanksgiving, you’ll want to make sure flowers are part of your celebration. This time of year offers a variety of textural blossoms in rich tones of golden yellow, velvety burgundy and deep oranges.

Thanksgiving Flowers - Photo Courtesy Suzie Kostick, AIFD, CF, PFCISunflowers, roses, chrysanthemums, lilies and alstroemeria are widely available this time of year and range in almost every color of an autumn sunset.

Combining these harvest favorites in vintage or rustic containers with accents of bittersweet or rose hips make for interesting centerpieces perfectly fit for a traditional Thanksgiving table.

But what if your style and tastes take you in a different direction?  Read More

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Stress is a huge societal concern. Stressors are inescapable – finances, family and health concerns, and lengthy to-do lists create sources of strain on our lives. According to a recent poll, 68 percent of people feel stress on a weekly basis, and 32 percent are stressed every day. Women in particular are affected, as 1 in 4 report experiencing stress multiple times a day.

Researchers across a wide range of disciplines are exploring practical solutions to our growing stress problem. Health by Design is a new area in public health focused on creating calming and restorative environments in order to promote well-being. The field is closely followed by researchers, architects, designers, healthcare workers, and others who work to promote health through quality environments that soothe and rejuvenate.

The underlying theory of this growing body of research is that environmental design impacts health, and contact with nature reduces feelings of stress.

An illustration of Health by Design in action is my new study at the University of North Florida’s Brooks College of Health, which shows that something as simple as living with flowers can significantly alleviate daily stress. The 2018 study, entitled, The Impact of Flowers on Perceived Stress Among Women, concludes that adding flowers to indoor environments results in a statistically significant and meaningful reduction in stress. Our findings are important from a public health perspective because adding flowers to reduce stress does not require tremendous effort to generate a meaningful effect.

These new findings about flowers are consistent with behavioral research conducted at Rutgers University that shows that a gift of flowers creates instant delight and heightens feelings of life satisfaction and enjoyment.

We all feel stress and finding simple, effective ways to reduce our stress is important for every one of us to consider. Our new research offers a solution: Having contact with nature, such as flowers, provides a much-needed moment of calm to help us slow down and recharge.

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Veterans Day is a time to honor all those who have served, whether in wartime or in peacetime, as well as those members of the military that are currently in service. This day is to acknowledge their contributions, dedication, and sacrifices they have made for our great country. Here are some ideas of how you can show your appreciation to our veterans:

To remember a veteran that has passed, you could place a floral arrangement next to their grave. Grave cones are containers that are designed to stick into the ground. Check the cemetery’s ground rules regarding floral decorations.

Veterans Day Flowers - Photo courtesy Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, with Jessie Thompson and Stacey Kreitzer of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota.yourenchantedflorist.net Read More

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Random acts of kindness are a wonderful gesture, for both the receiver and the giver. Showing care and compassion for someone, or feeling cared for by someone can turn our day around, and even change our perspective. Can you imagine being able to experience both in one day? That’s just what more than 100,000 people across the country got to do today.

Through an effort called Petal It Forward, florists in more than 400 cities blanketed the streets of their local communities spreading joy to unsuspecting passersby by giving two bouquets to each person – one to keep, and one to give to a friend, family member, colleague, or even a stranger. This nationwide random act of kindness, organized by the Society of American Florists, was designed to help people start their day with more smiles and less stress, illustrating new research from the University of North Florida (UNF) that shows living with flowers reduces stress.

Petal It Forward is the floral industry’s way of giving back. The need for mood-boosting gestures is especially timely, considering these recent stats on stress: 68 percent of Americans experience stress weekly, and 32 percent report feeling stressed daily. Women are even more affected, with 25 percent reporting feeling stress multiple times a day. Through the positive effects of flowers, we wanted to make someone’s day brighter, and provide a much-needed moment of calm amidst the hectic pace of life.

While the findings on stress are new, Petal It Forward has been happening once a year since 2015, thanks to the generosity of flower growers, wholesalers and florists. The original idea behind the ‘keep one, share one’ concept came after looking at statistics that showed while 80 percent of people reported receiving flowers makes them happy, even more (88 percent) said that giving flowers makes them happy. We wanted to give people the chance to experience both.

Giving flowers is a gesture of connection. One that can bring people – even strangers – closer together. That’s exactly what we saw today, through the smiles, hugs, tears, and expressions of affirmation. And isn’t that what random acts of kindness are all about?”

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Halloween Flowers — Photo Courtesy Lisa Greene, AAF, AIFD, PFCIWith little ghosts and goblins trick-or-treating and adults enjoying special witch’s brew, flowers are a must for Halloween décor and gifts.

Festive fall floral arrangements designed in pumpkins are the spooktacular traditional option for celebrating Halloween. The addition of fun-size candy makes this floral arrangement a perfect conversation starter for party guests of all ages.

Be sure to display pumpkin floral arrangements on plate or platters to protect furniture surfaces and avoid placing them near heat sources or drafty areas.  Read More