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Some plants do help repel mosquitoes
Limerick Plantation happenings
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Plants that repel mosquitoes: There is a lot of information on the Internet about plants you can put in your yard and keep on hand to rub on itchy, mosquito-bitten skin. I won’t go into detail about the contents of each plant because it would take up pages, but I will list them and you can check them out yourself. Each year, I plant catnip, marigolds, wax myrtle, wild horsemint and castor bean. Others you can plant are citronella grass, rosemary, lemon thyme and ageratum. Crushing the leaves of these plants and applying them to your skin will act as a natural repellent, sans chemicals. Also, avoid dark clothing, which attracts them, and avoid using hairspray or scented sunscreens while working in your yard. I’m going to be gathering wild horsemint along Highway 17 for the next several days, snipping off the tops of the plants and replanting the roots in pots so they will produce nice plants in the spring.  

Beach sweep: My friends Wally and Kimberly Rouse of Twin Rivers will join me tomorrow for a drive to Meridian Dock where we will board a boat for Sapelo Island. There we will be greeted by employees of the Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve and be driven to Nannygoat Beach for a beach sweep. There will be approximately eight of us picking up litter and debris, scattered by recent high tides and wind. Our coordinators will be Linda and J.D. Daniels of Pine Harbor. This will be a new adventure for me since I’ve done inland cleanups on Sapelo, and beach sweeps at Cabretta and the main beach, but never Nannygoat. Any time I get to set foot on any of our 14 barrier islands, it is an adventure. No other state on the eastern seaboard has that many barrier islands.  

Fall barbecue and bazaar: Mark Oct. 18 on your calendar and plan to enjoy meeting and greeting your friends and neighbors at the fall bazaar and barbecue at the United Methodist Church on Martin Drive in Midway. You’re in store for good food, fun and a relaxing day.

Ogeechee River cleanup: Also on Oct. 18, volunteers are needed for an Ogeechee River cleanup. Call Dianna Wedincamp at 866-942-6222 if you want to participate in this “Rivers Alive” event.

Coastfest 2008: Having participated in this environmental event in the past, I have to say I think this year’s event was the best ever. Hundreds of people attended and supported the booths set up to promote wildlife, plants, rivers, ecology and litter awareness. There were fossil exhibits, wildlife exhibits, clean-river promotions and lots of things for children. Everyone collected free give-aways at every booth. There was music, puppet people, plenty of food and drinks — even portable sinks for hand washing.
Sanctuary on the Sapelo had six tables of plants and seeds available for just a donation. Nan Page, director of the sanctuary, a wildlife rehabilitation organization, had a red tail hawk on display to educate the public on ways to avoid harming them, and Judy of Dock Supply in Midway showed off her recovering owl. Our native plants and seeds were a big hit with the public. Donations to SOS were incredible. Thank you to the public for caring.

Getting ready for winter: We all know that when the weather starts to get cooler we don’t have to cut the grass any longer, but we do have a lot of other chores to take care of. I’ve cut my regular hydrangeas and my oak leaf hydrangeas back. I cut my catalpa trees back. I’ve pruned my loropetalums back. And this time of the year is “seed gathering” time. I’ll be pulling up my cypress vines and putting them in bags so I can collect seeds from them. I’m enjoying the pindo palm tree fruit I “stole” from the squirrels and saving the “nut” inside. I sure could use some more pine straw and lots of leaves, so don’t burn — just call me if you live in the fourth district.
I dug up and transplanted to pots some Virginia creepers, wild hemp vine, beautyberries, black cherries and partridge berries. With a little TLC, they will prosper. I will try again to transplant some small sassafras plants to pots. Soon, my partridge pea seeds will be ready to pick. My bottlebrushes are blooming again and are full of butterflies and honey bees every day. My obedient plants, Mexican petunias, swamp daisies, morning glories and zinnias continue to attract wildlife. So get out there and enjoy that yard. Talk to your plants. They will reward you this spring for sure.
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