Flower Power - A Story about NYC and flowers by George Reis
George wrote a touching essay on the power of flowers that I would like to share with you. Here the vibrant and beneficial energy of flowers soothes even the toughest of NY city psyches.....
“Our urban spaces provide little excitement or visual variation and virtually no opportunity to build a kinesthetic repertoire of spatial experiences…Man can be viewed as having visual, kinesthetic, tactile, and thermal aspects of his self which may be either inhibited or encouraged to develop by his environment."
Edward T. Hall, 'The Hidden Dimension'
[click here for a video of a similar garden there ...]
I was unprepared for the reaction I got from passersbys. Gushing with gratitude is one way of describing it. I never attributed this to any special talent on my part, but rather to the lack of varied plantings visible from any sidewalk within 20 blocks.
But one particular reaction stunned me. An attorney told someone in the building that that summer’s litigation had been particularly stressful for him as he was defending the most hideous client of his career. What got him through it, he said, was taking a couple minutes each day to look at my hurriedly planted annual border. That’s when I began to understand the power of public horticulture.
In light of Hall’s insights about how we experience space, I understand now that this attorney got solace from this little garden because it was varied in texture, height, and color, and also because it was legible—it cohered in a way that held his attention and relieved him temporarily from the daily stress of his work.
Amen to that.
Coherence and the potent energy that flowers exude. We are hardwired to respond to these gems of Nature.
Thanks George! - Jan