From the calming and relaxing properties of lavender, to the antiviral offerings of lemon balm the Harvard Countway Community Garden offers a wealth of medicinal herbs in the heart of Boston’s urban medical area.On September 27, a bright and crisp fall day, Stephanie Zabel led a community talk on medicinal herbs as part of the garden’s harvest celebration. A curatorial assistant at Harvard’s Herbarium and an herbalist in her free time, Zabel discussed the many uses and herb-derived treatments of plants including betony, catmint, chamomile, clary sage, comfrey, feverfew, lady’s mantel, lemon balm, rosemary, and stevia. Zabel’s inviting and informative talk focused on the practical uses for many of these plants, breaking down the best way to use the herb whether as a tea, tincture, poultice, or salve.Zabel highlighted comfrey’s ability to heal external skin conditions such as eczema, bruises, and minor cuts, the extremely sweet properties of stevia, often used as a sweetener substitute, and wood betony’s affinity for treating anxiety and headaches.View a video of Zabel talking about medicinal herbs.Created in 2012 by staff, students, and faculty from Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, the Countway Community Garden not only provides the Longwood campus with fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs, but also serves as an educational resource. The medicinal herb garden offers opportunities for hands-on experience and research, and exploration of both the traditional and modern-day uses for medicinal plants. Read Full Story
Twenty years ago, something odd happened in the plant world. As I look back now, I realize it really kind of flew under the radar. In 1997, a new plant called “‘New Wonder’ scaevola” won the Georgia Gold Medal Plant, Mississippi Medallion and Louisiana Select awards. That trifecta was indeed quite rare. This little plant from Australia captured the imagination of the green industry with its fan-shaped flowers and rugged, persevering performance.‘New Wonder’ scaevola has since won countless other awards, but now competes with more varieties than most of us could have ever imagined. I have always been partial to the varieties with various shades of blue. I always joke with my color designer son, James, and ask him, “Where is your blue?”This year, however, other colors are catching my attention. ‘Bombay Pink’ has stunned me at the Coastal Georgia Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm in Savannah, Georgia. I am not a fan of pink, but ‘Bombay Pink’ performs like the perfect spiller plant in mixed containers, and packs the most flower power I have ever seen on a scaevola.We have several in large containers that are mixed with blood leaf bananas, bromeliads, SunPatiens and ‘Silver Falls’ dichondra for a most exotic look. They all perform at a superior level.Another I am watching is ‘Purple Haze’ scaevola. I really considered it blue until all of my photographs convinced me that it is indeed a rare shade of purple. We are using it with lavender SunPatiens and ‘Gold Mound’ duranta for an absolutely dreamy combination. We are also using it in the landscape with white pentas and pink ‘Telstar’ dianthus, which are still blooming as we head into July.The last new selection that has caught my attention this year is ‘Surdiva Blue Violet’ scaevola. This one really does pick up the best of both blue and violet. It is compact, yet still has the ability to tumble over an edge. I promise it will have you asking, “How do you get that many flowers on one plant?” It is amazing and has “winner” written all over it.One of my favorite combinations is ‘Surdiva Blue Violet’ partnered with the new ‘Sun Parasol Apricot’ mandevilla. I assure you that this pastel apricot and vibrant blue-violet creates a most rare partnership in the world of flowers.Scaevolas do best when they are given plenty of sun and planted in fertile, organic-rich, well-drained beds. Wet, soggy conditions are not satisfactory. This is one of the reasons they are amazing in containers. They will do equally well in the landscape if you amend heavy soils or poorly drained locations by adding 3 to 4 inches of organic matter and tilling or shoveling to a depth of 6 to 8 inches.Plant your scaevola at the same depth it is growing in the container. Space the plants 12 to 18 inches apart or by varietal tag recommendations. Apply a layer of mulch after planting.They are very drought-tolerant once established in the landscape, but they will need watering daily if they’re in containers, just like any other container plants. Scaevolas are the perfect front-of-the-border plant as they reach 8 to 10 inches in height and spread outward 18 to 24 inches. The blue shades do one other remarkable thing — they seem to almost glow as the sun sets for the evening.If, for some reason, you have never tried scaevola in the summer landscape or your mixed containers, you are missing one of the best. They come in shades of blue, pink and white and are among the most durable of summer annuals.Follow me on Twitter at @CGBGgardenguru. For more information about the UGA Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, go to coastalgeorgiabg.org.
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Former East Central Trojan and current Thomas More University senior Jacob Steinmetz was recently named U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCAA) All-Academic Individual for the indoor season. To be named a USTFCCCA All-Academic athlete, the student-athlete must have a cumulative 3.25 GPA, achieved an A or B standard in a championship event and completed at least two semesters or three quarters at the certifying institution. Steinmetz finished 12th at the NAIA Indoor National Championships in the weight throw with a school-record mark of 17.22-meters (56-06). He qualified for the national championship with a throw of 17.03 meters. Steinmetz also broke the Mid-South Conference Championships meet record with a throw of 16.78 meters. He was named the Mid-South Conference Men’s Indoor Field Athlete of the Week three times this season. Thomas More’s Saints are scheduled to open the 2021 indoor season on January 23 when they compete at the Otterbein University Invitational in Westerville, Ohio.Photo and story courtesy of Thomas More University.
Terry suffered a knee injury prior to Benitez’s appointment and a setback saw him miss the defeat of Wigan before he was an unused substitute, for a fifth time under the Spaniard, in the Europa League win at Sparta Prague. The former England captain could yet return to the bench for Thursday’s second leg with Sparta, with Sunday’s Barclays Premier League clash at Manchester City the priority as Benitez bids to fulfil his brief of Champions League football next term. Benitez, with a third successive win, continued to turn the momentum following three wins in the previous 10 games. Due to the Spaniard’s association with Liverpool, he will likely never be a popular appointment – be it on his current caretaker basis or permanently – but Benitez has Terry’s support. “If you are losing games, the pressure is on the manager,” Terry said. “He has to take responsibility because he is the one who picks the team. So if we are not [winning], as with all managers, it falls on his head, unfortunately. But if we are winning games, and hopefully we can do that, it takes the pressure off him.” Terry hopes to play his part in the season run-in, but knows he cannot demand a place in the side, given the form of Gary Cahill and Branislav Ivanovic, plus the option of David Luiz, who Benitez appears to view more as a defensive midfielder. “I’m not silly,” Terry added. “I’ve been out for four months – the other two guys have been playing really well, so it is going to be difficult for me to get back in. Naturally I want to play games; the manager doesn’t need to ask me that question to know what answer he is going to get. “I am not one to go in and knock the manager’s door down. I respect the other players. I have to fight for my place, the same as everyone. I think it is important that comes across from me directly.” Chelsea captain John Terry is adamant he is happy to sit on the substitutes’ bench, if it is what is best for the team. The 32-year-old defender on Sunday made just his third start under interim boss Rafael Benitez and scored the fourth goal as the FA Cup holders claimed a 4-0 win over Brentford to set up a fifth-round clash at Middlesbrough a week on Wednesday. “It is not about Rafa, me or Frank Lampard, it is not about anybody,” said Terry, who denied a report of a bust-up with Benitez. “It is about this football club winning games and if that’s with me in the side, great. If not, then I will be their biggest supporter and I’ll sit there and support the team like the fans will.” Press Association