Give A Flower, Get A Smile

– Posted in: Garden Musings

 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.

Give A Flower, Get A Smile

Give Flower, Get A Smile

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


Fran Sorin

Fran is the author of the highly-acclaimed book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, which Andrew Weil, M.D., recommends as "a profound and inspiring book."  

A graduate of the University of Chicago with Honors in Psychology, she is also a gardening and creativity expert, coach, inspirational speaker, CBS radio news gardening correspondent, and Huffington Post Contributor.

Learn more about Fran and get free resources that will help you improve your life at

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Fran Sorin
13 comments… add one

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Marilyn Cornwell February 2, 2014, 9:28 am

This is wonderful! Brilliant and simple and full of generosity.

All my best,

michaele anderson February 2, 2014, 1:55 pm

Lovely idea…I know I should try it.
In our Knoxville area, we have an organization called Random Acts of Flowers. They take about to be discarded bouquets from any source and rework them to make them very attractive for another round of giving…although this time, the bouquet if free. Their whole mission is like yours…to bring alive a smile. I know they have a facebook page and are always interested in expanding their mission.

Patrick February 2, 2014, 5:15 pm

Brings to mind Mother Theresa’s belief in practicing random acts of kindness as mentioned by a passer by here. Good luck with your movement and know I’ll have your back with my support.

Carole February 2, 2014, 10:34 pm

Would be wonderful if these gifts were locally grown, organically raised flowers so there is less impact on the environment.

Fran Sorin February 3, 2014, 2:04 am

Ah Carole – You are a woman after my own heart. I have it on my list to address this issue. Thank you for your reminder! Fran

Fran Sorin February 3, 2014, 2:11 am

Dear Patrick-
Practicing ‘random acts of kindness’ everyday is easy to do. It’s the intent that goes with it. Simple things like opening a door for someone else, picking up change that someone dropped on the street, and dozens of other things that take seconds or minutes to do ABSOlUTELY have a positive effect on both the giver and receiver – as well as our cosmic consciousness. Once you get the hang of this type of ‘play’, it is addictive. And I can’t think of a better addiction. Thanks for your support – hope you get involved. With gratitude, Fran

Fran Sorin February 3, 2014, 2:27 am

Dear Michele-
Thanks for the info. on Random Acts of Flowers. I love their mission – and name. I will check them out. And yes, please do get involved and Give Flowers to strangers. Once you start doing it, you won’t want to stop. Connecting with others is so critical for living a meaningful life. With gratitude – Fran

Fran Sorin February 3, 2014, 2:36 am

Dear Marilyn,
Thank you. Your thoughts mean a great deal to me. With gratitude – Fran

Pamela February 3, 2014, 4:18 pm

Any “act of kindness” is a good thing and giving flowers to strangers is certainly a wonderful idea. Many of us have lovely flower options right out our back (or front) door. Picking a bouquet from our garden and heading to town to share them would be oh-so-wonderful a thing to do. A bouquet of lilacs, a lily stem, roses, tulips and daffodils, the list could go on. It would be a personal, environmentally responsible option. Although, any flower given is a good flower!

Fran Sorin February 4, 2014, 2:41 pm

Pamela – How true that any act of kindness is a good thing. I LOVE your idea about picking flowers from your own garden and taking them into your city or town to give away to strangers. Brilliant! With gratitude – Fran

Nell Jean February 4, 2014, 6:45 pm

It is a wonderful idea, giving away flowers. My practice is to give potted hyacinths just coming into to bloom to members of our small church every year mid-winter. Since all who receive a flower are known to me and I chill and plant bulbs weeks in advance, this does not meet your requirements for random flowers to strangers.

A potted hyacinth is well-received; so far nobody turned one down and one man took two.

Fran Sorin February 5, 2014, 3:31 am

Nell Jean – Your comment made me smile. Giving potted hyacinths ready to bloom is an extremely generous and inspiring gift. I can’t imagine anyone turning down such a beautiful offering. I’m mad about hydrangeas. Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work. Warmly, Fran

Suzie Cheel February 5, 2014, 7:20 am

Fran what a wonderful gift you and your daughter have given to the world. I can see this becoming a movement that changes peoples lives. I look at buying a bunch of flowers freshly and am reminded of my mother who love flowers and had a garden full of them to give to so many
thank you xx

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