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Today's Features

  • The guys came through my neighborhood this week with the hedge shears to turn every shrub — loropetalum, ligustrum, holly, camellia, whatever — into round balls.

    Humans seem to love this “geometric pruning” because you see it in Europe as well as here in the states. I suppose part of the appeal is that it’s easy and quick and you don’t have to know anything about plants. 

    Sheared plants make sense in very formal gardens, but our gardens are much more informal with flowing lines and asymmetrical balance. 

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  • By John Nelson

     

    Perhaps you have heard of a certain plant with this provocative common name, “Blaspheme-vine.”

    This, of course, is a well-known species of Smilax, specifically Smilax laurifolia, which grows from New Jersey all the way to Texas, mostly on the Coastal Plain, and usually in damp habitats.

  • This was an entirely new definition of “dog tired.”

    Slumped in my exam room was a mussy-haired, middle-aged mother of three with a dynamic Dachshund dancing around her legs. She looked pleadingly at me through eyes yellowed and sunken from overuse: “I need your help. I haven’t slept for two nights due to this.”

    Her eyes trailed downward, landing squarely on the beaming brown fur baby at her feet. I was confused.

  • I love words. I love the ones that come tumbling from the depths of my being, disturbing and delighting as they rush headlong onto the pages of my life as well as my computer screen. I love those whose presence is elusive, dancing in and out of my consciousness and teasing me with surprise. The more the merrier, or so I think. Words matter. 

  • By Linda Arnold

     

    Click. Add to cart. Confirmation.

    It’s so easy. Just how do they know what you need?

    Because it’s big business for companies to know everything they can about you. And you leave a trail every time you make a choice.

    Entire businesses have sprung up to track our every move — not only purchases but preferences. What do you read? What kind of car do you drive? What are your favorite brands?

    So who could blame you for jumping on board? 

  • We really live in a special place! In addition to our warm, sunny weather and sandy beaches, eastern North Carolina provides an abundance of seafood festivals to take advantage of in early October every year.

    On Oct. 6-8, the North Carolina Seafood Festival took place in the town of Morehead City. The festival is held the first weekend in October every year to help promote the positive social and economic impact of the seafood industry in North Carolina during the non-summer months.

  • Brunswick Family Assistance Agency has begun taking applications, by appointment only, for its Christmas Basket/Tree of Hope program. The agency will continue to take applications through Nov. 6.

    Applicants should call 754-4766 to schedule an appointment to apply for this program. Applications will also be taken at Family Resource Center in Leland and New Hope Clinic in Boiling Spring Lakes.

  • Rotary members in Shallotte are among millions reaching out on World Polio Day, Tuesday, Oct. 24, to raise awareness, funds and support to end polio — a vaccine preventable disease that still threatens children in parts of the world today. Shallotte Rotary Club will mark historic progress toward a polio-free world, while urging community support to end the paralyzing disease.

  • The Brunswick Town Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) will have a table for The Warrior Ride on Saturday, Oct. 21, which starts at the soccer fields behind Oak Island Town Hall. Registration begins at 9 a.m. The opening ceremony will start at 10 a.m. followed by self-paced bicycle ride around Oak Island, where residents will be able to talk to and ride with veterans. A $25 donation to the charity is requested.