There’s an old Ohio phrase that’s tired but true—“If you don’t like the weather now, just wait 10 minutes”. That isn’t much of an exaggeration when you consider the weather we’ve seen in the past month. From record highs to frigid lows, thunderstorms and freeze warnings, the weather has certainly gone from one extreme to the other and back again.

This week, if you find yourself staring out the window scowling at the rain while daydreaming of sunny beaches, let us offer a suggestion—take a walk! Yes, it’s wet out there. Yes, there is mud and puddles and you’ll have a bad hair day. But you’ll also have the pleasure of seeing what a beautiful gem Marietta is this time of year. The grass is green, branches are heavy with blossoms and the perennials are making their spring appearance in bright shades of chartreuse and mint. From the well groomed landscaping of Marietta College to the majestic trees lining the historic neighborhoods, Marietta wears spring like a fashionable madam.

photo-3-6It’s no accident that the city has well-placed trees and strategically planned green spaces.  Residents such as those who make up the Tree Commission recognize the value our trees add to the city and work hard to maintain and protect them for future generations. Another volunteer group, Marietta in Bloom, recently formed in a new effort to beautify the city, following the direction of the national America in Bloom program. Behind the scenes, dedicated volunteers offer their time and labor to plant, prune and mulch – repeating the process season after season.  Their efforts result in a city that balances brick and mortar with flowers and foliage. On April 5th, more than 70 volunteers met at the steps of the Armory wielding gardening tools of every kind for the annual Clean Sweep event. 75 yards of mulch were distributed to key locations around downtown as volunteers swept through the streets and along the river walking trail picking up trash and tidying flower beds.

“It was a wonderful display of people working together to make Downtown Marietta a wonderful place together!”

                                                                – Jean Farmer, Director of Marietta Main Street

Many residents take their flowers seriously, and a walk along the brick streets will showcase hanging baskets, lush perennial beds and porches adorned with annuals. The downtown merchants also lend a green thumb, and Marietta Main Street provides gorgeous hanging baskets each year to beautify the light posts. Part of Marietta’s charm is the unexpected appearance of flowers and shrubs in the midst of sidewalk and brick. And that charm adds to the downtown shopping experience. Sure, you can go to the mall, shop until your feet scream, then eat fast food while children fight on the giant hot dog. Or you can stroll down Front Street and relax on a shaded bench, enjoying the homemade treats of a local eatery.

bloomIf you’ve never visited downtown Marietta, what better season for your first time? And if you’ve always admired the beauty and would like to lend a hand… or green thumb… to the project, Marietta Main Street invites you to join them next Thursday, May 8th at 7:00am in front of the Lafayette Hotel, located at 101 Front Street. “Many hours are dedicated to preserving and enhancing the beauty of our city, we appreciate all the volunteer hours contributed to this task,” says Jean, “Our downtown is so pretty, they make it look easy. We invite everyone interested in participating to join us!”

Images borrowed from from Washington County CVB and Marietta Main Street