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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AUG 29 Everyone who cares about Louisiana should take time to peruse this story about coastal loss from Bob Marshall of The Lens. It's not enough to call it a story; it's an interactive experience packed with data and amazing graphics, timelines, history, photos and excellent writing. Set aside some time, because you can't go through this one in a few minutes.
JUN 29 This bizarre story from the Advocate on the shooting of a Baton Rouge television personality reads like the script of a soap opera - but not a good one. The allegations against him include sexual abuse of children, including the alleged shooter, and a sham immigration marriage involving his own daughter. The other side? He was a chaplin for the Sheriff's Office in Baton Rouge and preached in a local church.
AUG 29 Here's a story from CBS News about a killer amoeba found in the water system of St. John the Baptist Parish. The story made all three networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) as well as Fox "News," although they have not yet found out how it is Obama's fault. Seriously, the good news is that so far officials know of no one sickened by the water.
AUG 29 Huffington Post has a blog called Love Letters, which is grandly described as "an anthology of reflections on places the world over." This entry is from LSU Football Coach Les Miles, who, it appears, loves Baton Rouge. (Of course he does; he's a rich straight white man.) And certainly Baton Rouge loves him - unless he loses (ask Curley "Golden Flake" Hallman about that) or leaves (ask Nick Saban).
AUG 29 Blogger Bob Mann comments here upon Governor Bobby Jindal's federal lawsuit about Common Core. Mann calls it a "thinly veiled campaign document" and that might be the nicest thing he says in this post. Most troubling for Jindal and his aspirations, Mann has unearthed what Bobby said just a few years ago when he first decided to shove Common Core down our throats.
AUG 29 Blogger Tom Aswell has several developments here related to the so-called Edmonson amendment. The most entertaining one is possibly Tom's acknowledgement that a State Police official is (allegedly) calling the bloggers covering the story some colorful names. Listen up, cowboy: You really think two veterans like Tom Aswell and CB Forgotston care if you call them idiots?
AUG 29 Gotta love those journalists who write something with the enthusiasm that implies they're the first one to figure something out. Mostly, they're not. This is one of those times; the post on Slate Magazine says that Bobby Jindal's Common Core lawsuit is a political stunt. Well - Duh.
AUG 29 This story by WVLA tells us about a guy who got busted for speeding in Baton Rouge. Who cares? This guy took that infraction to new heights by going 129 miles per hour on Nicholson Drive. Poor fella - he probably has spent so much time sitting in Baton Rouge traffic he just had to cut lose.
AUG 28 As the controversy surrounding the Office of Group Benefits intensifies, blogger Tom Aswell gives us some background on the current problems. The OGB, which handles health insurance for current and retired state employees, is deep in the red since it was privatized by Jindal, and Aswell gives us the skinny: this great plan was designed by ALEC. The company handling it? Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana - a longtime member of ALEC.
AUG 28 Blogger CB Forgotston has a concept for a new reality show: the wives of the "Dork Dynasty." That's the name that some troopers have given to State Police Commander Mike Edmonson and his inner circle. The ladies CB has picked for his cast are not just housewives, however, and the connections here are pretty interesting.
AUG 28 Blogger Ian McGibboney is writing about the strife in Ferguson in this post, and articulating what many people down south are saying. There's a fairy tale about how there's tons of racism in the South, but it's all hunky dory up North. (Really? Look again.)
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