Buying flowers is a Valentine’s Day standard, and few gifts make someone feel as admired as a big, vibrant bouquet. A study by Rutgers University researchers in 2005 concluded that flowers have both an immediate impact on happiness and a long-term positive effect on mood. People who are regularly around flowers demonstrate a higher sense of life enjoyment and satisfaction. They are a fail-safe gift that everyone loves. But have you ever considered the environmental impact of buying flowers?
The Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh loved flowers. When his good buddy Paul Gauguin was coming to visit, Vincent quickly set about painting what is now his immortal Sunflowers, as a decoration to spruce the place up for his guest. He understood flowers’ ability to give a space a bright and welcoming quality, and to let guests know you care. And to this day his floral paintings are some of his most celebrated works, for which he is remembered. But wait… Did Van Gogh have good table manners? Were his personal relationships enviable? Wasn’t there something about an ear? Unimportant. But the sunflowers? The irises? They endure. The lesson here? Bring flowers. The other lesson? Get help from the Dutch.
Paula Dobbe-Maher grew up in the Netherlands surrounded by flowers in her parents’ nursery. Since then, her travels and studies have taken her everywhere from law school in Amsterdam, to pastry chef training in Paris—a rather circuitous route to get to opening one’s own floral business in Baltimore. But we’re oh so glad she did.
I’ve walked by the florist on the corner of Charles and North Avenue more times than I can count, but never taken the time to duck inside. But now that I’m moved into the city, I decided that I should go down, check it out, and see if I could find some greenery to spruce up my new place.
When I got there, Van, the owner of the place, was in the middle of moving the store around. He apologized that things didn’t look more put together, explaining how transferring from graduation season to summer is always hectic.