"By planting native wildflowers or heirloom varieties in pollinator-friendly private and public gardens, by not using insecticides or herbicides, and by joining grassroots public campaigns and organizations such as the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign, the Pollinator Partnership, Monarch Watch, Make Way for Monarchs, the Xerces Society, and others devoted to protecting native plants along with their pollinators, all of us can make significant efforts to conserve flowers and their animal pollinators. These may be conservation baby steps, but combined across the globe, they can quickly afford lasting protection. We can become plant stewards, starting right in our homes, backyards, and parklands.

"We can all help by buying organic flowers, especially those certified as green by various agencies. We can support local flower producers who raise their crops without contaminating insecticides, fungicides, and fertilizers, which ultimately pollute our groundwater and soils. Buying organic flowers helps ensure safe working conditions on flower farms, enabling living wages and other benefits, along with promoting social and environmental justice, truly caring for the workers along with their flowers.

"The relationship between flowers and people has been a long and wondrous mutual journey. Flowers arose during the early Cretaceous period while dinosaurs looked on, munching their leaves, flowers, and fruits. Our distant hominid ancestors learned to recognize flowers as the harbingers of spring and their luscious fruits that followed. The tastiest and most nutritious of human and wildlife foods are fruits, berries, and seeds. Natufians living in the Middle East over ten thousand years ago laid their dead upon floral biers. We still honor and gift one another with vibrant blooms. Flowers scent the air and our bodies. Our homes and offices are decorated with their cut stems and with potted plants. We garden with flowers and they soothe our minds and bodies. They inspire us. We write about flowers and choose them as subjects in our paintings and photographs. Whether flowers or people are in control of this relationship is perhaps debatable. Nevertheless, by caring for them, we learn that flowers sustain and feed us, enriching our lives.

"If flowers heal us, shouldn't we also try to heal flowers? Can we meet the numerous environmental challenges, including desertification, deforestation, and other habitat alterations along with climate changes, ones of our own making? Will people heal nature? It's not all gloom and doom in our wildlands, parks, and cities. I'm optimistic that this generation and future ones can coexist with nature, that species losses can be slowed and eventually stabilized. All is not lost, there is abundant hope. Flowers and people need and depend upon one another for mutual survival."

  • Plant native wildflowers or heirloom varities.
  • Make your gardens pollinator-friendly by not using insecticides or herbicides.
  • Join campaings and organizations to protective native plants and their pollinators.
  • Buy organic, local, green-certified flowers.
Stephen Buchmann in The Reason for Flowers