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The Monroe County Reporter
Forsyth, Georgia
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May 16, 2018     The Monroe County Reporter
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May 16, 2018
 

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May 16, 2018 Page 3B R@orter MONROE OUTDOORS by Terry W. Johnson i ' T w that spring sage In addition, another to 12-inch stalk. Theplant's i ] is in full swing, very different species of sal- red, inch-long tubul - ,Monroe County via named Salvia splendens shaped flowers appear It gardeners are is known to many as scarlet along this stalk- :diligently working to create sage. Since I am not famil- In the past, we have attractive gardens around iar with Salvia splendens, I their homes. In recent years cannot attest to its merits as many local residents have an ornamental or wildlife : been adding plants to their food plant. home landscapes that are Several cultivars of scarlet ' both attractive and have sage have been devel- J value to their wildlife -- oped. One neighbors. ] of these, [ A couple of springs ] . ] namedLady ' ago, my wife and I / in Red, has decided to plant a li /* proven to be native salvia named a humming- scarlet sa e (Salvia bird favorite g / [ coccinea). To say the [ At times, / least, It has qmckly [ it is easier become one of our to find at garden favorites.TERRY W. JOHNSON nurseries Since then we have than scarlet enjoyed its scarlet red tnunpet-shaped blossoms : andthe birds and butter- flies it attracts from sum- mer into au mn. sage. We have planted scarlet sage in large containers and gardens alike; it has performed well in both set- ', Scarlet sage is one of tings It prefers full sun and some 900 species of salvias grows best when;the soil is :! :found around the globe, kept moist. The plants grow : : Since there are so many ; different varieties of sat- ', vies, it is easy to get them * : confused, especially when i many share the same corn- , mon names. Take scarlet sage, for example. It is also called Texas sage, hum- mingbird sage, red salvia, blood salvia and tropical J two to three feet tall and up to two feet wide. Depending on where in the country it is grown, it is planted as a perennial or annual. Locally it is grown as an annual. The leaves are triangular to heart-shaped and hai . The flowers appear on a 10 grown our scarlet sage from seed. However, it can also be transplanted. One thing we like about scarlet sage is that it readily reseeds itself. However, this past win- ter, the scarlet sage seeds naturally strewn across our flowerbed were fooled by the spring-like weather that arrived in February. At that time we noticed the un- seasonably warm weather prompted scarlet sage seeds to sprout prematurel}n Then, as we feared, as soon as frigid winter weather re- turned, the tender seedlings were killed. For weeks now, we have been vainly search- ing for new seedlings. However, one of the plants that was growing in a planter sitting on our deck near the house is sprout- ing. Obviously, overwin- tering close to the house prevented its roots from succumbing to the frigid nter cold. As soon as the first flow- ers appear on scarlet sage plants, rubythroats begin descending on the plants' nectar-laden, colorful flowers. Although the hum- Brilliant red scarlet sage gives a garden beauty by its own blossoms and by bringing birds and buttlerflies into the gar- den for its nectar. (Photo~Terry Johnson) mers feed at the blossoms throughout the entire day, they are especially active around the plants in the morning when nectar flow is greater than it is at any other time of the day. One thing we have enjoyed is looking down on the birds as they feed. This was possible because we planted a bed of scarlet sage along the edge of the deck. This permitted us to lean over and watch the tiny birds dip their bills into blossom after blossom just a few feet away. On countless occasions, I have watched hummers thrust their bills into a blossom only to have the bloom fall to the ground. This never seems to deter a bird from quickly turning its attention to sat@ling a nearby flower. The butterfly we have seen most often visiting scarlet sage is the cloud- less sulphur. Although cloudless sulphurs visit the blossoms throughout the summer, they are par- ticularly common in fall as they are migrating or preparing for migrating. Other nectar feeders, such as bees, also compete with butterflies and hum- mingbirds for the plant's nectar. In addition, scarlet sage seeds are eaten by a num- ber of songbirds, such as sparrows and American goldfinches. Birds will dine on scarlet sage seeds before they ever fall to the ground. And, long after the plants have withered and died, small birds forage for the tiny, dark, nutritious seeds hidden in the plant litter. I am certain that if you dedicate a patch of ground to scarlet sage this summer, the beautiful native plant will become one of your garden favorites, too. Terry ]ohnson is retired Program Manager of the Georgia Nongame-Endan- gered Wildlife Program. He has written the informative column 'Monroe Outdoors" for the Reporter for many years. Email him at tjwood- duck@bellsouth.net. b Emm Cantrell --Most Improved Player i Award 1 Jordan Carr -- Team Player Award Madeline Copeland Team Spirit Award Reagan Award Dorrity -- Rookie of the Year Jackie Gore -- Headliner Award Tanner Lee -- Most Improved Player Award Isabelle McCaskill -- Top Academic Award Seth Smith -- Coaches Award TRACK DOGS ContJnued from Front All seven MP points were tallied by freshman distance runner Justin Wachtel, who placed third in AAAA in the 3,200'me- ters with a time of 9 min- utes, 36 seconds. Marist's Leif Anderson was the 3,200-meter champion with a time of 9 minutes, 26 secorrds. Wachtel also placed 'eighth in AAAA infhe 1,600 meters with time of 4 minutes, 28 seconds. One other MP boys athlete, Condarius Alford, competed at state but failed to score points. Alford placed lOth in the hugh jump with a leap of 6 feet. The 21st-place team fin- ish was the Bulldogs' best state result since a 10th- place finish in 2013. Meanwhile, the MP girls track squad failed to score any points at the AAAA State Championship Meet after finishing in the Top 10 in each of the past two seasons. Chapel Hill was the girls meet cham- pion with 72.5 points. Woodward Academy was the runner-up with 52.5 points followed by Marist in third place with 51 points. Two MP girls athletes competed at state but failed to score points. Cheyla Tafolla placed in a tie for 13th in the pole vault with a vault of 7 feet, 6 inches, while Precious Gaines placed 13th in the shot put with a heave of 32 feet, 9 inches. It was the first time the Lady Dogs were shut out at state since 2013. MP had finished in the Top 14 in each of the last four seasons. I] C C Service aii brads , Installation ,~ . , lndt~r Air Qualit} . Preventive Maintenance i iii !iiiiiiiii~iiiN~iii Refrk~eralion ' Ci )kine Equipment {i}i{ Commercial Kitche~ Repaks * NA'I'E Cemfied * Fact0n Auth0nzed Dealer Fina~cinza Available with Ore.t Rates Mike Weeks & Mark McCranie Serving Middle G~o~ 20 Years Ucenst~ & tns~red f