Plants of all shapes and sizes are beneficial to us
At the West Linn Adult Community Center we have a weekly gathering of master gardeners. It's called the Garden Appreciation Group; they meet from 11 a.m. to noon Wednesday.
They share videos on gardens and plantings, share solutions to gardening problems and advice from other gardener masters.
This group will hold its annual plant sale from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, May 9 and 10 at the center. There will be a variety of beautiful hanging baskets, many perennials and also some vegetable starts for sale. This is a good way to get all your flowers and plants ready to put into your flower pots and wait for them to bloom in the summer. Proceeds benefit programs at the West Linn Adult Community Center.
Indoor plants, outdoor plants, flowers and trees all contribute to our well being in one form or another. Indoor plants refresh air by drawing in carbon dioxide and releasing pure oxygen. They also act as a natural humidifier, helping some of us who may have respiratory problems. Additionally, they absorb certain unwanted or toxic chemicals from the air, effectively removing them from the air we breathe.
NASA has conducted many experiments about indoor plants specifically, and they will tell us what we already know: that indoor plants lift up our spirits and make us less prone to headaches, mood swings and even allergies.
Apart from that scientific data, which is of course an important aspect, plants and flowers do more than just improve our health and moods. They are fun to buy and give to other people, creating joyful moments. We celebrate many happy events with flowers, and don't we all just love gazing at beautiful blossoms sitting on tables, sideboards or wherever we put them?
At the center, we have a dedicated team that each week puts small vases with fresh flowers in the dining room. It's always a delight to see those table decorations, and anyone using the luncheon room appreciates the flower arrangements. It makes the day better!
On checking the internet, I learned of many plants which are specifically beneficial to us and I will list some of them here. Although, I have to admit that this writer has no green thumb, very little knowledge of plants, but still love each and every one I encounter.
n Pothos: This indoor plant has an air-purifying quality that can absorb and strip toxins (like formaldehyde) from materials in the home (like carpet). This plant can produce stems that trail 8 feet or longer, so just cut them back when they get too long and your plant will continue to look full and healthy.
n Snake plant (mother-in-law's tongue): One of the most recommended plants for improving indoor air quality, the snake plant is hardy and an easy-to-care-for plant ... always a plus!
n Asparagus fern: The asparagus fern makes for a great plant to hang in baskets and containers. These fellas are most happy in bright, indirect sunlight and prefer humidity, especially during the winter months when you might be running the heater. Overall it can tolerate a bit of abuse (like forgetting to water it).
n Lucky bamboo (dracaenas): If there was one plant that is almost impossible to kill, the lucky bamboo is it. They're easy as pie to take care of. There's no soil required (at least until substantial roots have grown, then you would put it in soil), and it can tolerate low light. The stems can be "directed" to bend in cool shapes and arrangements, too.
Let us enjoy our trees, plants and flowers everywhere, know they are good for us, and that they keep us happy and healthy.
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The lunch menu this week features chicken with broccoli, penne pasta, asparagus and chocolate Bundt cake on Friday, May 3; sweet and sour chicken, yakisoba noodles, broccoli and coconut pudding on Monday, May 6, and chicken parmesan, garlic butter pasta, green beans and cream puffs on Wednesday, May 8.
Cost is $5 per person.
The West Linn Adult Community Center is located at 1180 Rosemont Road in West Linn.
Mieke Wiegman is a volunteer at the West Linn Adult Community Center.
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