Soap aloe is one of those plants that stirs up a passion in gardeners and plant aficionados across the country. Known as Aloe maculate, you would swear it is from Mexico at first glance, but it’s actually from South Africa, more than 9,000 miles away.I fell in love with it when I traveled to the California Pack Trials and drove from San Diego to San Francisco. Then it seemed that 70 to 80 percent of the homes in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas had it in their landscapes. It is one of those plants that just seems to be at home in hot, arid, frost-free climates.When I arrived in Savannah, Georgia, I was wonderfully surprised to see it flourishing in the sweltering heat and humidity. I was even more delighted to see that a bone-chilling 18 degrees Fahrenheit had no lingering effect. It seems that good drainage and sunlight are the two most necessary elements for it to thrive in the home landscape.An internet search will suggest it belongs from zone 9 to 11 with an occasional suggestion of zone 8. All are correct. Here in Savannah, we are in zone 8b. Don’t let those zones deter you from growing this incredible plant. It looks most exotic in containers, which allow for them to be moved for protection during the winter.There’s a lot to like about soap aloe. The leaves are speckled and offer wonderful, contrasting texture in the landscape. To be honest, the flowers simply mesmerize me. When it’s mature, the foliage reaches around 18 inches tall and about 18 to 24 inches wide. The plant produces spikes of flowers that range from 24 to 36 inches tall and are red-orange.This year, these plants mystified me. We have several here at the garden. I was shooting my first-bloom photos in mid-April. We had blooms in May and June. Now our soap aloe plants growing at the garden entrance are blooming in conjunction with the yellow-flowered esperanza.The eye-catching, tall flower stalks attract ruby-throated hummingbirds and other species that take their time feasting on each and every flower. This is a memorable moment in the garden.We have the soap aloe in our Mediterranean Garden, where it looks at home, and at our entrance. It also excels in modern and rustic gardens, and it looks at home with tropical plants or partnered with cactus, agave and rocks in xeriscapes.As the name suggests, the sap from the leaves will foam up to become a soap substitute, but try this sparingly as too much can cause irritation. In my opinion, a plant that produces a flower this gorgeous and brings in hummingbirds is a winner.Once you get your soap aloe, you’ll notice the “pups,” new plants that form, can be used elsewhere or shared with friends and family. Give me a call, I may need some.Follow me on Twitter @CGBGgardenguru. Learn more about the UGA Coastal Botanical Garden at the Historic Bamboo Farm at coastalgeorgiabg.org.
Griezmann fires Atletico Madrid to Europa League titleLyon, France | AFP | Antoine Griezmann was the hero for Atletico Madrid as the French striker scored twice in their 3-0 win over Marseille in Wednesday’s Europa League final, allowing his club to win the trophy for the third time in nine seasons.It is Griezmann’s first major title as an Atletico player, and a fitting way to bow out if he leaves at the season’s end, with Barcelona tipped as his next destination.Griezmann — brought up in Macon, just 70 kilometres from Lyon — scored once in each half, his lethal finishes coming either side of Marseille losing Dimitri Payet to injury, the French side’s captain coming off in tears.He now has 29 goals for the season, although it was Gabi’s late strike that put the seal on the victory.Marseille had been desperate to win the second European trophy in their history, on French soil, 25 years after beating AC Milan in the inaugural Champions League final in Munich.But it was a flat night for their huge support, who threatened to ruin the occasion by constantly lighting flares and setting off firecrackers at one end of the stadium, with some even being thrown onto the pitch towards the end.The game carried on regardless, with Rudi Garcia’s side well beaten by Diego Simeone’s Atletico.Their triumph comes after their agonising defeats to city rivals Real Madrid in the Champions League finals of 2014 and 2016. They had previously won the Europa League in 2010 and again in 2012, the latter coming just six months after Simeone’s appointment.Simeone served a touchline ban here, meaning assistant German ‘Mono’ Burgos nominally took charge, but that did not perturb them on the field. Having fallen into this competition by virtue of a shock group-stage exit from the Champions League, Atletico were the favourites against a Marseille side whose continental campaign had begun in the the third qualifying round last July.– Marseille’s regrets –Just being in this final, their 19th European game of the season, was an achievement for Garcia’s team. But they will look back on the evening with regrets.After all, they had started well and had a great chance to open the scoring inside four minutes, Valere Germain shooting over from an excellent position after being slipped in by Payet.It was the kind of chance that does not come up often against an Atletico side who had kept 33 clean sheets in all competitions this season before this game.Having been on top, Marseille were then punished for sloppy defending as they fell behind in the 21st minute.Goalkeeper Steve Mandanda opted to play a pass to Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, deep in midfield, rather than clear long. The Cameroonian’s attempt at a touch was awful, and Gabi pounced on the loose ball, sending Griezmann through to finish.That subdued the massed ranks of Marseille fans, and things got worse for them when Payet, their captain and most influential player who had been struggling with a hamstring problem ahead of the game, came off crying just after the half-hour mark.OM needed to take the game to Atletico in the second half, but instead they conceded again just four minutes after the restart.It was a glorious goal, Griezmann finding Koke and then latching onto the return ball as he stormed into the box before lifting a deft finish over Mandanda and in.Substitute Kostas Mitroglou nearly set up a grandstand finale, his header coming off Jan Oblak’s post, before Gabi’s low drive in the 89th minute made it 3-0.Share on: WhatsApp
Regardless of who features up front, Solskjaer believes there are enough goals in his team to challenge for a place in the top four.“Of course Rom has a good record. The stats say he is one of the top number nines around when you want to play with that kind of target man striker,” he said.“But for me, I am very confident that we’ll get goals from Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. Daniel James will create and Jesse Lingard will get more goals too.“Mason Greenwood’s pathway would have been a lot more different if we had another forward there.“I believe Mason is going to be playing and involved a lot and when he is, he’s going to score goals.”With Lukaku leaving Old Trafford, the door is now open again for Alexis Sanchez to prove his worth after a miserable 18-month spell in Manchester.The chances of Chilean departing before September 2, when the last of the European transfer windows closes, are slim and although he is not yet ready for first-team action following this summer’s Copa America Solskjaer insists there is still hope for Sanchez’s United career.“Alexis has come in and trained well although he is four or five weeks behind the other boys,” he said.“He has not played in any of the pre-season friendlies apart from one behind closed doors this week.“I think he will see this as an opportunity to make his mark.“I do expect him to stay. We think there is a striker there who is going to be able to get us some goals.”Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Ole Gunnar SolskjaerManchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted on Friday that Manchester United can cope without Romelu Lukaku following the striker’s transfer to Inter Milan, saying that it was time for him to move on despite the lack of a replacement.Lukaku joined the Serie A club on Thursday, the Premier League’s transfer deadline day, but there was no new arrival to take his place at Old Trafford before the window shut.“It was time now for Romelu Lukaku to go. I think we got a good deal and he is happy so I think both parties ended that deal as it should be,” Solskjaer told reporters on Friday.“Romelu was injured for a while this pre-season and he did not participate so I just hope for him he will get a good start at Inter Milan.”The former Everton star fell out of favour under Solskjaer last season and he was training with the youth team at Anderlecht earlier this week as he tried to force his transfer away from United.Lukaku’s behaviour was criticised in some quarters but Solskjaer insists there is no bad blood.“I have always had a good relationship with Rom, open and honest. We have always spoken to each other frankly.“I have no issue between me and Rom but we are now obviously very happy with who is here.”While Solskjaer suggested Lukaku’s departure was inevitable, he will still be missed by United as no-one in the current squad comes close to matching his 42 goals in 96 appearances over the last two seasons.Links with Juventus pair Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic came to nothing, so Solskjaer has to go with what is already at his disposal.Marcus Rashford is expected to lead the attack in their Premier League opener against Chelsea on Sunday, but there could be more opportunities for 17-year-old Mason Greenwood.– Impact players –The youngster has impressed in pre-season and his manager expects him to become an integral part of the first-team squad.
Submitted by City of OlympiaGrab your guide to the 2014 Spring Arts Walk in downtown Olympia – April 25 & 26! Arts Walk maps are available at participating downtown businesses, The Olympia Center (222 Columbia St NW), and City Hall (601 4th Ave E). Digital maps and the new interactive mobile app can also be found at www.olympiawa.gov/artswalk.The spring Arts Walk also includes the spectacular Procession of the Species, an artistic and environmental celebration presented by Earthbound Productions, www.procession.org. The Procession begins at 4:30pm on Saturday. Due to the popularity of the Procession, it is extremely important for individuals to pay close attention to street closures and tow away zones.As part of your planning for festival-going, consider your transportation options. Area residents have the option to bus, bike, or walk to the event. Transit information as well as individualized trip planning for bus, bike and walk routes is available at www.intercitytransit.com.Arts Walk is sponsored by the City of Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation Department and Olympia Arts Commission, with support provided by Art House Designs, Capitol City Press, Heritage Bank, InterCity Transit and MIXX 96fm.For more information, contact Olympia Parks, Arts & Recreation at 360.753.8380. Facebook86Tweet0Pin0
Facebook89Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Lacey Fire DistrictThe Lacey Fire District Santamobile is almost on the road! Watch us again in real time with the Glympse App and join us at a Santa Stops; Santa Stops are expected to occur between 7:15 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. each night. Read below for more details and our schedule.This year we will again hold “Santa Stops” – an opportunity to see Santa in a specific location in case he doesn’t get to your street. Santa will stay at each location for 30 minutes.To follow Santa more closely, or predict his arrival at a Santa Stop, watch our social media sites to get the link for real time GPS tracking.The Santamobile will be traveling to the following neighborhoods this year:12/5 — McAllister Community Park12/6 — Meridian Neighborhood Park12/7 — Thornbury Park12/8 — Lacey Post Office12/11 — Edgewater Park12/12 — Rainier Vista Community Park12/13 — Meadows Elementary12/14 — Olympic View Elementary12/15 — Horizon Point Park12/18 — Avonlea Park12/19 — Woodland Elementary12/20 — Nisqually Middle School
Tiger Woods returns to the course on Thursday after being away from competition for five months. In a press conference on Monday, Woods expressed his excitement to return to the course and was well received in the practice rounds. Woods is paired with K.J. Choi and Matt Kuchar. Woods has been paired with Choi 12 times and Kuchar twice. The threesome will tee off from the first hole at Augusta National at 1:42 p.m. Thursday and 10:35 a.m. Friday.Donovan McNabb was introduced Tuesday as the new quarterback of the Washington Redskins. McNabb, sporting a No. 5 Redskins jersey, is in the negotiation stage with the Redskins on a contract extension. McNabb has one year left on his 12-year, $115 million contract that he signed with the Philadelphia Eagles.Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski denies any interest in the New Jersey Nets coaching job. The Bergen Record reports that the Nets’ new owner, Mikhail Prokhorov, is targeting Coach K. Even if Prokhorov offers Coach K more than $12 million, making him the highest-paid coach in the NBA ahead of Phil Jackson, Krzyzewski maintained that he would not be leaving Duke. Coach K was offered the head coaching position with the Lakers in 2004, but opted to remain with the Blue Devils.Cleveland Browns nose tackle Shaun Rogers allegedly tried to carry a semiautomatic handgun through airport security over the weekend. The police report states that the gun had seven bullets in the magazine and one in the chamber, but was on safe mode. Rogers has pleaded not guilty to the charges. In an apology to his team and fans, Rogers claims he forgot the gun was in his carry-on bag when he went through security at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott (15) carries the ball during a game against Cincinnati on Sept. 27 at Ohio Stadium. OSU won, 50-28.Credit: Mark Batke / Photo editorFor the first time ever, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Rutgers Scarlet Knights are set to meet on the football field. The matchup also marks the first time the Scarlet Knights will play a Big Ten game on the road.With so many firsts, and so many unknowns, there are a plethora of storylines to watch in the matchup. The Lantern sports editors picked five of the most important things to look for in the game.1. Will the Buckeyes be able to force Gary Nova turnovers?It has been well-documented that Rutgers senior quarterback Gary Nova is turnover-prone. With Nova coming off of an impressive performance in which he tossed for 404 yards through the air and three scores against Michigan, the Buckeye defense will have to do its due diligence to slow Nova and the Scarlet Knights down. The Rutgers run game is average at best, ranking ninth in the conference, which has forced the Scarlet Knights to throw the ball early and often in recent weeks. If they can force Nova into his old habits, the Buckeyes should succeed as Nova has thrown 46 career interceptions, five of which came in his first Big Ten game against Penn State. 2. Will sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott have his third-straight 100-yard game?After struggling to get off to a strong start, Elliott is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard rushing games against Cincinnati and Maryland, respectively. Getting his third-straight 100-yard game could prove to be easier than some think.While the Rutgers defense ranks tied for third in the country in sacks, they struggle to stop the run as they rank eighth in the conference in yards allowed on the ground. If the Buckeye offensive line has improved as much as many think they have, Elliott will have a chance to rack up considerable yards for a third straight game. 3. Can J.T. Barrett make a Heisman Trophy push?I know, I know. we are crazy. But are we really?After the recent Todd Gurley and Jameis Winston fallout, this could be the most wide open Heisman race in years.With that said, Barrett will have a chance to shine on national television for the next four weeks as games against Rutgers, Penn State, Illinois and Michigan State are scheduled to be televised on either ABC, ESPN or ESPN2.In addition, aside from Saturday’s game against Rutgers, all of those games are set for 8 p.m. kickoffs, putting Barrett and the Buckeyes in the spotlight for three straight weekends.Closing that stretch of games is the Michigan State matchup, one that most are claiming will be the de facto Big Ten Championship game. If Barrett can help the Buckeyes win out, and impress during prime time, there is a chance the redshirt-freshman could earn an invite to New York.However, it all starts with Rutgers on Saturday.4. How will a second early-season bye week effect the Buckeyes on the field?More than anything else, OSU coach Urban Meyer has made it clear that he didn’t want to have a week off after the Buckeyes beat Maryland on Oct. 4.If it were up to him, they would have kept on rolling after the 52-24 win, but it’s not.Instead, OSU had to take an off-week and get ready for a two-week gap between taking the field for an actual game. For some teams, that can be needed rest. For others, it can simply stunt momentum.It’s likely the Buckeyes will either have an extremely fast or an extremely slow start depending on how the players took the time off. If a slow start is in fact the case, look for OSU to be in an early hole with a need to scramble back late in the game.5. Will freshman running back Curtis Samuel be worked back into the fold?Through the first few games of the season, an argument could have been made that Samuel was the best running back on OSU’s roster.He might well be just that someday, but it’s clear that Elliott is the guy for the 2014 Buckeyes, especially considering Samuel missed the Maryland game with a leg injury. Meyer said he’s back and ready to go, but what will be the real point of rushing him back into the lineup when Elliott has been dominant for two consecutive games?Samuel has a bright career ahead of him, but an untimely injury might have put a damper on what could have been a standout first season in Columbus.The matchup between OSU and Rutgers is scheduled for Saturday at 3:30 p.m. at Ohio Stadium.
Jesse Lingard has described it as an incredible moment for him to have scored his first goal for England in their 1-0 win over the Netherlands on TuesdayIn his ninth appearance for the national side, Lingard scored the goal that sealed a 1-0 win over Holland at the Johan Cruijff Arena and impressed again in their 1-1 draw against Italy with his overall energy and work-rate having been a key factor during the friendly.“I have had to work hard to get in the starting XI for England. Now all I can do is carry on, work harder and see where it gets me.” said Lingard told BBC.“Playing for England is always a big honour anyway and to score my first goal was amazing. It is a massive moment in my career.”Maguire says United need to build on today’s win George Patchias – September 14, 2019 Harry Maguire wants his United teammates to build on the victory over Leicester City.During the summer, Harry Maguire was referred to as the ultimate…Now that the international break is over, Lingard will now be returning his focus in aiding Manchester United with both their Premier League and FA Cup campaigns.“We have a lot of games to go for Manchester United and that is the most important thing at the moment,” said the 25 year-old.“I have to do my job here and then see what happens.”
Karim Benzema plans to start afresh in the new season and continue with his path onto becoming a Real Madrid greatThe French striker had a difficult time last season and was only able to muster 11 goals in a total of 45 games in all competitions.Benzema’s struggles last term saw him lose his place in the France national team for the World Cup this summer and he was forced to watch from home as Les Bleus went on and won a second world title at Russia.To add to his woes, Benzema’s future at Real has been put into heavy doubt with many Spanish media outlets suggesting that it is time for him to pull the curtain on his nine-year stay at the Spanish capital this summer with Serie A giants Napoli reportedly interested.But, contrary to the speculation, Benzema has been hard at work since the very first day of pre-season and he is now raring to go for Los Blancos as the Frenchman looks to put the struggles of last season behind him.“So far this pre-season, we’ve been working really hard and putting in some good work,” he told the club website.“We know that it’s demanding, but it sets us in good stead for the rest of the season.“We have to keep winning silverware because the target here is always to win things as a team.“On a personal level, I’ll be looking to have a better season than I did last time around and continue to etch my name into the club’s history books.“I couldn’t have imagined achieving everything that I have, but I joined this club to win silverware, be a success and achieve a lot of things.Zidane reveals Sergio Ramos injury concern for Real Madrid Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Zinedine Zidane has put Sergio Ramos’ availability for Real Madrid’s trip to Sevilla next weekend in doubt after withdrawing him against Levante.“I knew that I’d have some tough seasons, but it doesn’t matter because this is the best club in the world.”He added: “I’m really happy.”Dancing with the ball ! ? @realmadrid #HalaMadrid pic.twitter.com/lYgK8VuYzJ— Karim Benzema (@Benzema) July 20, 2018The loss of Zinedine Zidane as head coach had only fueled speculation surrounding Benzema’s future at Real.But the 30-year-old is enjoying his start to life under new boss Julen Lopetegui.“We know that Lopetegui is a coach who likes his teams to have the ball and play a possession-based game,” Benzema said.“He also places great emphasis on working hard when we lose the ball and how we press after we’ve given possession away.”Benzema will likely be in action for Real in the first game of their pre-season tour against Manchester United next Tuesday night.
Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe has rubbished claims linking him with the Tottenham job once Mauricio Pochettino heads to Manchester United.After Mourinho’s sacking on Tuesday, many reports have linked Tottenham boss Pochettino to the United job, while suggesting that Eddie Howe will take his place at Wembley.Howe slammed the claims as “disrespectful” and praised the Argentine for the job he’s doing at Tottenham.“Tottenham have an outstanding manager who is doing an unbelievable job. I’m not going to comment on a club that has a manager – it is disrespectful,” he told Sky Sports.Mourinho: “Lionel Messi made me a better coach” Andrew Smyth – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho believes the experience of going up against Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi at Real Madrid made him a greater coach.“I do not pay it any attention whatsoever. I do not give it any credibility. I do not waste my time seeking it, looking at it or thinking about it. It has got absolutely no relevance to me.“I always manage like I’m going to be here for the next 100 years. In my long-term thinking, I am always thinking what is best for the club in every decision that I make.“It is absolutely foolish of me to think of anything other than this club. I am absolutely committed 100 percent to every minute here. I am working as hard as I can for AFC Bournemouth.”