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Features

  • When it comes to meal planning, I don’t always remember to include a vegetable and/or beans and some kind of greens, like a garden salad, spinach, broccoli…something in the green family, and occasionally a pasta or starch of some kind.

    My wife can attest to this fact. On more than one occasion, I’ll tell her what fantastic entrée that I’m concocting and she’ll ask me: “What vegetable on you planning to serve with that?”

  • The recent warm spell has caused some pretty serious cases of spring fever to break out across our area. Before the fever completely takes over, there are some things you should be doing now and some things you should leave until later.

    Those of you who left your lawn mowed a little high going into the winter should set the mower about one notch lower and mow off the old tissue. Letting the lawn get a bit taller late in the season was once a standard recommendation, but more recent research suggests that this isn’t a great idea.

  • This is the time of year when many landscapers and homeowners look for chores to do in the landscape. If the ground is too wet, then you need a chore that does not depend on what condition the soil is in. If it’s too wet to dig into the soil, then get out the pruners and make it a productive day.

    There are several basic reasons to prune an ornamental. Always keep the dead wood and broken branches trimmed off. Many plants may have simply gotten too large for the intended space. Some plants are being grown for a particular shape or form.

  • Announcement is made of the forthcoming marriage of Teresa McDuffie of Bolivia and Berkley Dale Mercer of Bolivia. The bride-elect is the daughter of Carl and Phyllis McDuffie of St. Pauls. The prospective groom is the son of Ken and Ludie Mercer of Bolivia. An April 4 wedding is planned in Bolivia.

  • Here in the Southeast, we see many varieties of birds, some living here and some just passing through. Perhaps you have had some experience in attracting birds with man-made feeders, baths, and birdhouses.

    The addition of properly placed trees, shrubs, and plants can attract even more birds. Birds like a variety both in size and kind of planting. Variety in the plantings gives birds a choice of food—seeds, nuts, fruits, berries, flower nectar, etc.

  • Announcement is made of the forthcoming marriage of Charlotte Ashley Roberts of Holden Beach and Benjamin Albert Barody of Myrtle Beach, S.C. The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. Virgil Roberts of Holden Beach. The prospective groom is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Albert B. Barody of Florence, S.C. An Oct. 3 wedding is planned at the Holden Beach Chapel.

  • Justin and Brittany Phillips of Bolivia are the parents of a daughter, LiliAna Marie Phillips, born at 9:37 a.m. Feb. 8 at Brunswick Community Hospital.

    She weighed 7 pounds, 1 ounce and measured 18 inches long.

    Maternal grandparents are Charles and Regina Brooks of Bolivia.

    Paternal grandmother is Jennie Spivey Knox of Ash.

  • “There’s no doubt about it!” How often have we said and heard those words? They were and are uttered with terrifying conviction.

    On the one hand, we know the truth, speak the truth, and command others to accept the truth because we have no doubt about it. On the other hand, a niggling feeling pervades that makes our truth a lie. If it’s not a lie, at least it is a concern about validity. “There’s no doubt about it” is now a sarcastic comment on the improbability of our ever getting the whole picture, intact and undeniable.

  • The Brunswick Arts Council’s Winter Art Show continues at Sunset River Studio in Calabash until Feb. 20.

    This year’s judge of two-dimensional art was Allesandro Giambra, a native of Torino, Italy, who now teaches fine art classes in Wilmington.

    Two-dimensional category winners included Richard Staat, who received the Victor Gerloven Award for Best in Show for his work “Seated Figure.”

    Linda Drye earned first place for her painting, “Lazy Palm Pony.”

  • Up until a few years ago, the only time I ever ate eggplant was when I went to a local restaurant and ordered “Eggplant Parmesan” smothered in a rich, marinara sauce.

    Then I started seeing many different varieties showing up in our local farmers’ markets and decided to investigate other uses for this deep purple tuber, varying in size from large globes to long, thin, zucchini-like shapes.

  • Even though that silly Pennsylvania groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter, I don’t think you’ll have to worry about that in our neck of the woods.

    After a cold blast, we’ve had a few warm days. That means it’s time to get some late winter chores done.

  • Spring is coming around the corner. I have made statements in the past calling for gardeners to be patient. I am about ready to cut you loose and let you go full steam ahead with your gardening activities, but let’s not go overboard.

    There are still cold days ahead and winter may not truly be over until mid-April. The last frost-free date is around April 20 for much of this area. That can vary by a couple of days either way depending on where you are in the county.

  • February is the ideal time to cut back ornamental grasses and liriope before new growth begins to emerge. For large pampas grass mounds, a hedge cutter or a chain saw does the job efficiently.

    Prune summer-flowering shrubs such as beautyberry, butterfly bush, Clethra, vitex and summer-blooming spireas in late winter to encourage lots of new growth and heavy flowering.

    Do not prune back hydrangeas, azaleas or other spring-blooming shrubs or you will loose this year’s blooms. Camellias can be pruned back after they have completed their blooming cycle.

  • I am always surprised by the suggestions I receive as topics for “A Second Look.”

  • Local rock group Blackwater Outlaws will perform at 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Odell Williamson Auditorium to benefit Brunswick County’s fire and rescue squads.

    Every 100th ticket sold receives a free Blackwater Outlaws sticker. Band members will be on hand after the show to sign autographs.

    Band members include Jason Coveyou, 28, of Ash on guitar and vocals; Myron Norris, 27, of Ash, on guitar and vocals; Travis Norris, 32, of Ash, on vocals; William Norris, 53, of Ash, on bass guitar and vocals; and Butch Register, 51, on drums.

  • With Valentine’s Day just a week away, Silver Coast Winery in Brunswick County is setting the stage and mood with its annual Wine and Chocolate Pairing from noon-5 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 7.

    Participants will enjoy four award-winning wines paired with four scrumptious handmade chocolates by an award-winning chocolatier and a Silver Coast signature wine glass for $15.

  • “Garden” may not come to mind when you think of the Brunswick County Government Complex in Bolivia, but the areas around buildings N and F are currently evolving into a great place to learn about plants that work well in our area.

    One of the wonderful things about having a local garden is I get to plant things and see how they perform. That’s what we’re doing with the collection of crape myrtles that’s up to about 40 or so now, and you’ll find all 23 of the Encore azalea selections plus lots of other trees, shrubs, vines and perennials.

  • Driving around and visiting various gardens, I treasure the times I am able to find Hellebores tucked away in gardens. They are quite interesting and have a unique flower display.

    One of the best things about the plant is it is deer resistant. That is probably due to the toxins contained in its leaves.

    Tony Avent from Plant Delights Nursery has provided some interesting information about hellebores. I have included some excerpts from Tony, which has been edited for this column.

  • First and foremost, do not fertilize your lawn at this time. The Extension Master Gardener hotline has received several calls on lawn fertilizing. As warm season grasses are grown in this area and the grass is just now starting to break dormancy, fertilizing now is a waste of time and money.

  • Lean and boneless flank steak is one of only two steaks cut from the underside of a steer, the other being a skirt steak. It’s a thin, oblong cut mingled with tough meat fibers and loaded with great flavors.

    A thin steak, it responds well to marinades and to high heat cooking, if only for a brief amount of time.