You can spot ‘Lime Sizzler’ firebush in a landscape from a mile away! Well, that may be a slight exaggeration, but the new ‘Lime Sizzler’ definitely grabs attention. Ever since firebush was declared a Texas Superstar winner 20 years ago, it has captured the fancy of gardeners, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. Now with the addition of ‘Lime Sizzler,’ gardeners have gone gaga.Botanically speaking, ‘Lime Sizzler’ is known as Hamelia patens and is native everywhere from South Florida to the West Indies, Mexico and Central America. It was actually discovered at a nursery in South Texas, and the plant was then patented. It is so exotic and showy that it seems that the entire green industry wants it in its product line, including the Southern Living Plant Collection.The shocking green and yellow foliage would probably be enough to make gardeners desire the plant, but add the trumpet-shaped, red-orange flower so loved by pollinators, and it’s really more than a plant geek like me can stand. I’ll be honest, though — I have never met a firebush I didn’t like.’Lime Sizzler’ is more compact, in the 4-by-4-foot range. Across most of the country, it will be grown as an annual and, truthfully, it’s a most worthy value for your gardening dollar. The firebush, which is also called “hummingbird bush” and “scarlet bush,” is related to coffee, gardenia and the colorful ixora. Technically, it is a zones-9-to-11 plant, but will return most years in zone 8. Here in Savannah and the low country, it is a trooper. In the University of Georgia Coastal Botanical Gardens, ours are 4 to 6 feet and, indeed, have attained that shrubby look, even after dying to the ground. Our ‘Lime Sizzlers’ were planted late this spring from 1-gallon containers and are now 2 feet by 2 feet. Even at this size, I can spot them across the garden.In addition to the ‘Lime Sizzler,’ we grow the typical green form and several plants of the ‘Firefly’ variety. ‘Firefly’ firebush has smaller leaves and more yellow showing in the blossoms. We also grow the ‘Bahama’ firebush, Hamelia cuprea, that has glossy leaves and much larger flowers, almost reminiscent of an esperanza or tecoma, but more bell shaped.When the torrid temperatures of August arrive, many gardeners look for plants that are as tough as nails when it comes to heat and drought conditions. I am happy to say that the firebush fits the bill. Once established, it is very heat and drought tolerant and will grow in almost any well-drained soil.Even now you could consider planting two or three for a nice show. We are planting ‘Lime Sizzler’ in the cottage garden with the iridescent ‘Purple Flash’ ornamental pepper. Even though they are heat and drought tolerant, apply a good layer of mulch after planting. At the gardens, we also use the other firebush varieties in our Mediterranean garden, where we have them combined with the purple-on-purple Mexican bush sage, European fan palms and giant blue agave. You will find ‘Lime Sizzler’ so colorful that you may eventually want to try some in containers around the porch, patio or pool. I hope you will give not only ‘Lime Sizzler,’ but all firebush a try.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the Coastal Botanical Gardens, go to www.coastalgeorgiabg.org/.
Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs you know, Mother Earth, Earth Day is today, April 22. On this day many of your children join together to celebrate you. We Earthlings engage with others in projects to clean up our litter and waste, to plant trees and flowers, and to care for our corner of this planet that we call home. There are so many ways to do this, so many opportunities. You must be very excited and heartened to see us being good stewards and kin to the rest of creation. On this day, we pay attention, we take responsibility, we look at the harm we have caused and we work together to heal some of these hurts. Then Monday will come. For many of us, awareness of this amazing web of life will fade away fast. We will return to our habits of wasting the resources that you provide for us. We will refuse to recycle. We will plunder and squander the habitats of our kin creatures. How can we begin to live in a way that makes every day your day?For us who live in Schenectady, a gift to you would be to recycle. In my neighborhood, I see very few recycling bins out on “trash day.” There is lots of garbage that will go into your belly, the Earth (you know, we call this the landfill). Your children need to see that recycling is so important, especially since our “landfills” are filling up and we will need more of your precious space to dump our stuff. We need to realize that one use throw-away products are so wasteful.Another gift to you would be to stop littering. I live near Central Park. The amount of trash that is tossed on the ground makes me cry. I can only imagine how you feel.So, dear Mother Earth, enjoy your special day. We can only hope and pray that more of the members of your human family will make everyday Earth Day.LINDA NEILSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes
ATLANTA — Order has been restored.The Dodgers broke with expectations and started Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1 of their National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves, not Clayton Kershaw.They won’t do that again.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before Monday’s victory over the Braves that Kershaw would start the team’s next playoff game whether it was Game 5 against the Braves or Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start “Looking forward to it,” he said.Asked if he took any special pride in once again being the team’s Game 1 starter, he wouldn’t admit to it.“No, I don’t know. I want to pitch,” he said. “I’m pitching Game 1. That’s great.”It’s likely Kershaw and Walker Buehler will start Games 1 and 2 (both on extra rest) at Miller Park with Ryu held back to Dodger Stadium, where he has been dominant this season (including seven scoreless innings in Game 1 against the Braves).VETERAN PICKUPSThe Dodgers are supposed to be run by statistically-focused decision-makers who make moves based on the numbers.“Yeah, that’s what I keep hearing,” Dodgers GM Farhan Zaidi.But they have also shown a fondness for adding veteran players late in the season whose skills have diminished, making them more valued for their character and experience – from Chase Utley to Curtis Granderson to David Freese and Ryan Madson this year.Freese and Madson proved critical in turning Monday’s Game 4 to the Dodgers.“We’re not trying to prove anything to anyone. We’re just trying to win a World Series,” Zaidi said. “We’ll continue to make unique moves and evaluate players in a way that gives us the best chance.”FREESE UPFreese laughed off the suggestion that his extensive postseason experience – and success in those situations – gives him some kind of advantage in October.“No, no,” he said. “Every year, guys do great things in the postseason. There’s tons of guys that do really cool things in the postseason.”Freese did some really cool things in 2011 for the St. Louis Cardinals, winning the MVP award in both the NLCS and World Series. He points to that as proof experience doesn’t necessarily mean a thing.“Two-thousand-eleven was the first year I was in the postseason,” said Freese whose two-out, two-run pinch-hit single in the sixth inning Monday gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead. “Good things just happen. It’s all about the opportunity. If you get the opportunity good things can happen.”Related Articles Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies The Dodgers advanced to the NLCS for a third consecutive year and Kershaw will start Friday in Milwaukee, at a time to be announced.“It was pretty simple,” Roberts said. “I think that we had our reasons why we decided on Game 1 vs. Game 2. But if there’s a potential Game 5, we feel very confident that Clayton should be the guy taking the baseball.”Kershaw made the best postseason start of his career in Game 2, holding the Braves to two hits in eight scoreless innings. Afterward, he admitted that he took a little extra pleasure from the performance because of the Dodgers’ decision to start Ryu ahead of him.“Yeah, maybe,” he said with a smile after Game 2. “Maybe a tick, for sure.”In the celebratory locker room after the Dodgers’ win Monday, however, Kershaw kept any feelings of vindication to himself. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error