Let's be honest here, guys. Flowers really do have a captivating effect -- not just on your wife or girlfriend or daughter -- but on you as well.
A real man can appreciate flowers as more than just a delivery obligation on Valentine's Day. Flowers are delicate but dazzling, their spectacular color a beauty to behold. Women have known this forever, as we men have clumsily discovered.
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Spring is blooming into full blossom right now, and vibrant waves of color are splashed everywhere -- from summer clothing to beach towels and -- soon -- local produce.
The Fox Valley Park District adds to this yearly collage of color, planting more than 20,000 annual flowers throughout the park system each year.
It is a love worth sharing, which the park district will do again this season with its Flower Power Planting Parties. From 8 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 12, three simultaneous planting teams comprised of volunteers -- perhaps you included -- will take to the gardens at Blackberry Farm, Splash Country Water Park and Phillips Park Family Aquatic Center to roll up their sleeves and celebrate planting season.
Party favors will include begonias, petunias, salvia and zinnias -- gorgeous annuals that will sparkle with color all summer once they're planted.
Park district greenhouse staff will be on hand to provide their expertise, garden tools and thousands of earth-ready flowers. There will be no shortage of opportunities for all volunteers to plant, and no experience is required.
But this is more than just plunking plants into a hole in the ground. Greenhouse staff will provide valuable tips on proper planting techniques that assure these flower beds grow to their full potential and maintain their vibrancy all the way until the first frost.
Consider it a free workshop that will explain the art of planting and caring for beautiful gardens of annual flowers. All the knowledge and experience gleaned from this community event will come in handy at home. Follow those tips, and you'll no longer have to keep up with the Joneses -- they'll be trying to keep up with you. Also, all volunteers will receive a complimentary annual to take home and plant.
"People often ask 'How can I create a flower bed like that at home?' and we're happy to give them a little green thumb advice," said greenhouse supervisor Helen Wohlfeil. "With every new flower that's planted, our communities become that much more beautiful."
And for those who would like an up-close preview of what will be appearing in gardens across the Park District this year, an Afternoon Tea at the Greenhouse is being held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the district's greenhouse, 259 S. Russell Ave., Aurora.
Guests can enjoy a cup of English tea along with complimentary scones while viewing the newest varieties of annuals and ornamental grasses before they're moved to their summer homes.
To be a part of the Flower Power Planting Parties and sign up for a location, contact Debbie Smith at (630) 966-4555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just think -- every time you visit one of these facilities this summer, you'll smile knowing you had a hand in creating its welcoming beauty.
Jeff Long is the public relations manager for the Fox Valley Park District. Contact him at email@example.com.