Cultura Garden Club members Debbie Nale, Patricia Cox, Martha Sibley and Debra Spillers enjoy diner on the lake.

Know your plants and flowers 

BY SUSIE HOVATER MALONE
LIFESTYLES COLUMNIST

May has been a busy month for the members of the Cultura Garden Club. Members sold more than 250 spring flowers for the group’s annual spring flower fundraiser. The club distributed the flowers May 8 at the home of Debbie and William Nale.

Members enjoyed their end-of-the-year dinner at the lake home of Patricia and Don Cox. Each member contributed to the menu, and offerings included barbecue, baked beans, potato salad, delicious desserts and other dishes.

The program title was “Know Your Plants and Flowers.” Spring and summer are here, and people will be spending more time outdoors. Whether you’re looking for help identifying plants along your morning hike; wondering if that glossy leaf your loved one pulled up while camping is poison ivy; or designing the flower or food garden of your dreams, many people are driven to identify plants. 

According to Erin C. Hill, Ph.D., an academic specialist in the department of plant, soil and microbial sciences at Michigan State University, there are many apps available to help identify plants. She notes PlantNet as her overall top pick because of its level of accuracy, ease of use and its speed, which makes the process of identifying plants a breeze.

The Institute was on the red buckeye plants, one of the first trees to leaf out in the spring. They typically grow 4-8 inches tall in upright clusters, and their pear-shaped fruits ripen in late summer to early fall, enclosing a single seed or pair of glossy seeds, otherwise known as “buckeyes.”

Buckeye flowers are used as nectar by ruby-throated Hummingbirds. The fruit and seeds are poisonous to humans and livestock, but squirrels love them.

Cultura members approved a $105 donation to the Russellville Fire Department’s annual fire safety education program. 

To assist the city in keeping the pots and hanging baskets downtown looking good during the long summer holiday weekend or hot, dry spells, each member received a summer watering schedule. So, if you see these ladies or city workers watering the downtown pots and hanging baskets, give them a wave or word of encouragement. 

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