The flowers that bloom in the Spring

Posted on May 8th, by geoff in Caring Times, CT blog. 2 comments

By Caring Times editor GEOFF HODGSON

We spent the long weekend just gone mainly in our garden and on our allotment, planting, pruning, weeding, watering and so on, and it got me thinking about the role of plants in our lives.

Years ago, when I was a nurse working on the wards I was bemused (and often irritated) by the number of bunches of flowers that people brought in for their ailing relatives and friends. I don’t know how they manage it now, but in those days, each ward had a ‘flower room’ for the storage of vases and as somewhere to store the dozens of arrangements at night.

Honestly, some patients were surrounded by so much greenery that I felt like Harrison Ford beating my way through an equatorial rainforest just to take the patient’s temperature. I’d almost swear they had hanging baskets dangling from the screen rails – it was hard to tell amid the confused tangle. Meanwhile the medical technology around the bedside bleeped and chirped a tropical chorus.

But if that was a bit over-the-top most hospital lounges, today as then, are at the opposite extreme; in most of them you’d be lucky to find a dehydrated, dust-covered aspidistra. While vases of flowers can sometimes be a nuisance at a patient’s bedside, they do bear testament to the measureless value we place on plants, so let’s have lots of flowery lounges and leafy courtyards. I’m glad to say that most care homes do better than most hospitals in this respect.

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2 responses to “The flowers that bloom in the Spring”

  1. In an attempt to counter this my mother (in her 70s) took it upon herself to create displays from artificial flowers to place in the main hospital in Ayr. This was in reception and the chapel of rest. She is a hospital volunteer.

    Unfortunately both were stolen…….. along with the lectern bible.

    Would anyone have stolen the real floral arrangements I wonder.

  2. As it happens, there’s research evidence that having access to flowers and greenery has a beneficial effect for patients – and it doesn’t need to be flowers by the bedside, patients who could see trees outside their hospital windows recovered more quickly: see

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