Flowers and plants: Soothing in times of crisis

With the COVID-19 crisis entering another day, and many people spending their time at home, perhaps in uncertainty, the ornamental industry is rallying to bring some sunshine into our lives, emphasizing the healing qualities of flowers and plants. Here's an overview of some of the initiatives undertaken by industry members.

The flower power advantage for isolation
American Grown offers some tips to make things a bit more bearable if you're stuck inside. If you find working from home is adding undue stress to your daily life, take heart from this study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology: fresh-cut roses in a Tokyo office environment produced measurable degrees of relaxation. “In our stressful, modern societies, the relaxing effect of natural stimuli is considered advantageous compared with other stimuli,” the researchers shared. 

And don’t overlook the power of scent. Lavender has long been known as a way to relieve anxiety and depression. (It’s also been used as antiseptic.) The small, white jasmine flowers enhance mental alertness. Lilac triggers serenity. 

UK: Royal Parks remain open
The Royal Parks will remain open for visitors who are encouraged to come and spend time in nature, relax or exercise, whilst still ensuring they follow government advice about social distancing.

The parks provide visitors with crucial access to vital green spaces and present a wealth of opportunities for visitors to help boost their physical and mental wellbeing in these uncertain times.

The Royal Parks charity is closely monitoring Government advice on COVID-19 and is following the advice of Public Health England.  In order to prevent the spread of the virus through social contact in a busy space, the charity is taking all appropriate measures to keep visitors safe and healthy during this time.

Flowers create calm
With schools and businesses closed, people working remotely, and in-person gatherings discouraged, floral industry members can help customers connect while generating critical business through a poignant, important message: Flowers help reduce stress, ease depression and enhance feelings of connection — even in this time of social-distancing.

That was one of the key messages shared this week during a Society of American Florists COVID-19 webinar focused on marketing and communications strategies.

Connecting through flowers
In times of uncertainty and fear, it's heartening to think of friends, family, strangers and neighbours, joining together for the benefit of the community. Although our social contact is now more virtual than physical, it doesn't stop us from thinking of and reaching out to others. When the door is closed, open your heart wide, embrace solidarity, and find strength and support through bringing joy to others, marketing platform Funny how flowers do that encourages. Send a card, applaud the caregivers who are working so hard, support a local business, organize a Skype supper party with friends, pick up groceries for your elderly neighbor, and send a meaningful bouquet of flowers.

Flower giveaway
Making the world a little brighter. That’s the goal of Market Blooms on Thursday, as they plan to give away an entire shipment of fresh flowers. On March 19th, from Noon – 5 pm, the store plans to fill the farmer’s market pavilion with buckets of fresh cut flowers, which people can take absolutely free.

It is the final shipment of fresh blooms for this North Market staple, before they close the store temporarily to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Market Blooms owner, Marty McGreevy tells ABC 6 her decision to give away this final shipment came after she saw millions of blooms being trashed by flower distributors in Europe.

Brighten your Facebook feed with tulips
Heidi Oberstadt was stressed out when she ran to Trig’s grocery store on Monday to get some milk for her 1-year-old son, Teddy.

Her mind was reeling at what was happening with the COVID-19 pandemic. She knows a lot of people who are in the high-risk category for the disease. She and her husband had just canceled a spring break trip. She is an adjunct professor for the Communications Department at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, and she was fretting about the details of offering her public speaking course online. And to top it off, she is social person, and isolating herself in order to prevent the spread of the virus was weighing on her.

The 34-year-old is also a photographer and a lover of tulips. She had a vase of the flowers at home. But when she walked by the floral department of Trig’s, she “felt called by a higher power to increase my current tulip ownership by 400%,” she wrote in a Facebook post later.

She spent about $30 on an armful of tulips, 30 or 40, and a photo project she’s calling “The Tulip Project” was born. She took the tulips home, and started taking photos of them. She intends to post a colorful photo of a tulip each day on Facebook.

Ecoligo starts guarantee fund to safeguard investors
Given the uncertainty and the challenging times we are facing, Ecoligo have decided to put additional safety measures in place. To secure interest and loan payments to the crowdinvestors who fund their projects, they will set up a guarantee fund. This fund will be initially funded with 50,000 € from Ecoligo, which will cover payments that are upcoming in the next months. The guarantee fund aims to ensure that payments to crowdinvestors will happen on time, regardless of the global economic situation and whether the company would face delayed lease payments by some clients or not.


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