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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JUL 22 The University of Louisiana at Lafayette is "a lock" to win the Sun Belt Conference in football, Fox Sports opines in this post. There's a rundown of the other teams in the conference, but ULL is predicted to win the conference, thanks in large part to an "explosive" offense. Is it football season yet?
JUL 22 Columnist Stephanie Grace says Gov. Bobby Jindal may be meeting with state education officials (hey - you mean HIS education officials, don't you, Steph?) but it is clear he's not looking for a solution in the Common Core fracas. Bobby wants an issue he can take on the road, and this one seems to be it, she says.
JUL 22 Columnist Jim Beam finds recent news out of Baton Rouge depressing. It seems every time you turn around there's another mess being uncovered or announced in state government, he says. Say what you want about Congress; in Louisiana we have nothing to brag about, either, he says.
JUL 22 Blogger Tom Aswell reports here that several legislators plan to ask for an investigation of the last-minute action that bumped State Police Commander Mike Edmonson's annual retirement income by $30K. One is gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards, who says he did vote for the amendment, but didn't read it - as he rarely does during the last hours of session.
JUL 22 This is a fascinating piece in the Picayune about the murder of a doctor in her St. Charles Avenue home 50 years ago. It's fascinating because of the mysteries and myths that have swirled around the incident for those decades, and because of the possible connection to the assassination of John F. Kennedy. There are a lot of interesting names in here, including Ochsner and Marcello, and as usual the comments below the story are nearly as entertaining as the story itself.
JUL 22 LaPolitics examines the news that a bipartisan group of legislators filed court papers Monday asking a judge to decide if BESE followed proper procedure in installing Common Core as the curriculum to be followed by state teachers. The allegation is that BESE didn't do that, by failing to open a comment period and shirking legislative oversight. Great, but where were these guys back when the decision was actually made?
JUL 22 Here's a love letter from New York Daily News' Alex Palmer to Louisiana. In some ways it is the typical tourism article (with pronunciation guides and food definitions) but in another way it goes beyond that to list lesser-known spots to visit for food or tours.
JUL 22 This post on Gambit is an interesting look at an age-old discussion among people who live and work in urban areas - is graffiti property damage or public art? There are a lot of voices in this story, covering a lot of the bases of this conflict.
JUL 21 Education Week's EdWatch blog takes a look at our current snafu over Common Core in this post. To anyone outside the state, we certainly look like a bunch of dummies who can't agree on something as critical as what to teach our kids. That's good - right?
JUL 21 Rob Marciano, a former meteorologist at KPLC in Lake Charles, has been named senior weather guy at ABC, this post on TVNewser reports. In between those gigs he worked for CNN and Entertainment Tonight.
JUL 21 This story on The ABC out of Australia gives Louisiana some international notoriety that we really don't want. According to this story, Louisiana is one of the fastest-disappearing land masses on the planet. The planet. So, obviously we need to hold off on that levee board suit, because making Big Oil mad is much more serious than this.
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