Flower Power.

first_imgFeatured speakers for the one-day event include:* Vicki Tucker, environmental horticulture instructor at AlbanyTechnical College.* Hugh and Carol Nourse, nature photographers and authors of “Wildflowersof Georgia, a Celebration of Their Diversity and Conservation.”* Janisse Ray, environmentalist and author of “Ecology ofa Cracker Childhood.”* Kay Kirkman, research scientist and co-author of “Treesof Georgia.”* John Ruter, UGA associate professor of horticulture.The authors will be signing their books, and information fromthe Garden Club of Georgia will be on display during the day.The grand finale will be a guided tour through the Coastal PlainResearch Arboretum.For a detailed brochure or registration form, call (229) 391-6868.Or go to http://nespal.cpes.peachnet.edu/wildflower. The deadline for registeringis March 14. Native plant enthusiasts can spend a day with the experts in Tifton,Ga., March 28 at the South Georgia Wildflower Symposium.Learn to recognize and appreciate beautiful wildflowers and plantsand how to incorporate them into your garden. The program is cosponsoredby The Garden Club of Georgia, Camellia District IV and the Universityof Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.last_img read more

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‘Talk’ It Out.

first_img‘Listen,’ TooIf you “ask” your plants, then listen to them. Once your plants have told you what they need, respond! And ask yourself: Are you happy where you are? No? What do you need?What’s bugging you?Are you a Georgia plant, or do you wish you were back North (or down in Miami, or under the Big Sky, or over in Seattle)?Are you feeling a bit moldy, or are you thirsty all the time? Do you need sunscreen, or are you yearning for the light?Are your feet comfy, or is the ground just too hard? Will you face the same gardening problems you had last year? Probably so: water shortages, heat, diseases, insects and those ever-present weeds.To counteract all of these problems, ask the plants what they think. They will answer you. Responsible GardenerBe a responsible gardener. Talk to your plants. Walk through your landscape and question them. Allow their input. Observe closely what they have to say.They usually indicate readily the state of things down in the garden. Do I have the right plant? If it’s a tomato plant and I’ve had problems with nematodes in the past, do I have a tomato resistant to nematodes? One that is resistant to diseases? Did I buy a really healthy transplant? Am I trying to grow a plant that is not adapted to Georgia conditions?Do I have it in the right place? Do I have a plant growing under shady conditions that needs 8 hours of sun? Do I have a rosemary herb that needs well-drained soil planted in a heavy clay area that stays wet? Is there enough air movement to dry the foliage quickly to keep disease down?Do I have it under the right conditions? Did I test my soil for pH and fertility? Have I underlimed or overfertilized? Is the plant in a place in the landscape where it will get too much water from irrigation or not enough?last_img read more

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‘Gardening’ herbs

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaWhether you’re an avid gardener or don’t garden at all, it’s easy to grow herbs. Most require little care and are almost pest-free. And on “Gardening in Georgia” May 14, host Walter Reeveswill show you all you need to know to get started.”Gardening in Georgia” is produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting and the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences. It airs each Saturday at12:30 and 7 p.m.On his May 14 show, Reeves visits with Wayne McLaurin, a UGAhorticulture professor emeritus who wrote the book on growingherbs in the South.ReallyMcLaurin and his wife Sylvia wrote “Herbs in Southern Gardens.”You can get the book for $5 at your county UGA Extension office.Reeves and McLaurin plant an herb bed and describe the flavors and scents available. Herbs taste better, McLaurin says, whenthey get little fertilizer but lots of sunshine. The heatheightens the taste in the herbs’ leaves.Later in the show, Reeves will show how he builds a raised bedwith 2-by-10 lumber. Vegetables, flowers and herbs all grow bestin raised beds. Reeves tells about other ways to build raisedbeds. And he shows how to prepare the soil, a key to successfulraised-bed gardening.last_img read more

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Indoor ants

first_imgBy Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaAs outdoor temperatures get hotter and conditions get drier,humans aren’t the only ones coming indoors. Argentine ants aremarching inside, too.”If you have them, you definitely know it,” said Dan Suiter, anentomologist with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences. “They travel in trailsinto kitchens, offices and bathrooms searching for food andwater.”Argentine ants are small, just an eighth of an inch long. Nativeto South America, they were accidentally introduced into theUnited States more than 100 years ago in New Orleans coffeeshipments. Sugar, syrup loversDespite this cycle, you can reduce your chances of having theseants in your home by thoroughly rinsing all drink cans beforeplacing them into the garbage or recycling bin and by emptyinggarbage containers often.”Like any other time of year, don’t leave any food or drinksout,” Suiter said. “These ants can find a Coke can with just alittle syrup left in it. They love sugar, and they’ll show up bythe thousands, literally overnight.”Suiter doesn’t recommend arming yourself with an over-the-counterinsect killer.”There aren’t a lot of good products out there for homeowners touse,” he said. “You can spray the ants and get what we call therevenge factor. You kill a lot of ants that way. But you’ll neverget rid of them, because you haven’t hit the nest, where all thequeens are.” Difficult-to-control”Since then, they’ve spread throughout the Southeastern statesand into southern California and Hawaii,” Suiter said. “They’reone of the most pestiferous and most difficult-to-control ants inthe U.S. A single colony can consist of hundreds of thousands ofants.”Suiter says the tiny pests travel indoors in the winter, too. Butthey’re much more of a problem in the summer. “They’re horriblein the summertime,” he said.During the winter, Argentine ants move inside to survive thecold. They live inside closed spaces, like walls, until spring,when they move outside. By fall, their colonies have grown to apeak.”When we encounter a drought, like now, while the colonies aregrowing, they will readily come inside,” Suiter said. “Astemperatures begin to cool, they will re-enter structures tosurvive the cold. And next spring the process will start all overagain.”center_img Use baits or a professionalA bait that can be used indoors is Terro bait, he said. It’s aliquid you can buy at most home-improvement and lawn-and-gardenstores.Another effective bait, he said, is Combat Ant-Killing Gel. “It’savailable in a syringe so you can put small dabs anyplace you seeants,” he said.If you reach a point of desperation, Suiter recommends calling aprofessional pest control company for help.”There is one new product, Termidor, that professionals haveaccess to that performs well against Argentine ants,” Suitersaid. “It’s a spray for use outside the home and is not labeledfor indoor use.”For more information on controlling pests, call your local UGACooperative Extension agent at 1-800-ASK-UGA1. Or order thehomeowner edition of the UGA Cooperative Extension PestManagement Handbook.To order the homeowner handbook, send a $15 check payable to theUniversity of Georgia in care of the UGA Ag Business Office, Room215 Conner Hall, Athens, GA 30602. Designate your check for thehomeowner edition of the Pest Management Handbook.last_img read more

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Invasive cogongrass

first_imgThis spring marks the fifth year that the Georgia Cogongrass Task Force has been educating landowners and land managers about the risk cogongrass, a highly invasive Federal Noxious Weed, poses to our forests, roadsides, fields and natural areas across the state. Georgia has an aggressive campaign lead by the Georgia Forestry Commission to locate and eradicate cogongrass. This program provides treatment of all cogongrass infestations at no cost to the landowner.Educating landownersIn the spring of 2006, there were 220 cogongrass infestations in Georgia. This spring, that number is up to 355. The number of infestations is rising because landowners are now more educated on what to look for due to the educational programs conducted across the state by task force partners. All 355 infestations have been treated. Some spots have been eradicated. Others will continue to be treated until controlled. While 355 spots may sound like a lot, it represents only slightly more than 100 acres. Most infested spots are less than 450 square feet. Compare that to the more than 1 million acres of cogongrass now in Florida, Alabama and Mississippi, where the aggressive weed competes against and chokes out native flora and disrupts ecosystems.The key to keeping cogongrass from spreading to more acres in Georgia is a management strategy for invasive plants called Early Detection Rapid Response. This proactive approach keeps the problem from expanding beyond the point of control and offers the most cost-effective stewardship of our lands.Fluffy, silvery-white seed headsThe cogongrass campaign in Georgia is working, but we know we haven’t found all infestations. We need help to find new ones. And this is a great time of year to find them. From late March to mid-June the fluffy, silvery-white seed heads of cogongrass wave like flags marking infestations in forests, along roadways and other places. During this time, no other grass in Georgia has that kind of seed head.As more citizens learn about cogongrass and actively look for it on their properties, we can effectively treat small infestations. However, if we allow cogongrass to spread unchecked, then we are facing very difficult and extremely expensive treatments. Training road crewsAs part of the EDRR program, the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health work with UGA Cooperative Extension agents across the state to train county road crews to identify cogongrass during its distinctive spring flowering period. Road crews are more likely to see infestations. To learn more about the grass or how to identify it, go to the Web site cogongrass.org. If you see a suspect site, contact your local UGA Extension office by calling 1-800-ASK- UGA1.last_img read more

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Holiday Terrariums

first_imgAre you looking for a unique last-minute gift for the holidays? If your recipient loves plants but has a black thumb, a terrarium may be the perfect gift.Terrariums are like tiny, desktop greenhouses. The plants grow and change as time goes by, making it a holiday gift that your friend or family member can enjoy all year. You can make terrariums as personal as you want, and even better, as inexpensive as you’d like. All it takes is a little bit of craftiness, plant material and a glass container.“A terrarium is a great option for people who like the idea of plants, but don’t have the space or time to plant an outdoor garden,” said University of Georgia Trial Gardens Manager Brandon Coker. “It’s a relatively self-contained ecosystem, so a well-put-together terrarium can survive even the most distracted plant punisher.”Here are Coker’s recommendations for making a glass terrarium whose plants will thrive.First, purchase or gather the necessary supplies, which include:Glass container. You can splurge on an ornate glass vessel, pick one up at the thrift store, which tends to have a plethora of unique containers, or use an old jar. Whether the terrarium is open or closed will depend on your plant selection.Activated charcoal. This is available at most hardware stores or in the aquarium section of pet stores. “Activated charcoal pulls all the unwanted smells and toxins out of the environment. Much like our soil purifies water before it gets into aquifers in the ground,” Coker said.Potting soil.Gravel or small pebbles.Small trinkets. This is optional, but you can use small figurines or toys, marbles, stones or anything else you can imagine to decorate the inside of the terrarium.Plants, of course! Lots of nurseries sell tiny plants just the right size for terrariums, or they can be ordered online. Remember, the plants will grow larger, so err on the small side. A word of caution: Avoid succulents, as they need excellent drainage to survive, which is very difficult to maintain in terrariums.The following is a list of plants that perform well in terrariums, according to UGA Cooperative Extension experts:Tropical plants – arrowhead, creeping fig, coral berry, Chinese evergreen, English ivy, parlor palm and strawberry begonia.Woodland plants – asparagus fern, mimosa, Norfolk pine, rattlesnake plantain, pellionia, bird’s nest fern and club moss.Desert plants – ball cactus, cob cactus, Easter lily cactus, peanut cactus, prickly pear, star cactus, aloe and agave.Once you have collected all of the supplies, follow these directions to create your terrarium:Fill the bottom of your glass vessel with gravel or pebbles. Be generous! About 1.5 to 2 inches should be sufficient for drainage.Next, add a layer of activated charcoal — enough to thoroughly cover the gravel. Don’t skip this step! “Activated charcoal is a must for a healthy terrarium,” said Coker.Then, gently and carefully add soil. If you have any organic matter you’d like to add, such as peat moss, be sure to mix it with the soil before adding it to the container. Remember to leave room for the plants to fit too. Start by adding a little less soil than you think you might need.Add plants the way you would when gardening on a larger scale. Remove the excess soil and fluff out the roots if they’ve become potbound. Then, place plants in the terrarium and make sure all ofthe roots are covered. Add extra soil, if needed.As a final touch, add pebbles or moss as a top dressing. Then, place small, decorative objects inside. Be creative! Almost anything can be repurposed to add flair.Remove any dirt from the inside walls of the terrarium for a clean look.Lastly, give your new terrarium a few sprays of mist. Remember, there are no drainage holes, so there should be barely any water to seep through the soil to the bottom layer. Misting is best because it will evenly water the soil and is the easiest way to control the water.To learn more about the Trial Gardens at UGA, visit ugatrial.hort.uga.edu/.last_img read more

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Champlain College rolls out a digital filmmaking major

first_imgBURLINGTON, Vt. Champlain College is rolling out a new degree in Digital Filmmaking. This fall, 30 students have switched into the new major as part of a soft launch of the new program a full year before the programs official start in Fall 2008.In Champlains program, students will earn a bachelor of science in Digital Filmmaking, unlike the bachelor of fine arts with a concentration in filmmaking this is common in other film programs. Students will also choose to focus in one or more of four genres of filmmaking: narrative/dramatic, documentary, experimental or industrial/educational.With a programmatic emphasis on hands-on learning and production experience, first-year courses include Digital Artwork, Introduction to Digital Filmmaking, Digital Image and Electronic Media Writing. In the second and third years, students will complete Film History, Video Communications, Screenwriting, Fundamentals of Acting, Video Composting and Special Effects, and Advanced Audio Production and Sound Design.Program co-directors Karen Klove and Dr. Nancy Kerr say Champlains program provides a deliberate mix of traditional filmmaking theory and hands-on technical skill development that is distinctive in New England. While there are other filmmaking programs out there, most remain in a traditional format with limited access to equipment in the freshman and sophomore years. This is due in part to the prohibitive cost of cameras, film stock and developing, Klove said. The digital format, however, allows students to explore freely without such concerns. Our students dive in immediately. From day one they discover, they experiment, they develop as artists because every semester they are expected to apply theoretical inquiry to their individual filmmaking practice.Because students are learning the same technologies as professionals in the industry, their skill set will be current and relevant. Graduates from the Digital Filmmaking program may choose to start careers in traditional filmmaking on the East and West coasts; among the many jobs available to graduates they can work as producers, directors, editors, gaffers, cinematographers, art directors, special effects artist, screenwriters and sound designers. Theyll also be ripe for jobs in corporate media, experimental media and documentary filmmaking.Champlain is the right place to offer such a unique filmmaking program, Kerr said. With a depth of software and hardware on campus and faculty members who are industry professionals, were in a good position to expand our technology base into this new, creative niche. Some of Champlains newer digital media programs include electronic game development, multimedia design and broadcasting.To learn more about Champlains new program, visit http://www.champlain.edu/majors/digitalfilm(link is external). Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a private, baccalaureate institution that offers professionally focused programs balanced by an interdisciplinary core curriculum. The College is a national leader in educating students to become skilled practitioners, effective professionals and global citizens.# # #last_img read more

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Eating with Grace Website Launched

first_imgEating With Grace” creator, Anya Raven Hunter, LICSW, offers womens therapy groups and other services (individual counseling and coaching, phone and email consults, consultation and referral) to individuals over 18 who struggle with food, weight and body image issues. Anya also gives talks to community organizations and other health care providers about compulsive overeating.The Eating with Grace website also offers information about eating disorders and contact information for other Vermont and national resources.Anya Raven Hunter is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Body-Mind Psychotherapist in Montpelier, Vermont. She has been in private practice since 1986.last_img read more

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Shumlin names Larson to head DVHA, to be key player in implementing health care reform

first_imgGovernor Peter Shumlin today announced the appointment of Mark Larson to head the Department of Vermont Health Access. Larson, who serves in the Vermont House, replaces Susan Besio as commissioner.‘I am proud to add Mark Larson to my administration and look forward to his leadership at DVHA,” Shumlin said. “Mark has a deep understanding of health policy in Vermont, including complex systems like Medicaid, which is central to health planning. Mark has also demonstrated his commitment to the principles behind Act 48, and will be a valuable member of my health care policy team.’As commissioner, Larson will oversee management of Vermont’s publicly funded health insurance programs. He will also play a key role in moving forward Vermont’s health care reform efforts, including the new Vermont Health Benefit Exchange and Green Mountain Care. Larson will officially begin the position on August 17.The mission of DVHA includes improving access, quality and cost effectiveness in health care reform; assisting Medicaid beneficiaries in accessing services; and collaborating with other health care entities in bringing proven practices to Vermont Medicaid beneficiaries.Larson, who lives in Burlington, will be a critical player in implementing the governor’s health reforms, and work closely with the newly created Green Mountain Care Board. He has been a member of the Vermont House since 2000, where he has served as the Chair of the House Health Care Committee, Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee and Co-Chair of the Vermont Commission on Health Care Reform.‘I am excited to join Governor Shumlin’s health care team,’ said Larson. ‘Under his leadership, Vermont has a historic opportunity to provide all Vermonters with affordable access to health care. I look forward to working with Vermonters to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the reforms outlined in Act 48.’DVHA is located in the Agency of Human Services.last_img read more

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Meadowlake Drive bridge in Mendon to be closed September 8

first_imgThe bridge on Meadowlake Drive located just off Route 4 will be closed for two days from 6:00 a.m. Thursday, September 8 until 6:00 p.m. Friday, September 9 to allow giant earthmoving equipment to work.  Traffic will be diverted to the East Pittsford and Chittenden Roads during this time. Questions or requests for additional information should be directed to the Mendon town Office at 775-1662.last_img

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