Each year members from the Georgia green industry come together to decide the best plants from the categories of annual, perennial, shrub, ground cover and natives. The plants have to perform well throughout the state and be easily available. And this year they picked ALL of my personal favorites so I wanted to share them with you.
Native plants have a special place in my heart – not only do they adapt well to our environment, they are also important for our birds and bees. And native grasses rank at the very top of my list. The sound their leaves make as the wind blows across them sounds like ocean waves. Now add a soft pink color and you have Muhlenbergia capillaris (Pink Muhly grass). This grass starts off with green blades, followed by huge clouds of pink inflorescences in late summer. The foliage turns brown in winter but it is just as attractive in its own way; cut it back in spring before the new growth comes out and you restart the cycle. At three feet high and wide, this is a low-maintenance, sun-loving grass that pairs beautifully with conifers. But wherever you plant it, try to get either the morning or evening sun behind it – the effect is awesome. To get a good look at this Muhly grass, just visit Town Park where there are large stands of it at the Washington Street gates.
Is there any plant that speaks of the South better than a gardenia? There are many different cultivars on the market so you will be able to find one that fits your specific garden needs, but the mother plant, Gardenia jasminoides, will always be a winner. It can handle full sun to partial shade, but be sure to provide good drainage. If the upright version won’t fit in your garden bed, then consider the low growing variety ‘Radicans.’ The leaves and flowers are both smaller but the fragrance is just as bold.
Burlington, N.C. is a long way from Shinar, the reported location where the Tower of Babel was begun, but that remoteness hasn’t kept the confusions caused by the great project from affecting the lives of citizens.
Terrance Ervin Daniels, a deaf resident of Burlington, was using sign language to communicate with another deaf man in public when Robert Jarell Neal, 22, stabbed Daniels several times with a kitchen knife.
Why? Because Neal thought that Daniels was flashing gang signs on the street.
Yeah, because North Carolina has a huge gang scene comprised of 45-year-old men.
What level of ignorance has a culture sunk to when citizens, who we can assume was subjected to at least 10 years of public education, don’t even know what sign language is well enough to be able to differentiate it from gang signs?
None of Burlington’s 25 public schools were able to impart to Neal that there is a language that the hearing impaired use to communicate, which involves creating signs with their hands.
I propose that Burlington should amend its existing motto, “I’ll Tell the World,” to include the phrase, “...as Long as it Isn’t in Sign Language.”
Burlington’s daily newspaper, The Times-News, reports that Daniels is, luckily, in stable condition at the UNC Hospitals at Chapel Hill.
Isn’t it sad that the deaf don’t only have to overcome the challenges that face them because of their handicap, but, these days, they also have to watch their backs while using their language or else they might be the victim of a drive-by?
Printed in the January 17, 2013 edition.
According to Australian economist Steve Keen, capitalism’s crises have always been a product of the financial sector funding speculation on asset prices rather than just funding business expansion and innovation. Regardless of the endless inducements from the finance sector to lead the consumer into debt, commitments by the public to necessary personal debt are generally related to and regulated by their personal income. Commitments to debt for the purchase of speculative assets, on the other hand, are related not to personal income, but to expectations of leveraged profits on rising asset prices–when the factor most responsible for causing the growth in asset prices is accelerating debt. In the early 2000s, homes became such an asset.
This allows financial sector profits to grow far larger than is warranted, on the foundation of a far larger level of private debt than society can support. That is where we are now with total private debt of $45 trillion, about three times our Gross Domestic Product. Such lending led to a positive feedback loop between accelerating debt and rising asset prices; leading to both a debt and asset price bubble. The housing debacle of the early 2000s is a prime example. The asset bubble must always burst–because it relies upon ever accelerating debt for its maintenance–but once the asset bubble bursts, society is still left with the mountain of debt. When asset prices fall, and the debt remains constant, this is referred to as being “under water.”
Those that are opposed to gun control frequently resort to the tactic of citing some statistic that demonstrates how some ordinary object (e.g. a hammer, a fist) is used far more frequently to kill someone than is a “rifle.” This approach is not particularly constructive to the debate. While it is true that hammers are used to kill more people than “rifles”, “guns” are used to kill far more than all other methods combined (http://goo.gl/ysRB8 ). Since the real debate is on gun control and not rifle control, it is a bit dangerous to argue such control is unnecessary owing to relatively low death totals. If your opponent switches from “rifle” control to “gun” control your argument will fail.
An adjunct to this argument is an appeal to common sense. Most intuitively accept the premise that it would be silly to ban things because they might be misused (which taken to its logical conclusion would involve banning everything). However, people generally go along with banning something if it has no apparent “legitimate” use (e.g. drugs, high capacity guns, cigarettes) but bristle at banning objects that are predominantly used for “legitimate” purposes, particularly if the loss of that legitimate use would present a substantial hardship. The main problem anti-gun control advocates have is that the legitimate use and illegitimate use of a gun have the same result: death. The difference between the legitimate and illegitimate use of a hammer is obvious, not such much with guns. How does one overcome this hurdle? Always forthrightly confront any questions of the “why do you need a gun that does X?” variety. If asked why does one need more than six rounds, explain real life is not like the movies and one bullet does not kill someone instantly (recently a mother in Loganville, Georgia shot an intruder six times and he still walked away! http://goo.gl/HlttZ ).
Unless you are a Latin scholar, you may not know this phrase. It is the state motto of North Carolina and it means, “to be, rather than to seem.” Many people make New Year’s resolutions that they may have already broken. I would like to suggest a different kind of resolution that is more of an approach to life rather than a goal to simply be achieved. It is a decision not just to change our behavior, but to change the condition of our hearts. The beginning of this year may be a good time to check our pulses.
This approach to life questions the internal reality of our selves. It gets at the motivations, attitudes and values that guide our lives. I heard a metaphor recently describing what happens in our brain when we allow negative or defeating attitudes to rule us. Imagine you are cutting a path in a jungle with a machete. Cutting the path takes time and effort. The next time you go down the path, you are going to take the one that is cut. Eventually it becomes a path that is worn down by being used repeatedly. Cutting a new path in our brains also takes time and effort, but the new path can be the natural way we go if we use it long enough. The ability to cut a new path is within our power.
The holiday season brings mountains of gift catalogs to our homes, but now we gardeners can look forward to the joy of poring over all those seed catalogs that will be coming; tempting us into growing new and exciting vegetables and fruits. While I lust after all the great looking pictures, I don’t get to plant much in my own garden. But my good friend, Hilda Chilton, who is an outstanding gardener, is serious about her choices. She gardens on two acres of her large farm in Rutledge, producing delicious produce that she shares with everyone. I’ve been lucky enough to be the recipient of her goodies so I wanted to share the names of what she thinks is the best.
Tomatoes are one of the top seed picks and heirloom varieties are even more desirable. ‘Cherokee Purple’ is one of her favorite heirlooms; and ‘Goliath’ is her everyday mainstay tomato. The seeds are started in Styrofoam cups at the end of February; when ready, the bottoms are cut out and the cup planted in the ground, helping to prevent cutworms and providing a place to write the name of the tomato. I loved this piece of advice for successful tomatoes: mix compost into the beds; to each hole add a half-cup of 5-10-5 fertilizer, ½ cup Epsom salt and 1 cup of lime. It must work because I took home gigantic tomatoes with no blossom end rot.
Beans are easy to grow and look really great growing on a bamboo trellis stacked against an old wagon wheel. Winners in this league are ‘Willowleaf’ lima beans, ‘Rattlesnake’ and ‘Romano’ pole beans. I loved the beans but not sure I would grow okra. For those of you that do like okra, ‘Cajun Delight’ is one of Hilda’s favorites… it does make for nice flower arrangements though if you aren’t interested in eating it.