May long weekend signals “planting time” for gardeners

Here we are, gardeners, almost at the May long weekend, the unofficial “planting time”

for our gardens. I know many of us have been planting up some things here and there, and many of us have been on that dusk patrol on chilly nights, hauling planters into the garage or covering them!  But there is something about the May long weekend that gets our gardening clocks ticking at top speed!

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What is new in your garden this year? A dear friend of ours gave us a tree lily; I was very excited about this as we saw an outstanding tree lily last year in another dear friend’s garden, and it was stunning!  I hope this new lily will be happy in its new home; it would be an exciting addition to our plants!

So in case you are asking “what is a tree lily?” here is the answer: a tree lily is a cross between an Oriental and an Asiatic lily. It is not a tree, but the growth habit is tree-like, because the stems of this amazing plant are thick, and can grow from four to six feet high!

Though they are such unique specimens, they are to be planted as we would plant any other lily: we should look for a spot that has well-drained soil, and if possible full sun, although the plant won’t mind mild partial shade. They like regular watering, but they don’t like to have wet feet, so be careful not to be overly enthusiastic with your watering can! And for this first year,

it won’t hurt to put an extra layer of leaves over the lily in the fall, just to give it a little extra protection from the cold.

Guess what else I learned: there is also a lily called an “orienpet,” which is a cross between an oriental lily and a trumpet lily, as well as an “asiapet” which is a cross between an Asiatic lily and a trumpet lily! There is always something new to learn in the gardening world!

As gardeners, we know that how we care for the earth in our own small patch can add up to great things when combined with other gardeners’ efforts. Here is another project worth considering.

The Ministry of the Environment confirms that Arbor Day 2021 will be proclaimed for Friday, May 28. Arbor Week will begin that day and end June 6. Whether you plant a tree on your own or as part of a group, this event creates an awareness of the importance of trees.

Arbor Day began in 1872 in Nebraska, but was championed in many places, including Canada, in the following years. It began in Quebec in 1883, and since then has been important recognition of the benefits of trees. If your garden or yard has the space, consider planting a tree during Arbor Week. This would be a great family project, especially if a family plants a fruit tree that will yield delicious reminders in coming years about Arbor Week.

As a family activity, take a stroll in your neighbourhood and really look at the trees that are growing there. You will probably be surprised at how many trees there are! Trees give us numerous gifts: cleaner air, provide oxygen, provide food, give shade, shelter for wildlife, reduce wind speed and cool the air, prevent soil erosion, and provide material for shelter. And how they beautify the world!

     A wise man once said “The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.  The second best time is now.”  So true!  Have a great week!