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NOV. 28, 2011 - An 1870s Christmas decor of fresh evergreens, holly and camellias alongside a serving of gingerbread will be the holiday season centerpiece at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens.
Thursday, a replica of a gingerbread house and Santa's workshop on the
lawn at the main house will be a daily rest stop where parents can read
Christmas stories to their children. With garden admission, parents can
photograph their children in a gingerbread man cutout.
Take a guided tour of the gardens, beginning at 11 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1:30 p.m. Sundays. Reservations for the garden tours can be made at the ticket booth.
In a separate take-home activity, families can enter their homemade gingerbread creations in the Gingerbread House Contest. Entries must be delivered to Magnolia on Dec. 16 for display in the history room. Prizes will be awarded Dec. 19 to the top three entries. The first-place winner will receive a $200 gift certificate to the gift shop, the second-place prize will be an annual family membership and the third-place winner will receive a one-day pass.
Casey Freed, house museum manager said, "Guides will lead guests through rooms adorned with the flora from Magnolia's nationally famous winter garden. Some period goodies will be on display in the dining room, and guides will offer up some interesting facts on a traditional Christmas on the plantation."
Magnolia recently acquired 147 camellia varieties from six French and Belgian gardens that pre-date 1900. The cuttings are maturing in Magnolia's greenhouse, and in two years, the matured plants will be added to the gardens.
The acquisitions are part of Magnolia's plans to expand its camellia garden to the world's largest ancient camellia collection while replenishing the garden with 1800s varieties originally planted by the Rev. John Grimke Drayton.
Johnson said collecting the Europeans camellias gives Magnolia a bond with the directors of world-class gardens "as we move toward building relationships with some of the top camellia and azalea gardens around the world."
Among them are historic camellia varieties that Europeans first saw after explorers arrived in Asia in the late 1700s, said Tim Thibault, associate curator of woody plants at the Huntington Botanical Garden in San Marino, Calif.
said Magnolia's importation of the European camellias has significant
value in helping to identify early varieties of camellias that were brought
to the United States before 1900. Plants can be altered
Of the limited number of collectors of pre-1900 camellias, most of them are in the southeast, Thibault said. "I can guarantee there are no private or hobbyist collections of historic camellia on the west coast," he added.
Miles Beach, director of Magnolia's camellia collection, said the European varieties Magnolia acquired are not listed in the American registry of camellias, but they are found in the four-volume international camellia registry.
"Of the 478 camellia cultivars listed in the American registry, we have 350 of them," he said. "We are trying to find them all. I am certain that nothing we brought back from Europe will be found in the American registry."
Be thankful for our government
By ANDY BRACK, publisher
NOV. 28, 2011 - In this season of being thankful, let's be thankful for our government at local, state and federal levels.
Even though Congress has a 9 percent approval rating and our state legislators often suffer from a need for real leadership, government has helped enormously to make America what it is.
Yes, it is easy to be mad and point fingers. But look at how government helped to create the conditions so people achieve the American dream. Through government, we work together to realize goals. And in turn, we all benefit.
I am thankful, for example, for governmental leadership that created our network of highways and interstates to allow commerce to move across the country. I am thankful for bridges, telecommunications, electricity and all sorts of infrastructure spurred, in large part, by our governments.
I'm thankful for our military for protecting our borders and making the world safer. I'm thankful to law enforcement professionals, firefighters and emergency medical personnel who make our neighborhoods and communities safer.
Let's not forget how government protects special places with our national and state parks so our children can enjoy an America we found as youngsters. And how government runs an efficient system to support seniors in their retirement, including Medicare and Social Security.
We should also be thankful that we are a government of laws that protects the public interest and keeps bad actors from taking advantage others. Our system of regulators ensures people are treated honestly. They build accountability and transparency. And they bolster the common good in our standard of living - things like clean air, clean water, civil rights, natural resources and more.
In South Carolina, I'm thankful for a Commerce Department that proactively engages businesses around the world about how South Carolina offers opportunity. I'm grateful for inspectors who make sure restaurants are clean and food preparation companies are sanitary. I'm glad we have a statewide television network, libraries, building codes, agricultural extension agents and boards that certify professionals, such as doctors, dentists and veterinarians.
I'm thankful to teachers and other educators for providing a system of public schools, technical colleges and universities that give students a chance to learn and do more. Just this week, I learned about some schools in southern India where students had to sit on cold concrete classroom floors if they wanted to attend school. Imagine that here? No. And why? Because of our government.
I'm thankful for the tens of thousands of state workers who teach, patrol, inspect, assist, cure, monitor, verify and inspire the 4.5 million people who live in the Palmetto State. I'm equally thankful for local government employees, volunteer boards and federal workers who perform their jobs to help Americans achieve their dreams.
"The role of government is to give people the tools and create the conditions to make the most of our lives," former President Bill Clinton says in his new book, "Back to Work." "Government should empower us to do things we need or want to do that we can only do together by pooling our resources and spending them in large enough amounts to achieve the desired objectives."
You may not like this program or that, but as a society, we are the strongest and most wealthy country in the world because of how government performs for everyone and works hand-in-hand with the private sector to fertilize our culture of innovation.
I am thankful for having a government where we can agree -- or agree to disagree. It's called freedom. And you should be thankful for all it entails too. Now, let's get moving.
The public spiritedness of our underwriters allows us to bring Charleston Currents to you at no cost. This issue's featured underwriter is Maybank Industries, LLC of Charleston, S.C. With broad experience in commercial and government operations, Maybank Industries applies deep-rooted commitment to teamwork, reliability and personal service to provide innovative business solutions for project development, information technology, logistics, vessel design, shipping agency services and marine terminal operations, both locally and internationally. Maybank Industries applies a powerful blend of professional expertise to research, analyze and develop tailored solutions with thorough plans of action, combining a heavy dose of common sense to solve today's needs that can adapt to changing or evolving requirements. More: Maybank Industries and Maybank Systems.
NOV. 28, 2011 -- Eco tours continue to grow in popularity, as more and more people connect with the wonderful waterways all about Charleston.
One of the organizers of a Clemson extension and USOBE partnership, Harry Crissy, says, "Everybody who comes to the coast wants to do a sea tour. This is a real values activity for the town, and the hotels love it." A number of the fishing boat captains are finding that it is a better way to engage clients who want to get out on the water, and it keeps them busier during the slow season.
Have you taken a local eco-tour recently?
Other green news:
workshop will be held at The Citadel in Bond Hall room 165 from 10 a.m.
to 3 p.m. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Pick up Angel Tree wishes at local Subway restaurants
restaurants have joined with Debi's Kids and the Salvation Army Angel
Tree in hundreds of participating restaurants throughout the Lowcountry
to make the season brighter for children in the local community. The Angel
Tree program gives donors an easy way to provide new, unopened toys and
clothing to children who otherwise would receive few or no presents at
State tourism agency wins
national awards for Web sites
The Citadel Director's Institute draws leaders from across the nation to discuss challenges and opportunities in today's business environment. The third annual meeting will include panel discussions on corporate governance, executive and board compensation as well as the legal and ethical practices surrounding decisions in leadership and its ramifications.
Hosted by the School of Business Administration, the two-day program will also include a seminar focusing on crisis and successor planning as well as risk management strategy.
"In keeping with The Citadel's commitment to provide top quality, professional leadership development, this program permits the free flow of information among several of the world's most talented corporate directors in various fields," said Associate Dean for Programs and Outreach Wesley M. Jones, Jr. PhD, who serves as conference director.
will be held on March 23, 2012, at Charleston Place Hotel.
"We have a panel that rivals any similar program in the nation," Ronald F. Green, dean of the School of Business Administration, said. "Not only will participants have the opportunity to be exposed to some of the greatest business minds in the country, but to network with other corporate directors, also. CDI is a must attend for anyone who is sitting on a corporate board."
The Carolina mantid (Stagmomantis carolina) became the state insect by a law approved by Gov. Carroll Campbell on June 1, 1988. The legislators recognized the mantis as "a beneficial insect" found throughout the state and declared it to be "a perfect specimen of living science" for schoolchildren.
The Carolina species is the mantis most commonly found in the United States, ranging from New Jersey, southern New York, and Indiana south to Florida and west to Texas. It is brown or green, and adults measure from two to two and one-quarter inches in length. Like all mantises, the state insect is called a "praying mantis," from the way it holds up its enormous front legs, as if in an attitude of prayer. In fact, the forelegs jerk out to seize prey that the mantis eats. The name "mantis" means "diviner" and was given to the insect by ancient Greeks, who believed that it possessed supernatural powers. The earliest known fossil mantises date from 25 million to 36 million years ago.
The Carolina mantid is a predator that eats virtually any insects it can catch, so it serves as a natural biological control agent. Its prey can include other mantises, and the females are famous for connubial cannibalism, often devouring their male partners after mating. They are harmless to humans. During legislative debate on the bill, Representative Derwood L. Aydlette, Jr., of Charleston humorously proposed designating instead the palmetto bug (cockroach), as a protest against legislative time and expense "involved in having all these little state symbols."
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Five kitchen safety tips
We've entered the busiest cooking season of the year, with holidays upon holidays demanding groaning tables burdened with feasts.
Dr. Fred Mullins, CEO of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, recently visited Trident Medical Center to share tips on staying safe in the kitchen. "One of the most important things I can tell people is that they should never, ever allow a child to be alone or unsupervised in the kitchen," said Dr. Mullins. "We see cases of children getting burned by touching a hot pot or pulling scalding liquid down on themselves on an almost daily basis."
had only one argument in forty-five years. It lasted forty-three years."
Summerville Tree Lighting: 6 p.m., Nov. 29. Christmas Tree Lighting with music and refreshments. Summerville Mayor Bill Collins lights the Christmas tree and turns on 15,000 lights that decorate Summerville for the Holiday Season. This year a Snowball Drop will follow the tree lighting with lots of holiday deals from Summerville businesses as prizes. And a special holiday guest will make an appearance. Contact Summerville DREAM for more info at 843-821-7260 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be Local, Buy Local Bash: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Dec. 1. Join Lowcountry Local First to celebrate its Buy Local month at the bash at the Buy Local Home base, 359 King Street. Music by the Local Honeys. Suggested donation: $10.
(NEW) Open Cockpit Sunday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Dec. 4, Patriots Point Maritime Museum. A rare opportunity for the public to view and enter the open cockpits of several aircraft on the flight deck, in the Hangar Bay and at the Vietnam Support Base. Normal admission fees apply. More.
Through Dec. 4, Charleston Acting Studio, 915 Folly Road, Charleston.
Midtown/Sheri Grace Productions will present 14 performances of "Over
the River and Through the Woods" starting Nov. 10. The "heartwarming
family comedy" follows an Italian family, but offers universal themes.
More info on times, dates and tickets online at: MidtownProductions.org.
CALENDAR: ONGOING AND SOON
(NEW) A Touch of Glass for Christmas: 3:30 p.m., Dec. 7, St. Andrews Regional Library. Create fused glass Christmas ornaments with the help of Blue Heron Glass.
Training: 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Dec. 12 at the
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 4500 Leeds Ave. BizBuilderSC, which
offers statewide entrepreneur and small business training, is offering
the 10-week course "NxLevel for Tech Entrepreneurs." Tuition
is $345, and includes materials. For more information or to register,
or contact Laura
Williams at 843-805-3102.
Dickens Dinner: 6:30 p.m., Dec. 14, Circa 1886, 149 Wentworth St. Storyteller Tim Lowry will lead diners back to Victorian England during the 10th annual Dickens Dinner, where they will hear a festive rendition of English novelist Charles Dickens' famous novella, "A Christmas Carol." The performance is enhanced by a four-course dinner prepared by Chef Marc Collins inspired by the book. Cost is $70 per person plus tax and gratuity. Beverages are not included. To make reservations, call (843) 853-7828.
(NEW) Holiday Jazz Concerts: 10:30 a.m., Dec. 15 at James Island Branch of the Charleston County Public Library; 12:30 p.m., Dec. 17, Cooper River Memorial Branch; 3 p.m., Dec. 17, Dorchester Road Regional. Devone Gary presents a holiday jazz concert.
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