The Power of Flowers
Many towns and business have decorated their streets and fronts with flowers and have seen a substantial difference. “Dealing with a downturn in the economy” says Ken Bassett, City Manager for Vernal Utah, “we found that our flower project was the best way to add life to downtown. We’ve also transitioned a major highway into a gorgeous walkway.” Since the addition of Bloom Master flower arrangements in the downtown region, this otherwise overlooked town in Utah is a place that attracts locals and travelers alike to spend time walking along the streets decorated in vibrant color. In 2004, the City of Vernal received the Community Involvement Award with a special mention in floral displays by America in Bloom.
Flowers not only attract people because of their beauty, but promote a sense of well-being and community. Katy Moss, former Director of Disney’s Horticulture and Environmental Initiatives, says that a change in customer response was noted after an emphasis was placed on flowers in the landscape of Disney World in the 1970’s, replacing some of the shrubs with flower beds, hanging baskets, and box planters. Moss says that her team placed flowerbeds and baskets at entrances to gift shops and attractions, intending to fill the customer’s line of sight with colorful blossoms. She believed that by doing so, the plants would send a subliminal message to the attendees, enforcing their sense of happiness. Moss claims that it was the flowers that contributed to 75 percent of attendees returning for repeated visitations:
“Having been involved in this transformation of guest perception at Walt Disney World,” She says, “I believe that communities across America can benefit from this experience. Baskets filled with colorful flowers hanging from lampposts in heavily trafficked areas announce that beauty is important...that quality landscapes are valued...that we want you to feel good while you are here...and we want you to come back. Flowering hanging baskets can transform perceptions. They can transform communities.”