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Today's Features

  • Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Landscape Color Field Day in Raleigh. This event got started back in the 1960s as the “bedding plant field day” and includes trials of annuals and some perennials that provide color and interest in those high-visibility places in the garden. Included are some of the highlights from checking out the color.

  • The appearance of many shrubs can be improved with a general pruning at this time of year. With new growth averaging 6 to 8 inches long, many evergreens are getting slightly out of bounds. Now is a good time to take hand pruners and shears to shape them.

    • Individual branches and stems need to be cut to back inside the plant. This will reduce the overall size of the plant and also reshape it.

    • Continue to shear formal hedges.

    Rejuvenation pruning

  • John and Sara Truesdale are celebrating 67 years of marriage. They have four children, Ann, John, Connie and Jack, and their children’s spouses Dan, Peggy, Harold and Beth. They have seven grandchildren and their spouses; seven great-grandchildren and one special Emily in heaven.

  • I read an interesting commentary regarding the question of sin in our lives and in our world. In Joan Chittister’s “In My Own Words” she asks, “What is sin?” and says that question has changed her life completely.

    Chittister’s words challenged me. Nobody wants to think about sin and sinfulness. It’s such a downer, but I began to question how many times and in how many ways I had indulged myself in activities or omissions that occurred at the expense of others.

  • Daisy, left, and Hannah are best friends forever felines and two tabbies looking for a good home at Cat Tails. Daisy is almost 5 and Hannah, who’s a little shyer, is almost a year old. To see them, call Cat Tails at 253-1375 or visit its Web site at www.cattails.org. You can visit Daisy and Hannah, as well as all the other cats and kittens available for adoption, at Cat Tails in the Corner Stone center at 6622 Beach Drive in Ocean Isle Beach. Visiting hours are 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays and 1-3 p.m. Sundays. Other hours are by appointment.

  • Even though I have a master’s degree and lots of certifications and credentials like most of us who work with Cooperative Extension, I’ve always trusted the hard-won education gained from experience. Here are some musings from my own garden trials and tribulations this year.

  • It’s summertime and the salads are easy. Fruits and vegetables are now at the peak of their season, so all you have to do is clean them, peel or cut them and just toss them into a salad bowl and enjoy their raw, fresh taste.

  • I’ve been writing this food column for just over four years now, and occasionally I like to share some of the many recipes from readers who have been kind enough to forward them to me.

    Some of you even provided me with a sampling of your creation. I must admit I enjoy the occasional break from cooking.

    I have also received e-mails asking me for recipes that you had saved and can no longer find or you just need a specific recipe for a special occasion. I hope my responses have been helpful.

  • Kerry Kennedy of Ocean Isle Beach is a world traveler who has visited five of the seven continents.

    It began when she was a child in Harbor Creek, Pa. Her father worked for a company that manufactured locomotives and traveled to places like Cuba and South Africa to deliver them. He told stories of his adventures in faraway countries, but the family didn’t just listen to his tales, they had their own adventures.

  • When it comes to making good, hearty French onion soup, most cooks would consider it heresy to use chicken broth. Thirty years ago, when Americans started making French food (thanks to Julia Child), beef broth was the only way to go.