Ka-bloom!

Women’s Club beautifies downtown with annual flower planting


Volunteers Steve Long, Deborah Kirby, Kathy Smith, Tammy Parenteau, George Hicks and Rae Lynn Hicks were part of a 14-person crew that spent Saturday morning beautifying downtown Swartz Creek. Photo by Lania Rocha

Volunteers Steve Long, Deborah Kirby, Kathy Smith, Tammy Parenteau, George Hicks and Rae Lynn Hicks were part of a 14-person crew that spent Saturday morning beautifying downtown Swartz Creek. Photo by Lania Rocha

SWARTZ CREEK — The GFWC Swartz Creek Women’s Club kicked it up a notch once again with their annual planting of the flowers.

Volunteers – 14 in all, mostly club members but also a few others who just wanted to be part of the team – spent all morning Saturday, May 30, filling planters, boxes and garden spots with red, yellow, white and green foliage that will fill downtown Swartz Creek with beauty and charm throughout the summer.

“We did a little extra this year,” said project Chairwoman Sandra Dively. “It’s really going to pop. I think it’s going to be beautiful.”

In the planters, there are Dragon Wing red begonias and Diamond Snow euphorbia, which produce small, white, airy blooms.

Some planters will have Ruby Road coleus at the center; others will have Suncredible yellow helianthus, a yellow hybrid from the sunflower family.

“Some people complained about the centerpieces in the planters last year,” said Dively. “They said it looked like marijuana.”

There also are 126 petunias in three colors in the planters.

“We wanted red, white and black for Swartz Creek’s colors,” Dively said. “We couldn’t get black, but we were able to get a really deep red.”

On the bridge over the Swartz Creek on Morrish Road, and in front of the walls at the arch and Holland Square, there are 24 Hip Hop euphorbias – another variety with wispy white petals – 36 Lemon Coral sedum – a green plant with delicate “spikes” – and 102 petunias.

“The Lemon Coral sedum will spread out and hang down about 12 inches, and it just pops,” said Dively. “In the ground at the arch, there’s a lot of color, which we never had before.”

There will be 44 18-inch hanging baskets – two per pole – on the lampposts.

The Downtown Development Authority and City of Swartz Creek provided $4,500 for flowers, which the club purchased from Frankenmuth Florist Greenhouse, Dively said. That’s about $1,000 more than last year’s investment.

City workers will water the flowers as needed during the week, and GFWC Swartz Creek Women’s Club members will handle watering duties on the weekends.

Later this summer, the club will turn its attention to Bicentennial Park on the southeast corner of Miller and Morrish roads. Last year, the club was overwhelmed with the community’s response when they put out a call for donations of perennial flowers and plants to fill in some of the blank spots.

Everything that was donated survived the winter, “and it’s looking beautiful,” said Dively. “The community did this; all we did was plant them.”

This fall, the club wants to plant bulbs – tulips, daffodils, hyacinth – so the city will have some spring blooms next year. So, keep that in mind if you’re thinning or separating flower beds this year. To donate bulbs, call 810-635-9319.