Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Atlanta's Gem

According to some who think Southern, Atlanta is mecca second only to The Beach. It doesn't matter which beach because down here every beach is The Beach. For example: "What are you doin' over Easter?" "We're goin' to The Beach." It's is a big deal down here, Easter at The Beach. It has to do with some fantasy that it's warm enough to go swimming and get a suntan. No matter that it is 50 degrees outside and you gotta be stoned out of your mind not to know it. By the way, Florida does not count except in presidential elections. That's my punny for the month: Florida can't count.

Back to Atlanta...

Some would liken Atlanta to the New York of The South. Not. There is only one New York just as there is only one Rome and there is only one Altanta though I must say I am not charmed. I'm trying, but traffic is hell down there every day. It is dysfunctional. How can you have rush hour traffic on Easter Sunday when the malls are closed and no one is going to work? Atlanta has the answer to that question.

Now that I've cut Atlanta to the quick I must say they have a real gem of a botanical garden. Getting there is a real nail-bitter as their mid-town traffic rivals mid-town Manhattan. The difference is in mid-town Manhattan you are riding in a cab with a professional driving. In Atlanta there are no professional bluffers who know when to back off, only terrorized passengers praying for their lives. Atlanta's pedestians seem totally oblivious to the fact that they are not in Rome (I am not talking about Rome, Ga.) and that Southerns do not know the rules about pedestrians having right of way. Ya'll. It is scary. Inside the garden all is grace and beauty, better than The Beach. It's all about orchids this week at Atlanta Botanical Gardens. Next week Spring will burst forth all over the South and no doubt Atlanta Botanical Gardens will be worth the trip for months to come.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

They're Back!

Cold mornings and shirt sleeve afternoons are the way of our early southern Spring. The past two Fall seasons I've planted daffodils that bloom just in time. Just in time to lift the spirits, delight the eye and bring relief from the brown that dominates winter. They are a mighty fine distraction and remind us that warmer days are coming.

Bulbs of the edible variety have come on strong this year due to timely rains. Felder Rushing, advises in "The North Carolina Fruit and Vegetable Book" that garlic needs an inch of rain per week. This year's crop is amazing compared to last year's harvest, assuming there are garlic bulbs growing beneath those greens. I planted them in September and October and am hoping for a harvest that will carry me forward into next winter.
Felder has his own website that is informative and fun. What I want to know is how a Mississipian came to co-author a book on North Carolina gardening?