Time to ‘Petal It Forward’


Florists across the country are passing out flowers this week, and Woodland is following along suit in an attempt to “Petal It Forward.”

Holland America Flower Gardens will be participating in the nationwide event of giving Wednesday, Oct. 11 as they take part passing out free bouquets of flowers to passersby. Same as last year they will be set up next to the Woodland Burgerville (1120 Lewis River Road).

Holland America Flower Gardens Founder, President and CEO Benno Dobbe said he, alongside Holland America sales executives Nicolette Dobbe and Karin Chase, will be passing out two bouquets of flowers per person, with the request to keep one and pass the other along in a spirit of giving.

The event is officially nationwide according to a release from the Society of American Florists, the organization behind the event of which Holland America is a member. In total, 273 cities will be hosting just shy of 300 local “Petal It Forward” events.

Society of American Florists Vice President of Marketing Jennifer Sparks was “ecstatic” about the response from florists around the country participating in the event.

“This is a great opportunity for the floral industry to come together for a common goal to promote flower power in a big way,” Sparks stated in a news release. “There will be a lot of smiles going around as the country experiences the powerful emotions of giving and receiving flowers.”

Though anecdotally receiving flowers is known to bring good feelings, Society of American Florists touts research to back it up. A 10-month study from Rutgers University uncovered all subjects given flowers showed some sort of genuine excitement. The study also cited findings indicating long-term mood benefits as well as flowers’ ability to bolster intimacy.

What’s more, the act of giving has its own benefits. Those who give flowers were perceived to have several positive qualities like being capable and achieving, along, of course, with appearing happy.

Locally, Dobbe — who also runs a garden in Arroyo Grande, Calif. — said Holland America got into the event last year, passing out 200 pairs of bouquets. The national event itself is fairly new, starting in 2015 with only a few dozen participant cities.

“Last year it was extremely well-received,” Dobbe said. “Several people actually got tears in their eyes.”

This year another 200 pairs are lined up. Dobbe said the plan was to hand out flowers from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. during lunchtime, though ultimately they can only stay “until (they) run out.”

Dobbe cited the event as a good example of why the American Grown Flowers movement was important, and of course it has a feeling of goodwill beyond the industry promotion.

“‘Petal It Forward’ is just an amazing effort of our whole industry to make people aware of flowers, to make people happy with flowers,” Dobbe said.