Happiness and Flowers


"The earth laughs in flowers..." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


If Emerson was right, then the earth in my part of the world, the northeast United States, is guffawing right now.

Big belly laughs of coneflower, Shasta daisy, dahlias and more.

scaveola, mini petunias, lantana photo by Jan Johnsen

Chuckling up lantana, giggling petunias.....how could you not smile?

Flowers make us happybut why?

flowers make us happy!

Well, a fascinating study in the journal of  Evolutionary Psychology – ISSN 1474-7049 – Volume 3. 2005. - 121 reported on this phenomenon.

Psychological researchers from Rutgers University wrote,
 "An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers"

Pool Design and Flower garden by Jan Johnsen

Some of their findings include (I chose the following excerpts from their study): 

"our results indicate that the simple presentation of flowers, even a single flower, will release a strong and immediate behavior reflecting positive affect...

 blue angelonia with euphorbia 'diamond frost' , blue star juniper, pennisetum photo by Jan Johnsen

 Some participants responded with such unusual (for experimental studies) emotional displays that we were unprepared to measure them and have only field notes to indicate their presence.

Lucky White Lantana
We received attractive “Thank you” cards and letters from several participants who received flowers for allowing them to be in the study,

 some with photographs of the flowers, one with multiple photographs to show the continuing beauty of the bouquet.

In many years of studying emotions, we have never received hugs and kisses, thank you notes or photographs, not even for candy, doughnuts, decorated shirts or hats, gift certificates, or direct monetary payment; the flowers are different...

Yarrow 'Coronation Gold'

...humans are biologically primed to associate flowers with happiness...

...Our hypothesis is that cultivated flowers fit into an emotional niche - their sensory properties elicit human positive emotions. 

The flowering plants are thereby rewarding to humans and in return, the cultivated flowers receive propagation that only humans can provide. "

 Knockout double roses, Dutchman's pipe in distance - by Jan Johnsen 

Ah! We need the flowers for our emotional healthand they need us to propagate them. 

So smartthose little flowers.









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