Governor offers help to Alabama towns hit by killer tornado

first_imgFULTONDALE, Ala. (AP) — Gov. Kay Ivey is promising help to families and businesses impacted by the tornado that tore up some of Birmingham’s suburbs. She said the people of Alabama are praying for them and will help them rebuild. The terrifying tornado trapped entire families in the wreckage of their homes Monday night, killing a teenager and injuring 30 people. Some survived in bathtubs and basements. The weather service says the twister was an EF- 3 with 150 mph winds. The governor says “homes and businesses can be rebuilt, but losing a young soul to a heart like this is beyond heartbreaking.”last_img read more

‘Dish’ garden

first_imgOn their own, container gardens or recycling are not new concepts. But Tony Johnson combined the two and made a unique, eye-catching, floral conversation piece. The 8-foot diameter satellite dish once helped a homeowner tune into the latest movies and broadcasts. But today, it receives curious looks and smiles as a “dish garden” at the University of Georgia Research and Education Garden in Griffin, Ga.Creative recyclingAs horticulturist for the garden, Johnson is known for his creativity and ingenuity. “I have a limited budget and very limited manpower, so I rely heavily on volunteers and donations,” he said. “So, when one of our Master Gardener volunteers asked me if I wanted his old satellite dish, I said, ‘Sure.’”No matter what size or form, containers are perfect for planting under tree canopies, he said. Johnson places his first dish garden under a Chinese Evergreen Oak tree. The almost complete shade was perfect for growing hostas. But the dish could’ve been filled with any number of annual or perennial plants.Water drains throughThe satellite dish Johnson used is made of metal mesh. Excess water drains through the soil and waters the tree roots beneath. “When you plant in the ground under trees, you risk destroying the tree’s root system,” Johnson said. “The satellite dish is perfect because it’s large, but the base is very small so it leaves a small footprint and doesn’t interfere with the tree’s roots.”Johnson is now searching for more dish donations to plant around the 65-acre UGA garden. “I know you can donate old dishes to a scrap metal recycler, but I view my idea as recycling, too,” he said.Old items make for unique garden fodderDon’t be too quick to toss away your old items. They could make for quirky outdoor garden features, too.Heirloom gardens are typically full of plants reminiscent of gardens from the Old South. What better, more creative way to label your selections than with china plate name markers? Other yard art ideas include using an old wheelbarrow or wooden chest as a planter. A brass headboard from an old bed may seem useless, but in a flower garden it becomes an attractive minifence.At the UGA garden in Griffin, Johnson’s other recycled creations include an antique iron bed he turned into a flower “bed” and old scrap metal welded into garden art that resembles cat tails, birds and butterflies.last_img read more

Grand central

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