My Spiny Valentine

Prickly pear cactus pads sometimes form hearts. I wonder what the plant is trying to tell us: “Be mine but don’t touch me?”

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Give A Flower, Get A Smile

 In a society that feels more isolated and lost than ever before, we relentlessly continue to stuff ourselves with junk food – materialism.

Hoping that buying things will make us happy. They never do.

Give A Flower, Get A Smile

Think about how different our world would be if more of us focused on the stuff that matters.

Nature. Connection. Generosity. Kindness.

What nutrition for our souls this would be.

I Have An Idea

I have a concept that I think could help us do just that.

It’s simple.

GIVE A FLOWER to a stranger that you pass on the street.

My daughter came up with a terrific phrase that I love - GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE.

It’s a small act of kindness that elicits a smile and feeling of pure delight for the receiver – and yourself.

Over the past 10 years, a plethora of research has shown that flowers increase the levels of positive energy and moods, reduce the likelihood of stress-related depression, and help people feel secure, relaxed, optimistic, and happy.

I’ve been testing this idea on the streets of Tel Aviv for the past 2 months. The response has been one of surprise, lots of smiles, open hearts, joy – and connection. The video above will give you a taste of my experience.

I Need Your Help

It’s time to test market GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE in cities and towns throughout the world.

Will you be a beta marketer for  GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE?

This is what you need to do.

Buy 5 flowers and give them to strangers.

If you tend to be a bit timid, walk over to the person and say ‘I’d like to give you a free flower.’

If they ask why, say something like “I decided that it was important to slow down, connect with individuals I don’t know – and I can’t think of a better way of connecting when we pass each other on the street then giving you a flower.”

So far, the majority of the responses have been heartwarming. This morning, one woman said that I had touched her heart. Tears were streaming down her face.

If someone passes you by, says ‘no’, shakes their head ‘no’, or looks at you like your crazy, don’t worry. It happens. If you think of yourself as a sociologist or anthropologist studying human behavior, you can have a lot of fun if this happens.

Will you help me?

I would appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.

Different Ways of Participating In GIVE A FLOWER, GET A SMILE

I believe that by participating in this one act of kindness, of giving a flower to a stranger, you are making a significant impact on an individual’s soul and the spirit of the universe.

You are helping to make the world a more connected, loving, caring, and joyful place.

And isn’t that what we all want?

With gratitude and love –Fran

 

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A Flower Can Change Your Day

I was all set yesterday morning to begin my post on drought tolerant plants, seeing as how we in California are in the midst of a really dry winter.  Then at breakfast my wife brought me a single Camellia  from the garden, set in a clever stone vase.

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My day changed.  I am so easily distracted. Continue Reading →

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Aloes Show Spectacular Flowers

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I love the way aloes brighten Southern California gardens this time of year. Shown above is the most widely grown aloe, Aloe arborescens. The location is about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles, in Laguna Beach. This is an artist’s enclave, and not surprisingly, aloe flowers against blue sea and sky are a popular subject for paintings. Continue Reading →

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Snowdrops Are Coming

We are always thrilled when Harry Pierik, one of our favorite Dutch garden designers, writes a guest post. His ‘Hidden City Garden’ is mesmerizing. To learn more about Harry, visit his websiteFran Sorin

Snowdrops are coming.

Until now, it is a mild winter in our “Hidden City garden”

Still some kinds of plants are blooming , winter bloomers in abundance and the season of the snowdrops is dawning.

It’s time to prepare.

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Photo above ~ Small deepened path to the second part of the “Hidden City Garden” to the lawn and the flower borders. In the background to the left of the centre you can see the brown branches of the bushes which are in the border, however the snowdrops on the ground are not yet visible from here.

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