Lavender twist redbud also can be planted in clusters of three to five plants for extra accent or in a large container for the patio or poolside. It looks particularly nice in a Japanese garden. Its natural weeping growth habit reminds one of Japanese bonsai. Soon after flowering, heart-shaped leaves emerge and the tree assumes an umbrella-like form in the summer landscape. Finally, when winter arrives and the leaves drop, the tree becomes a living sculpture in the landscape with zigzag branches, a contorted trunk and persistent pea-like seed pods that hang from its weeping branches. Landscape architects talk about creating a focal point when designing a landscape, one that draws the eye to a particular spot. This is often done with statuary, a fountain or a gazing ball. A plant can also be used as a focal point, but the plant has to have special features and year-round interest that attracts visitors’ attention every month of the year. One such plant is lavender twist redbud. The tree is patented and is grown via grafting onto a rootstock only by licensed growers. Staking and training are needed if an upright growth habit is desired. Otherwise, the plant will assume a more weeping form. Lavender twist redbud is a weeping form of our native redbud, discovered in 1991 in Westfield, N.Y., in the garden of Connie Covey. At that time, the tree was about 35 years old, 4.5 feet tall and 7 feet wide with a trunk diameter of about 6 inches. One of the unique features of the tree, other than growth habit, is that it goes dormant early, before the first frost. This early dormancy makes it more winter hardy and able to adapt to areas as far north as Maine and Minnesota. By Gary WadeUniversity ofGeorgia In the spring, the lavender twist redbud begins the show with lavender-pink, pea-like blossoms borne along its cascading branches, like sprays from a fountain. The plant stops traffic when in bloom. Flowers are borne not only along the branches, but along the main trunk as well. (Gary Wade is a Cooperative Extension horticulturist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Each tree develops a different and unique growth habit, and no two trees look alike. Lavender twist redbud is a small tree, growing up to 15 feet tall and wide. It prefers moist, well-drained soils and full sun to partial shade. It’s a slow grower, so patience is a virtue with this plant. Blossoms form at an early age, often the first year, and flowering improves with age and size.
One week after last season ended Frank Howard realized he needed a change. Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim had essentially banned him from shooting jumpers.Howard made just 18-of-63 field goals and averaged 1.6 points per game. He finished the year on a 5-for-14 stretch in the final nine games.“He’s a different player,” Boeheim said. “He put on a lot of weight … He’s just a stronger player and he’s shooting it better.”Two-hundred and twenty-four days since SU’s Final Four loss, Howard’s improved jump shot was on display. He helped lead No. 19 Syracuse (1-0) to an 83-55 victory in its season opener on Friday night in the Carrier Dome. He shot 4-for-4 from the field, including three 3s. He also dished out nine assists in 22 minutes to round out his game.“He’s going to really surprise people this year I think,” fellow point guard John Gillon said.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textHoward worked with trainers and went back to the film in the offseason. He was shooting the ball from his palm when it should have come from his fingertips. He was pushing it through the air. He had to keep his shoulders square.The summer workouts were simple. Step in front of the basket and take 20 shots with one hand. Twenty shots with two hands. Over and over. He’d record himself shooting around in the gym, watch it back and try to fix his mistakes.“I just had to shoot like I was a little kid,” Howard said. “Just trying to break it down and just go back to shooting how I was in high school.”In Syracuse’s season opener, the adjustment paid off. He made two 3-pointers all of last season. Within the first 23 minutes of SU’s 2016-17 campaign, Howard made three.The first came off a Tyler Lydon assist and after sinking the 3 from the right wing, Howard jammed three fingers into the side of his head to celebrate. The play pushed Syracuse’s early lead to five and capped off a 7-0 run that put the Orange ahead for good.The second also came from the right wing on an assist from Gillon amid a 17-point SU run to put Syracuse up, 40-25. Once again, Howard jammed three fingers into the side of his head.A season ago, Boeheim said that if Howard continued to take 10-foot floaters, he’d come out of the game. On Friday night, the 41-year head coach said Howard now has the green light.“I’m glad I could shoot the ball again,” Howard said.Howard’s improved scoring ability helps his passing, Boeheim said. Howard racked up six assists in just over the first eight minutes of the game.On Syracuse’s first possession of the season, Howard drew in the defense with the dribble and slipped a pass to Tyler Roberson down low for a dunk.Howard’s nine assists went to four different players.“My job is to get everybody involved and put points on the board,” Howard said.A year ago, Howard averaged 10.5 minutes per game. But as one of just four returners and now a starter for the Orange, Howard has taken on a bigger role.Friday night could be just a taste of what’s to come.“I want to make this like a normal thing,” Howard said. “I don’t want to get too high on it.” Comments Published on November 11, 2016 at 11:27 pm Contact Paul: [email protected] | @pschweds Facebook Twitter Google+