Experts have come up with a simple online test that reveals how your favourite plants can reflect your personality.
The ‘quiz’ is part of a unique experiment at the Chelsea Flower Show 2015 (19-23 May) aimed at answering the question: what plant makes the nation happiest?
Thousands of social media submissions from gardening-loving Britons have already created a distinctive shortlist of the UK’s 100 top ‘happy plants’.
Now TV gardener David Domoney is asking people to choose the 20 that make them the happiest – and learn what they say about their personality in the process.
Five categories reflect each individual’s choices, telling them whether their ‘plant personality’ is classic; romantic; relaxed; bold or cheerful – and what that means.
Designed by David to reflect his three decades’ experience in the horticulture industry, the categories – and some of the plants that will indicate them – are broken down thus:
Classic – likes peonies and foxglove: You’re a traditionalist with a strong sense of identity. Like classic plants, you’re understated and will fit in anywhere. You find beauty in the simple things and always appreciate what you have. You love plants that remind you of happiness in your past and always make the most of time in the garden.
Romantic – likes roses and forget-me-nots: You understand that plants are a symbol of love. Romantic personalities are soft, generous, and also fiercely passionate. You are sentimental and love to daydream, but keep your feet firmly on the ground. You know your heart and always follow it.
Relaxed – likes daisies and poppies: You’re a calm and easy-going person. Relaxed personalities are spontaneous and carefree, and hate to make a fuss. You dislike too much order and formalities – preferring to do things your own way. You love spending time relaxing in the garden and thrive on having people around you.
Bold – likes hibiscus and Aloe Vera: Like bold plants, you’re strong and independent and won’t let others push you about. But you also have a softer streak that people discover as they get to know you. You’re bright and courageous, and fiercely loyal to your friends and family.
Cheerful – likes sunflowers and daffodils: You always have a smile on your face. Cheerful personalities are friendly and fun to be around. You know how important it is to stay positive and take happiness from the little things in life.
bold plants, you’re strong and independent and won’t let others push you about. But you also have a softer streak that people discover as they get to know you. You’re bright and courageous, and fiercely loyal to your friends and family.
Cheerful – likes sunflowers and daffodils: You always have a smile on your face. Cheerful personalities are friendly and fun to be around. You know how important it is to stay positive and take happiness from the little things in life. Your enthusiasm makes those around you feel happy. You love nothing more than spending a sunny day in the garden.
Speaking about the latest stage of the ‘Positive Power of Plants’ project, David said: “We’ve already had a brilliant response to our unique experiment.
“Now we’re asking the garden-loving public for their help again. We need to whittle out list of top-100 plants down to the to-20 frontrunners that will feature at Chelsea.
“The ‘quiz’ to find your ‘plant personality’ is a bit of fun rather than a rigorous personality test. We’ve broken down plants by category so everyone who takes part can see what their favourite plants say about themselves.
“But I’ve worked in the horticulture industry for nearly 30 years and there is no doubt you can tell a lot about people by what they love in their garden.”
Visit http://www.daviddomoney.com/plant-personality/ to cast your vote and find out your own ‘plant personality’.
Once the top-20 ‘happy plants’ have been identified, David will create a Chelsea Discovery exhibit, sponsored by National Garden Gift Vouchers, featuring the shortlist – complete with special cameras to monitor visitor reactions to individual plants.
Cameras will monitor eye contact, physical gestures and smiles or frowns to gauge visitor reaction to the top-20 plants. A giant plasma screen will display up-to-the hour analytics revealing changing patterns of interest among visitors and a running totaliser.
By the end of the festival, with many of Chelsea’s 150,000 visitors having enjoyed the exhibit, the experiment will reveal which of the plants creates the greatest sense of personal well-being and happiness.
David added: “It’s amazing how much sense of well-being and happiness the sight of a simple plant can bring.
“We’re hoping to identify the best-loved plant, be it the red rose of romance, the sunflower, or even the traditional Christmas tree. We think there will be real differences between age groups and gender. It’s a fascinating experiment and a real talking point.”
The objective of the public experiment, sponsored by the Horticultural Trades Association’s National Garden Gift Vouchers Scheme in conjunction with David Domoney and gardening charity Thrive, is to raise awareness of the positive impact plants can have on people’s lives.
Merseyside-based retail technology company, Premier EPOS, is developing the hardware that will identify what people are looking at and how they are reacting.
Similar ‘facial recognition’ technology will one day allow interactive advertising that responds to individual customers and changes to meet their needs.
Plants will also be ranked according to age group and gender interest – which rank highest among men and women, and how young and old rate them differently.
Carol Paris, Director General of the Horticultural Trades Association, said: “There’s already been a great response to the experiment and we can’t wait to see what the top-20 plants will be. Anything that gets people talking about gardening and the plants they love is a good thing.
“We already know how many positive spin-offs there are to gardening and this unique experiment will reveal the actual plants that really make us happy as individuals.”
Experts have long acknowledged the power of gardening to improve people’s lives and health, be they recuperating from illness or struggling with long-term issues.