Brain health and gardening are connected. That is what Marion Garden Club members learned during a program, "Craniums and Geraniums," presented recently by Susan Sloop from the University of Illinois Extension office.
According to Sloop, research shows that gardening has many benefits, including better communication skills, a sense of well-being and confidence, added nutrition from homegrown veggies, physical fitness from the exercise, enjoyment and relaxation, mental health and increased knowledge.
Healthy brain food includes berries, nuts, garlic, onion, potatoes, dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, and green vegetables.
Garden of the Month went to Justin and Jennifer Tight, 141 N. Seventh St. An oasis is in the front yard, with a water garden surrounded by banana trees and flowering annuals. Lining their front porch are large hanging plants, which attracts hummingbirds.
Arrangements are being made to feature September's Garden of the Month. Anyone who has suggestions may leave them on the club's website at mariongardenclubofillinois.weebly.com.
A garden therapy is planned for Sept 7 at Fifth Season Assisted Living Center. And a youth activity is planned for Oct. 24 and 25 at Marion Carnegie Library.
The club will be donating a flower arrangement or mum to Southern Illinois Women's Health Conference on Sept. 16 at John A. Logan College.
The next Marion Garden Club meeting will be Sept. 20. Members will be traveling to Tanglefoot Ranch in Simpson, where they will receive lunch and a tour of the operation.
Visit the club's website to check out the photos and for information about upcoming activities.