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A flower a day could keep the blues at bay

4th April 2017

A new celebration of flowers is being launched in a bid to make the nation smile.

National Wear a Flower Day is being introduced on 20 April 2017 to spread a little floral cheer by encouraging more people to reconnect with flowers and nature to improve their sense of well-being.

The new initiative is being launched by the North of England Horticultural Society (NEHS), organisers of the Harrogate Flower Shows, with the aim of persuading people to choose a favourite bloom and wear it for the day in celebration, in commemoration or simply to make someone smile.

Scientific research has shown that the positive benefits of receiving flowers lasts for up to three days, while the reaction to being offered a single flower made both men and women happier than a range of other gifts. The American research involved three studies concluding that flowers have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behaviours and even memory.

NEHS Show Director Nick Smith said: “Wearing flowers is certainly nothing new, in fact it goes back thousands of years, but these days we tend only to wear them for special occasions.

“Our theme for this year’s spring show is HortCouture, exploring the relationship between plants, flowers and style, which presented the perfect opportunity to launch a new celebration of flowers helping to rekindle a connection with nature that the pressures of modern life may have made many of us forget.”

He added: “The therapeutic benefits of gardening and contact with nature are well documented, but rarely do we extend those benefits to actually wearing flowers to help us feel good. So, in a world that seems to get more stressful by the minute, we are inviting people to take a moment to pick or buy a flower, and wear it to help brighten their day and maybe make someone else smile too!”

The first 1,000 visitors to the 2017 Harrogate Spring Flower Show on Wear a Flower Day (20 April) will be offered a free bloom and all visitors will have the chance to take free classes on making their own buttonhole or corsage at a special Floral Hub. A step by step guide to creating a buttonhole with flowers and foliage from your garden is also available at

Harrogate Spring Flower Show runs from 20 – 23 April at the Great Yorkshire Showground. Other HortCouture attractions include an exclusive exhibition of gowns by New Zealand costumier and artist Jenny Gillies, a floral tribute to the trailblazers of modern haute couture, Ralph Lauren, Chanel, Versace and Vivienne Westwood, plus a ‘Green Room’ furnished entirely with flower and plant materials.

Editor’s notes:

1. An Environmental Approach to Positive Emotion: Flowers was published in Evolutionary Psychology. In Study 1 flowers presented to women were found to elicit a ‘true smile’ and women who received flowers reported more positive moods three days later. In Study 2 a flower given to men or women in an elevator elicited more positive social behaviour than other stimuli. In Study 3, flowers presented to older participants (55+ age) produced positive mood reports and improved memory. For the full article, published in 2005, visit

2. Harrogate Spring Flower Show hosts the country’s biggest exhibition by flower arrangers and florists, and was rated Britain’s best gardening event by Which?

3. Harrogate Flower Shows are organised and run by the North of England Horticultural Society, a leading gardening charity set up over 100 years ago to promote horticulture in the north. Profits from the twice-yearly flower shows go back to the charity to help support a range of community gardening activities across the region.

4. Tickets: Thurs, Fri, Sat *£16.50 when booked before Tuesday 11 April 2017, £19.00 on the gate; Sun *£14.50 in advance, £17.00 on the gate. Parking is FREE. Under 16s go FREE when accompanied by an adult.  *A single £1 postage and admin fee applies per order.