Labor Day has come and gone, signaling the end of summer. This means the days will be getting shorter, the air will have that crispness of fall and candy corn, much to my friend Hazel's dismay, will flow in abundance. Also, white shoes should have been carefully retired to the back of the closet until next spring's Easter.
This year's wet weather has allowed me to field some interesting calls. One problem in particular I have seen more frequently than usual is the "artillery fungus."
Earlier this month, Lamar and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. By celebrated, I mean he rode his bike all day and Cole and I watched cartoons and made cupcakes.
The Georgia Mountains Master Gardeners would like to invite you to attend their next monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 9 in Dahlonega. Atlanta garden expert, radio and television host, and writer Walter Reeves will be the guest speaker. He will be presenting on environmentally responsible landscaping.
No one likes a hypocrite.
I had lost it. Like really, really, lost it. I was about to unleash the locusts. It was Saturday night and I could feel my blood boiling in my veins.
This has been a particularly rough summer when it comes to our home garden vegetables. Excessive rainfall has prevented many plants from growing or ripening properly. To make things worse, we also have to deal with insect pests trying to devour the vegetables that did manage to grow. One pest we have to deal with every year is the squash vine borer.
My mojo's been off lately. I don't know what caused it and there are several possible reasons: worst summer ever in my life history, the perpetual rain or just the general sense of loss I have experienced. But my mojo was horribly and devastatingly off kilter.
Earlier this summer, I told my friend Yolande I was cleaning my house so she could come over.
Bagworms are caterpillars that make distinctive "spindle-shaped" bags on a variety of ornamental trees and shrubs throughout Georgia. They have been known to attack both deciduous and evergreen trees, but are most often found on cedar, cypress, arborvitae, juniper, spruce and pine. They can also be seen on deciduous plants, including rose, maple, elm and sycamore.
When I was a child, I thought my Mama was the most awful parent ever. The woman made me watch "Star Trek." This was absolute mind-bending torture. To lure me into her sci-fi trap, Mama often had Ding Dongs or Twinkies and being the chubby kid I was, I would sit and watch as long as the sweets flowed.
We receive calls all year long at the extension office about trees with large, exposed roots. Sometimes these roots will bust up sidewalks and driveways. The most common complaint from homeowners is that the surface roots interfere with the lawn. Exposed roots can cause uneven lumps in the turf, and they can also tear up a lawnmower with one pass.
Maple trees are popular in home landscapes all over Georgia. Some maple species are native to this part of the country, so they naturally do well with limited maintenance.
"When does school start back?" Cole asked the other day.
I recently received a leaf sample from a homeowner whose tree had been rapidly declining for a few months. The leaves showed symptoms of wilting, but there was no distinct pattern as there would be for a fungal leaf spot. I went out to look at the tree a few days later, and by the time I arrived almost all of the leaves were dead and crispy.
Many homeowners ask me about recommendations for certain plants that will fit their landscape. Since many of us have wooded lots, a question I often get is what to plant in shadier spots of the yard. Here are a few suggested species for trees that can tolerate partial shade.
I have a bad habit of 'shoulda'-ing on everything. I've done it for quite a while, unfortunately, and just now realized it.
Autumn olive, mimosa, English ivy, Lespedeza, Chinese privet, Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu, Japanese stiltgrass, princesstree, Chinese wisteria, multiflora rose and bamboo. What do all of these plants have in common?
"Mama, why do they have Christmas stuff out already?"
"I love you more" has been an ongoing thing between my son and me.
Last Saturday while the Bulldog nation sweated out a 35-32 victory over the Tennessee Volunteers that should not have been as hard as our scholar-athletes made it, former head football coach and athletic director Vince Dooley's first team at UGA was recognized on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. As nice as that was, more - much more - needs to be done to honor the legendary Hall of Fame coach.
There's been so much disturbing news lately that I thought I'd share a couple of different "bits." They both came from forwarded emails, so perhaps you have seen them, but they bear repeating.
If I am being honest, there's more times than I count that things don't go my way.
It seems like summer is slowly beginning to turn to fall. Some vegetable gardens may still be producing well, but others are beginning to wind down for the season. For those of us whose gardens have given up, consider planting a cover crop this fall to improve your vegetable garden next summer.
September is not only the full-fledged beginning of the new school year, it is also start-up time for organization activities that have filled many planning hours during the "dormant" days of July and August.
According to Mama, I am not a grown up yet. I do not have a full appreciation of country music and until I do, I cannot be deemed a grown up.
I am not sure what started the discussion but I was in trouble - big, big trouble.
Part of the joys of homeschooling is seeing my child's face light up during our discussions, the animated way he gets excited and can sit and talk about certain subjects for 45 minutes - which he said he didn't have the opportunity to do before. The heartbreak is hearing my child's fears of failure.
In college statistics, I realized the Evan Esar's quote that "statistics is the science of producing unreliable facts from reliable figures" was true. They taught my class how to go to extremes with the science of figures. The point was to understand that everything has a counter point.
When you live in a small town, people know you. When you have the privilege of living in a small town in the mountains, people know your dogs, too.
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