Summer Flowers Can Be Therapeutic

The floral industry’s national trade association, The Society of American Florists (SAF), recently completed research that showed emotional benefits of colors and how flowers can enhance or adjust feelings. Those of us who have experienced flowers in our lives are not surprised by this. We have seen the joy that flowers elicit when given as gifts and the warm feeling when in a room decorated with fresh flowers and plants. Summertime is a great time to experiment on your own. Flowers are plentiful, so whether you purchase a bouquet or pick them from your garden, add them to your life. The university research showed five basic emotions and the colors that are tied to them. I’ll report them here and give you some suggestions as to what you can use to convey those feelings. The quotes are all from SAF.


“A true sense of caring is created by a combination of colors that are fragile, soft and tender. Arrangements in pastel shades and the softest yellows, peaches, warm pinks, creamy whites and subtle greens make us feel safe, snug and loved.”

Delicate smaller flowers will help to create this feeling;roses, lilies, hydrangeas, gypsophila, daisies, Queen Anne’s lace, stockwaxflower, freesia, and spray roses. Clear glass containers will show these offwell and can be displayed anywhere.


“A sensation of intimacy, nostalgia and comfort is captured in this color palette, a blend of delicate warm and cool colors with lavenders and pinks at its heart.”

Spirea, Verbena, Geraniums, and other garden flowerscan be combined with spray mums, miniature carnations, larkspur, iris, lisianthus,alstroemeria, matsumota asters, and ferns or other foliage.


“The rich, luxurious color combinations of the sensuous palette set themood for sophisticated passionate and even seductive settings. Robust reds andpurple, hot pinks and spicy oranges are at the soul of this dynamic floral feeling.”

Hereis a great time to use tropicals. Bright red or orange anthurium, heliconias,and ginger accented with some of the large bold foliages. Local gladioli in thesecolors can be arranged naturally in a tall vase and have all these vibrant colors.They also last a very long time. There are many new varieties of carnations whichalso come in all these colors. Other commercial varieties include proteas, liatris,mini callas, viburnum, purple millet, and bear grass.


“Serenity and relaxation are the essence of this color scheme. Its peaceful palette, reminiscent of sky and sea, is dominated by clear, light shades of green, misty blues and other cool hues.”

Sometimes just a large bowl of foliageswith a few stems of statice, dusty miller, bachelor buttons, or ageratum areenough. This makes a great dining room table centerpiece. If you change the waterfrequently, you can keep the green base for a month and just change the flowers.A combination of shapes of foliage works best, like pachysandra and ivy. Otherflowers that help set this mood are delphinium, dendrobium orchids, limonium,Bells of Ireland, and hypericum.


“Fun-loving, free-spirited, playful feelings are conveyed by the whimsical palette, which is characterized by bold, contrasting colors."

To createthis feeling all you need do is let it loose. The brighter the colors--the better.Be sure to combine completely different colors. A large bunch of assorted colorzinnias is perfect. Bright gold marigolds or calendulas with dark blue ageratumand deep pink snapdragons give you an idea of how extreme the combinations couldbe. There are so many colors of gerbera to choose from as well as rannunculasand you can combine these with yarrow, solidaster, and sunflowers.

Whether you are going to give the flowers as a giftor use them in your home, you should see how the colors alter the mood and affectthe surroundings. Remember to get the fullest enjoyment out of the flowers, re-cutthe stems, use only very clean containers, add flower nutrient to the water orchange the water at least every other day. Most importantly, when purchasingflowers, buy from someone you trust.

If you have any other questions or need help, please e-mail me or call 215-659-9200. Charles F. Kremp 3rd is owner of Kremp Florist with shops in Philadelphia and the suburbs. Kremp’s main store in Willow Grove was recently remodeled and has been ranked as one of the finest in the country.

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