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Bloom Where You Are Planted

April 12, 2019

Spring is finally here and there is so much to be happy about! With warmer weather comes more outdoor activities, festivals, and long walks without freezing your fingers and toes off. It is time for a change in scenery with more greenery — let’s start by planting flowers and tending to our lawns for brighter happier colors. April isn’t just the beginning of spring weather here in Chicago, it also a month full of fun national holidays. This month is National Humor Month, Keep America Beautiful Month, and last and not least, it is Lawn and Garden Month. Who doesn’t want to be happy and laughing? Who doesn’t want to be part of keeping ourselves and our home beautiful? And what can be more calming than gardening?

National Humor Month was conceived as a means to heighten public awareness of the therapeutic value of humor. Humor leads to an overall improved well-being, a boosted morale, an enriched quality of life, and improves communication skills. Humor is used as a tool to lift ailing spirits, an established notion that is well supported by scientific research. The “pursuit of happiness,” is what we all thrive and work so hard for. These famous words were said by Thomas Jefferson who was interestingly born on April 13th, right in the middle of National Humor Month. This specific day is now known as Pursuit of Happiness Day. Think of this as a day to reflect on happiness and plan events and gatherings with family and friends.

Chicago is already a beautiful city, but there are many ways that we can be actively involved to help keep it that way. According to National Today, there are about 40,000 national events that you can participate in to keep America beautiful. Some of these activities may include the prevention of littering by making sure that areas with heavy public traffic are equipped with enough trash cans or starting a group that takes on a role of making sure recycling is being done around your neighborhood. If you want to start your own group to help America stay beautiful, you can apply for a grant. With this  grant you can get funds to revitalize parks or organize group clean up initiatives. Keep America Beautiful Month was inspired by a non-profit organization dedicated towards improving public spaces through action and education. This month also gives youth groups the opportunity to have an active role in improving the world. After all, Kids Are Our Future.

Speaking of keeping America beautiful, April is Lawn and Garden Month. Lawn and Garden Month is celebrated each year in April in hopes to motivate you to spruce up your yard or living space with flowers and plants. There are many different types of flowers and plants and learning the proper care for them is important. There are flowers that last a couple years with proper care or flowers that bloom annually. Certain flowers require shade while others need full sun exposure. Everyone has heard the phrase, “April showers brings May flowers” — well the same goes for home plants and your lawns. Watering too often can drown the grass or flower, and fertilizing too much can burn them. You will start to see the grass turn yellow or brown and the flowers may dry out too quick.  I don’t have a green thumb but I understand the importance of bringing nature inside and around us in otherwise urban environment. Seeing flowers and plants have shown to have positive therapeutic and calming effects. So, get to your local garden store or nursery and get busy planting!

Be happy and smile big, America – it’s spring time!

“Rules for happiness: something to do, someone to love, something to hope for.”

–Immanuel Kant

Happy Spring from Artful Smiles Team!

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