Top 10 HappiestFlowers
We all know that feeling fuzzy feeling of joy when there is a knock on the door and there is a driver standing holding a colourful box filled with a stunning bunch of flowers. Not only has someone taken the time to send you a beautiful gift (which is bound to add a smile to your face), but open the box and you see a burst of colour and some blooms that often smell amazing. It makes you feel happy, right?
But did you know that the feeling of happiness you get from flowers is not just by chance? It has been scientifically proven that flowers make us happy. It’s true! There have been countless studies into the power of flowers to bring us joy. Dig even further and you find that flowers and plants deliver a whole host of mood-boosting properties.
But have you ever wondered why they have this effect on us? We have a look at why flowers make us happy, and which are the best blooms to send if you want to spread a little joy.
Why flowers make you happy
Aside from the happiness you feel when you receive a surprise delivery (quite simply because getting a gift makes you feel valued and loved, which then releases oxytocin and serotonin which are often named the ‘happy hormones’) there are different reasons why flowers make us feel joy.
First, we have to take a look at our ancestors. Experts say that when our brains were first developing, we recognised flowers and plants appearing as a reward that winter was ending. We still take notice of that – when you see a host of daffodils sitting on the side of the road and you instantly know that spring is on the way. It also meant that new growth and food was coming. Although we don’t directly link flowers with food, we still see blooms as a reward. This feeling triggers the brain to release dopamine, a chemical that makes us feel good. We’re pretty sure the bees would feel the same too!
It's not just about the flower itself, but the colour matters as well. It has been proven that different colours trigger certain emotions, this is called colour therapy. Their precise meaning depends on where you are in the world, but in the UK we recognise yellow as happiness, orange is all about energy, turn to blue and we feel calm while red is all about love.
Lastly, we can link the sight or smell of a flower to happy memories. Think about strolling through an English garden on a summers day and you stop to smell the roses. It’s a happy moment where you felt relaxed and happy. Every time you smell some roses, you’ll associate it with the perfect moment. In turn this makes you feel happier!
What flowers represent happiness?
So, we know that flowers make us happy, but did you know that certain flowers are better at it than others. Of course, this isn’t a precise science, and it is mostly down to personal taste.
We look at some of the most popular options.
Sunflowers are possibly some of the happiest flowers around and it’s not hard to see why. Appearing during the late summer months, their colour is bright and welcoming, and they look pretty much like a pocketful of sun all wrapped up as a flower.
Maybe it’s because we associate summer with a feeling of wellbeing that leads us to love this flower so much, what we do know is that popping some sunflowers in your vase brightens everything up. These flowers represent adoration, loyalty and longevity - from the fact they turn to follow the sun as it moves across the sky. Whether a loved one is feeling down or you want to send a celebration by post, consider sending a bouquet of sunflowers. Not only will they receive a vision of happiness but you’re also sending the perfect message!
We all love a rose and it’s not surprising when you discover the long history of this flower. We can first date roses back to a staggering 35 million years ago (yep, they have found a fossil of this flower dating that far back). Jump forward to 141 BC and they were a big hit in the imperial gardens of the Chou dynasty. A little closer to home and Cleopatra in Ancient Egypt would attract suitors with this flower, while the Romans would add the petals to their baths. Of course, we can’t forget our own history. After all, the red and white version of the rose were symbols in the War of the Roses during Tudor Times, and still remains the national flower of England.
Most of us know that the red rose is THE flower of love, but did you know that this bloom in yellow stands for friendship? That’s right, a flower that is all about your best pals! Perfect for saying a big thank you to a friend who’s helped you out recently, or simply to cheer up your bestie.
With their fluffy, puffball appearance, what’s not to like about peonies. This flower, commonly found in white or pink, is big in the popularity stakes and our happiness chart. We can see why. First up, they’re stunning and incredibly photogenic. They’re regularly splashed all over Pinterest and Instagram hitting up to 4 million tagged posts. It probably helps that they’re desirable – you can only get hold of these flowers for a couple of months in the year. Think how happy you’ll feel if you manage to get your hands on these blooms before they’re gone!
This flower stands for a happy life, love and honour. With their incredibly romantic vibes and perfect sentiments, it’s no wonder they are such a big hit with brides on their wedding day. Oh, they’re also the flower for a 12th wedding anniversary – just in case you were looking for the perfect gift!
If colour is the key to happiness, then gerberas deliver it all. Looking halfway between the happy sunflower and the simple daisy, this flower knows how to deliver a real pop of colour to your vase. Send a bouquet of these blooms and you’re delivering a pocket rocket of joy.
With so many different colours to choose from, it’s easy to send the right message in a bouquet and create some serious flower power – perfect if you know someone who is feeling a bit low. Send some vibrant yellows and you’re delivering happiness, while this flower in a striking magenta pink stands for admiration. Head over to the comforting and warming orange and it’s all about energy and friendship.
When spring arrives it always seems to lift our spirits. Maybe it’s the fact that the days are getting longer and warmer and we can all head outdoors a bit more, which in itself is proven to make us feel happier. We all love a tulip – from the time of year they bloom and what they symbolise, or the simple fact they are so colourful, they’re guaranteed to add some sunshine amongst April showers.
You can really spoil yourself when choosing this flower – there are up to 3,000 different varieties. From the instantly recognisable oval blooms to something slightly different with double, fringed, scalloped or even open flower heads. It doesn’t stop there either, think of a colour and we’re pretty sure that a tulip can cover the message you want to send. Give a red tulip to show your love, yellow to brighten up someone’s day or even blue to tell them they’re unique.
Another of our spring flowers that just scream happiness are daffodils. There is no clearer sign that this happy season has arrived than seeing daffodils emerge from their winter hibernation.
In the UK, we love this flower so much we produce around 90% of the world’s daffodils! It was the Romans who brought this amazing flower to our shores. They would use the flower for pain relief and to heal wounds, but also as a symbol of remembering comrades who had died in battle. It seems fitting that Marie Curie, which cares for and supports anyone living with a terminal illness, has chosen daffodils as a symbol of their charity.
Another happy spring flower is the wonderful hydrangea. Each stem delivers a pocketful of small, curly flowers in the most gorgeous selection of seasonal colours. On top of that they smell amazing and bees love them.
This pretty flower is bizarrely closely related to the asparagus family. But don’t let that put you off, there are over 2,000 different varieties of hydrangea to choose from. Available in an array of pretty, pastel spring tones or as a flowering house plant, they’re one of our favourites on our happiness chart.
A few years back, Chelsea Flower Show ran a vote to find out the nation’s favourite flowers. They created a display at the exhibition and used some clever technology to track expression, engagement and eye movement to figure out which flowers were the most popular. The one that came top? it wasn’t some big showy bloom but instead the incredibly delicate lily of the valley!
Whether it’s because they remind us of happy memories of playing as a child in the woods, or simply the way the bell-like flowers sway and nod in the wind, they were a firm favourite amongst the crowd. It could even be down to their links with the royal family - Queen Elizabeth II named these her favourite flowers!
If you were wondering, sweet peas came second with jasmine in third place. Interestingly, all these happy plants have one thing in common – a strong scent! A word of warning – although lily of the valley may make us feel happy, keep them away from curious hands and animals as they are poisonous.
Chrysanthemums are a big hit in the UK and regularly tops the list of most popular flowers. We think it also helps that these flowers generally stand for joy and optimism, making them the perfect choice for mum for Mother’s Day. Arriving towards the end of summer, it helps add a touch of sunshine all the way through into autumn. In fact, it’s one of the few flowers we find blooming into November – a splash of colour as the evenings get dark!
This one isn’t just a pretty face. The flower is a big hit in traditional Chinese medicine has been used to treat headaches, dizziness and high cholesterol. While in India, it is said that a sweet tea made with chrysanthemum will help you feel better. It’s no wonder that in the UK this flower represents happiness and longevity.
You can’t escape the happiness found with gladioli. After all, the clue is in their name – glad! We’re certainly glad to have these blooms in our vase. They are unique in their looks, stand tall above the other flowers and are a beautiful sight to behold.
Did you know the flower got its name from the Latin word ‘gladius’ which means sword? It is said these flowers were worn around the neck by Roman Gladiators. Spectators would even throw them into the arena to celebrate a gladiator’s win, and now this flower is said to stand for integrity, strength and victory.
It’s also the birth month flower for August – just in case you’re looking for that perfect birthday gift.