Vibrant red petals and soft blooms mark the Hibiscus with a unique energy that distinguishes it from other inhabitants of a garden bed. "I was at Festival des Fleurs at Blackham Coliseum in 1999 when I was really drawn to a beautiful red Hibiscus," says Sandra Theall, a charter member of the Mark Bernard Acadiana Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society. Theall is one of 20 local amateur gardeners who deemed the Hibiscus worthy of its own organization when the Acadiana Chapter of the American Hibiscus Society was founded in 2000. The society is a nonprofit group dedicated to perfecting the cultivation and growth of different varieties of this exotic flower.
The group meets monthly to ensure that members have the latest information regarding the growth, hybridization and grafting of the Hibiscus plant. The Acadiana chapter has more than doubled since its founding, now claiming nearly 50 active members.
Theall and her peers hope to recruit new Hibiscus devotees this weekend, when gardeners and plant lovers from around Louisiana will gather at Cathedral Carmel High School on Sunday, June 24, for the seventh annual Hibiscus Show and Sale. The show will feature a wide variety of Hibiscus species (between 400-500 different blooms) as well as special fertilizers and Hibiscus care books and is open to professional growers and amateurs alike. The Acadiana Hibiscus Society also welcomes visitors to its regular meetings at the Ira Nelson Horticulture Center at 6 p.m. on the first Tuesday of each month from March through November.
Theall hopes new visitors will be inspired the way she was the first time she saw a Hibiscus. "It reminded me of the flowers that little Hawaiian girls wear in their hair," she says.
The Seventh Annual Hibiscus show and plant sale takes place from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, June 24, at the Cathedral Carmel gym. Admission is free. Call 893-0064 for more info.
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DEC 8 - Maybe that wasn't such a good idea, after all. This post on the Louisiana Oil & Gas Association's site says we're looking at oil prices that are tanking because there's so much oil coming out of the Gulf. Some are even predicting a glut. What's likely to be the result? Lower gas prices, higher refinery profits, and more pressure on the feds to loosen export restrictions.
DEC 8 Here's the latest from blogger Robert Mann, and it's on one of his favorite topics: Bobby Jindal. He's taking a look at Jindal's record and his current maneuvering, which of course is a ploy to position him for a run for the White House. "America Next," Jindal's current big idea, is just as vague about what it is proposing as Jindal usually is, Mann says. And it won't protect him from his "unimaginative record," as Mann describes it.
DEC 8 - Don't know what that is? Then run on over to LaPolitics and read this post by Jeremy Alford, which serves as a history lesson about the famed tonic and it's purveyor, Dudley LeBlanc. It's really a fascinating story and Alford's description of Dudley as an "icon of Louisiana politics and culture" is not an exaggeration.
DEC 8 In this editorial, the Picayune again urges Gov. Jindal to take the Medicaid money. But the piece's exhortation that Jindal "be sensible" is a little misplaced, isn't it? Because Jindal's not being stupid -- well, maybe he is -- but he's following orders from people he believes can get him into the White House. This editorial is engaging in the argument that Jindal is publicly making, without acknowledging what his true motivations are. Somebody send these guys a clue.
DEC 8 Columnist Mark Ballard is writing about the impact of Vance McAllister's defeat of Neil Riser in this post. He starts out talking about how McAllister's more reasonable approach was more attractive to voters than was Riser's hard-line (tea-party-ish) rants. Dan Claitor, a state lege from BR who is expected to run for Congress soon, expressed it best when he said voters aren't looking for candidates who are "throwing temper tantrums when they can't get their way."
DEC 8 It's always gratifying when a Louisiana son makes international headlines. And our son, David "former KKK grand poobah" Duke is back in the news, making us all proud. This (UK) Telegraph story, unearthed by the Dead Pelican, tells us that Duke has been expelled from Italy but is trying to return. The Italians say he is trying to "establish a pan-European, extremist neo-Nazi group in northern Italy." Huh. You don't say.
DEC 9 This is a kind of puzzling post from columnist Jim Beam, in which he discusses a recent appearance by former Gov. Edwin Edwards in Lake Charles. He said he's surprised by EWE's "grasp of current events." Did Jim never meet Slick Eddie? He's no dummy, and for Beam to assume he is -- well, given he covered the man for 50 years, that's the surprise.
DEC 9 A "suspicious package" shut down part of Zachary Sunday, WAFB tells us in this post. The package, which eventually was "rendered safe" (bomb squad lingo for blown up) was found in a storage unit that someone quit paying on. Other cop gear was found in the unit, so it is possible the thing was a training tool, police say. But they leave out the best part: who bought it? Barry, Jarrod or Darrell?
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