By Mike IsbellUniversity of GeorgiaOK, so how is it pronounced?Everyone putting in the landscape plantings at the new middleschool had seen it all their lives. But none of us knew for surehow to pronounce it.We were talking about liriope, one of many plants used as groundcovers.Linda, Janie and I pronounced it LIR-e-OPE, LIR-uh-pee andsometimes lir-e-OPE-ee. It didn’t make any difference to Rob andGeorge how you pronounced it. But Jim and Jerry both pronouncedit la-RYE-uh-pee.”Jim is from Iowa,” I jokingly reminded everyone. “So weshouldn’t pay any attention to him.”The “L” wordWe finally just agreed to refer to it as “the L word.”To save on the cost of the plants, Janie had dug severalbucketfuls of the ground cover from her yard. We spaced it every12 inches in the planting bed in front of the Chinese fringetree, clethras, Japanese autumn ferns and Siberian irises.”Where do you want these trees planted?” someone asked. And sinceit was toward the end of the day, the answer was, “Who cares?Just put ’em in the ground.”By the time we got around to planting the liriope, we were alldead tired, so joking about the correct way to pronouncesomething helped take our minds off our labor and our achingbacks.Now, if you don’t like physical labor, don’t volunteer to spend abeautiful Saturday installing a landscape at a school. But if youlike volunteer work, spending a day with some wonderful peoplecan be rewarding.Spring fever creeping upI realize it’s not quite spring, but spring fever may be creepingup on you. If you have the urge to plant something and it happensto be shrubbery, some careful planning can save you a lot of workdown the road.How? Simple. Plant low-maintenance plants.Plants come in all shapes andsizes, so select the plant that has the same shape as the spacewhere you’ll use it. Avoid using fast-growing shrubs — they mayget too big too quick and may look like a big, green, growingblob.Know how far apart to plant theshrubs. They’ll be much easier to maintain and won’t look crowdedwhen they get bigger.Avoid tight angles in bed lineswhere it will be hard to mow the grass. And the less grass youhave to mow (in my opinion) the better. Use ground covers — yes,like liriope. Even if you can’t pronounce it.By the way, the accepted textbook pronunciation is la-RYE-uh-pee.