JENNIE HARWOOD

BA (Hons) Professional Floristry & Floral Design

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RESEARCH SUMMARY

You always take flowers to someone in hospital don't you?

No – in many cases flowers are banned, yet they contribute so much in terms of bringing a smile to the patients face and improving well-being.  Within my research I wanted to understand the beneficial effects of flowers and plants on patients, visitors, and staff and whether their current exclusion in medical environments is justified.  After initial research, I decided to conduct a case study at a well-known local hospice, and interviewed staff to ascertain how important flowers are, specifically in end of life care.  

My research showed that my case study hospice does not support a ban on flower and plants. Quite the contrary as they encourage flowers and plants, and each week volunteer flower teams help to brighten the entire hospice building with arrangements made entirely from donated flowers and plants. For each of these volunteers it is a labour of love, and gives a source of pleasure, love and joy to patients, staff, and visitors. I discovered by doing this research project, that flowers and plants seem to have a power to convey profound human emotions and thoughts.

Interestingly Florence Nightingale was aware of how green spaces and plants can assist in recovery from physical and mental illness. In 1869, Nightingale wrote that when she became ill, her recovery quickened after she received “a nosegay of wildflowers”.  Florence Nightingale was indeed ahead of her time!

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