Norton’s Florist displays plant baskets, which are a blend of different floral arrangements.
Photo by Kristinia Balciunaite/Life and Style Editor

By Kristinia Balciunaite, Life and Style Editor

Living in a tiny dorm can be dull and depressing. There are many elements that could be used to lighten up a sad room, but one, in particular, is often overlooked. Plants and flowers alike are both cheap and effective room enhancers.

Studies at Rutgers University have found that the presence of plants and flowers significantly increase our mental and emotional well-being. According to the study, they “create instant delight and enhance our life satisfaction.”

Pam Boylen, one of the owners of Birmingham’s own Martin Flowers, said that, from her experience, plants do boost the energy and mood of people. According to Boylen, flowers and plants have a significantly positive effect, especially someone who is ill.

“Plants actually add oxygen to the atmosphere, especially in a closed room,” Boylen said. “They are great for small spaces.”

Flowers, of course, usually last for up to two weeks, depending on how well they are maintained. Although they certainly lighten up a room, from a student’s perspective, a house plant would be a better investment.

“The advantage of a plant is that it allows the smile to last day after day,” said Cameron Peppas, owner of Norton’s Florist.

For a beginner, florists recommend plants such as peace lilies, philodendrons and pothos plant (also known as “devil’s ivy”). These are the easiest plants to take care of, as they only require water when the superficial dirt is dry. As long as they are kept in the sunlight, they can last for years. They come in a price range from $20 to $60 depending on their size.

Other good options could be plant baskets. They require the same attention as more low-maintenance plants, like peace lilies, and add that extra touch of warmth and coziness to the scenery. If you are set on a higher-end flower, an orchid is a great investment. They don’t require much water, they should be kept in environments that are well lit, warm and non-drafty. Although they only bloom annually, they are certainly worth the patience.

“Anything alive adds a little cheer to the room,” said Addrienne Gunselman, an employee at Norton’s Florist.

If you are looking to simply try out something different for your room, without necessarily committing to a plant, a bouquet or even a single flower, could change the atmosphere and feeling of an inside space. Wildflowers may be the most romantic and seasonal, but there is always a selection of flowers at the local florist.

Norton’s Florist recently completed a campaign entitled #PetalItForward as part of an initiative of the Society of American Florists. Two bouquets were handed out to bypassers on the street. One of the bouquets was meant for the initial receiver and the other was meant to be re-gifted to a stranger. This campaign was organized as an act of fun and kindness, with the subtext that flowers, in fact, do lift the spirit of the receivers.

So before springing for some overpriced decorative pillows and “home sweet home” posters, consider adding a little life to the room. Literally.

Kristinia Balciunaite can be reached at kribal@uab.com or on Twitter @KscopeKristina.

Aura and Real Life Poets host 2nd annual Spoken Truth Poetry Festival

Join us for a full day of artistry and workshops at the Spoken Truth Poetry Festival on April 14, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. at UAB’s Hill Student Center. Admission is free for all attendees. Aura Literary Arts Review (UAB) and Real Life Poets, Inc. have partnered to bring an array of activities to this year’s poetry festival, including a variety of workshops, a poetry slam, and a special poetry showcase highlighting spoken word performers in the region. Workshops begin at 1 p.m. with topics varying from the art of performing poetry, how to become a published author, and how to create your own handmade magazine.

Poetry slam participants must be between the ages of 15 and 21. The poetry slam begins at 5 p.m., followed by the poetry showcase at 6:30 p.m. We believe that art is a vital form of expression that develops independence, enhances creative and critical thinking, and encourages higher order thinking such as analysis, synthesis and evaluation. Art crosses cultural boundaries and breaks down social, religious and racial barriers. UAB’s Aura Literary Arts Review and Real Life Poets, Inc. aim to encouraging artistic expression, especially amongst the youth and young adults in our community who will someday help activate and bring about change in our world. So be prepared to enjoy a monumental day of truth and expression!

*To register to attend the workshops or participate in the poetry slam, visit www.uab.edu/studentmedia.com. For media inquiries only, contact 205.585.8271 or email info@reallifepoets.org

Spoken Truth Poetry Festival April 14 workshops begin at 1pm and continue until 5pm where the poetry slam and showcase will begin

Read more

USGA to reign in new president: Candidates introduce platforms of their campaign to student body

pres pose 3 1 of 5Siddharth Srikakolapu

pres pose 2 1 of 2Erica Webb

pres pose 1 1 of 4Kevin Pittman

Photos by Laykn Shepard / Photo Editor

Lauren Moore/Campus Editor

As a young and growing institution, UAB looks to student leaders to help shape the future of the university. USGA hosted their 2018 Presidential Debate Thursday, March 1.

Read more

Black Panther Movie Review  

Jo Wright
Life & Style Reporter

The release of Black Panther over President’s Day weekend spurred plenty of excitement, evidenced by its immense success in the box office. The original estimate of $165 million was eclipsed by the $242 million made domestically. The film, directed by Ryan Coogler, features a nearly all-black cast and qualitative female-empowering roles.   

Read more

How to survive to school shooting: Capt. Amy Schreiner shares with students how to live through an on-campus shooting

Sufia Alam
Campus Editor

According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly half of those who commit or attempt to carry out a homicide at a school usually present some type of warning sign, such as telling others about their plan or leaving a note before the event.   

Read more

survey button3