Early Risers

first_imgThe first hint of spring is trumpeting, so to speak, in the South with the arrival of the narcissus, or daffodil. I hate writing about flowers that are opposite their planting season, but on the other hand, there are certainly some lessons to be learned. The biggest lesson is learning which of these flowers will naturalize in your area. You have to admit that looking at a catalog of daffodil blooms will make you want each and every one.Over the years, I have been blessed to go to farms in Louisiana with Bill Welch of Texas A&M University while he was researching his book, “The Southern Heirloom Garden.” Seeing acres of naturalized ‘Campernelli’ daffodils will be an everlasting memory. While most of us don’t have acres of land to cultivate, we would like to see our daffodils become happy and naturalize.In the hot and humid conditions of Georgia, many of those famous, large selections may look great the first year, but offer few, if any, blooms the second year. In no way am I disparaging these varieties. On the other hand, I was recently assisting a commercial horticulturist with a large project in which 20,000 bulbs had to be planted in a high-profile location. We needed the bulbs to look good the first year and in subsequent years, too. I knew what I was taught at Texas A&M University, but I needed a little reaffirmation.I turned to the book, “Daffodils in Florida,” by Linda M. and Sara L. Van Beck. To me this is the definitive guide to enabling our region of the country to not only create daffodil heaven, but reside in it. We decided to go with the ‘Carlton’ daffodil for the large, 20,000-daffodil display. This 1927 selection was one of the varieties that was ingrained in my memory as being superior. The book says this flower should be the backbone of any daffodil bed. True enough, it has been a remarkable selection.Perhaps in your specific area, ‘Carlton’ won’t be a stalwart performer, but I assure you that there is a narcissus that will bring cheer to your landscape. Speaking of cheer, here at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens at the Historic Bamboo Farm, ‘Ice Follies’ has proven to be a winner, as has a small, 1934 double tazetta daffodil by the name of ‘Erlicheer.’ It brings out the cameras just as quickly as a large trumpet. The ‘Grand Soleil d’Or’ is another tazetta; dating back to 1770, it is showing now in our Mediterranean Garden.Daffodils prefer sunny locations, although open shade will not prove to be a big detriment. For best naturalization, plant your bulbs in a well-drained area. Raised beds rich in organic matter are perfect for combining pansies and daffodils. Plant the bulbs about twice as deep as they are tall, 5 to 6 inches for large bulbs and 3 to 5 inches deep for smaller ones. Spacing 6 to 8 inches apart will allow for an increase in size before crowding.One of the biggest mistakes gardeners make in growing daffodils is cutting the foliage after the flowers have diminished. The leaves are vital to next year’s bloom. Leave them growing as long as possible or for at least eight weeks. I’m proud to say our high-visibility location lets the daffodils grow until the foliage disappears on its own. The result has been an amazing stand that’s not only getting naturalized, but is increasing in size.I would be remiss if I didn’t urge you to grow the daffodil in mixed containers as well. Containers with pansies, violas and dianthus will become like a spring crescendo of floral beauty. Visit a public garden like the University of Georgia Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens in Savannah, Georgia, this spring and seek out the best narcissus for your area. You’ll enjoy the beauty for years to come.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about UGA’s coastal garden at www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.last_img read more

Bale backs Villas-Boas

first_img It was Bale’s summer departure to Real Madrid that triggered upheaval at White Hart Lane, with the world-record fee of £85million being reinvested in a host of additions to the Portuguese manager’s squad. While Bale thrives in his new surroundings, his old team-mates, and the new faces at Tottenham, have struggled for consistency – and Premier League goals – without him this term. Gareth Bale believes Andre Villas-Boas deserves to be given more time to sort out Tottenham’s problems. They have scored just 11 times in 13 games in the top flight, and stand 10 points behind leaders Arsenal following Sunday’s 2-2 draw with Manchester United. Speaking ahead of that match, Bale said Villas-Boas has the qualities that make it worth mid-table Tottenham persisting with him during a rocky patch that was exposed by the recent 6-0 drubbing by Manchester City. “I think he should be given time,” Bale told BT Sport. “I think he’s a great manager – he showed that last year. They’re going through a little bit of a bad patch at the moment but I’m sure he’s a good enough manager to pull everybody through, get out the other side and hopefully go on a good run now, catch up the rest and have a good season.” Bale recognised that Tottenham’s finishing has been under par. He said: “I’ve been watching quite a lot of the matches. “They’ve been playing some good stuff. “I just think they’ve been very unlucky in front of goal, just haven’t been clinical enough really.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Steeplechase champion Jebet handed four-year ban for doping violation

first_img(REUTERS) – Kenyan-born Bahraini runner Ruth Jebet has been handed a four-year ban after she was found guilty of testing positive for the banned blood booster r-EPO (recombinant erythropoietin), the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) said yesterday.Jebet, the 2016 Olympic 3000m steeplechase champion, was suspended in February 2018 after she failed an out-of-competition test.“The panel … imposes a period of ineligibility of four years upon the athlete,” the AIU said in a statement.“The period of provisional suspension imposed on the athlete from February 4, 2018 until the date of the Tribunal Award shall be credited against the total period of ineligibility.”Jebet told the AIU in March 2018 that she had never taken the substance intentionally and the matter was referred to the disciplinary tribunal.The AIU, however, was of the opinion that the violation was committed intentionally and said she took one-and-a-half years to admit to the offence while rejecting numerous invitations to do so earlier.The 23-year-old admitted to the presence of r-EPO in her sample and its use in October last year and waived her right to the analysis of the B sample as she could not afford the costs.The AIU also ordered the disqualification of all her results between December 1, 2017 and February 4, 2018 along with the forfeiture of medals, points, prize and appearance money.last_img read more

Anichebe Signs for Sunderland

first_imgSunderland have signed free agent Victor Anichebe on a deal until the end of the season. The 28-year-old Nigerian striker has been without a club following his release by West Brom in May. Anichebe played under Black Cats boss David Moyes for seven years at Everton.“I have a lot of good friends here and everyone knows that I know the manager really well. He brought me through as a young player and was a big factor in me coming here,” he said. Prior to his arrival, Jermain Defoe was Sunderland’s only fit senior forward. “I had a few options in England and Europe but the manager was a huge pull for me. He knows me inside out and I feel like he can get the best out of me,” added Anichebe. The Nigerian, who moved from Lagos to Liverpool at the age of one, scored 35 goals for Everton and the Baggies in 228 appearances. Sunderland have lost twice and drawn once in their opening three Premier League fixtures.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more