The Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shevat – The New Year for Trees

Today is “Tu Be Shvat” The New Year for Tree in the Jewish Calendar by Ari Hahn

Today is a holiday that is celebrated by Jewish people around the world and especially in Israel. The holiday is The New Year for Trees, called Tu B’ Shevat.

The Dan Nature Preserve in December by Dara

Date Palm Phoenix dactylifera by Dara

The name Tu B’ Shevat tells people that this New Year of the Trees is celebrated on the 15th (Tu) day of the Hebrew month called Shevat. It comes on different dates in the Western calendar but always around Jan. or Feb. when spring starts in Israel. The holiday is very old, the oldest description of the celebration was said to be written in the 16th century.

Pomegranite Punica granatum by Dara

Some people plant trees on this day.

Cactus with prickly pear fruit or sabra fruit Opuntia ficus-Indica by Dara

Another custom is to eat a new fruit on this day: a fruit which one has not eaten that entire season. Some people eat fruits from the Seven Species of plants described in the Bible as being abundant in the land of Israel. The Seven Species are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut. 8:8) Because Tu in Hebrew means 15, some people say one should eat 15 fruits that day. Other fruits some have added to the list of fruits to be eaten include citrons, apples, pears, carobs, almonds and walnuts.

Continue reading “The Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shevat – The New Year for Trees”

The Easter Lily Plant – Easter Lilies-Lilium Longiflorum

Easter Lily by **Mary**

Easter is coming and so are the Easter Lilies-Lilium longiflorum. Did you know that ten growers, most located along the California-Oregon border, produce 95 percent of all bulbs grown in the world for the potted Easter lily market?

If you purchase an Easter Lily plant, check to see that it is a healthy plant. At home, keep your lily away from drafts and drying heat sources such as appliances or heating ducts. Bright, indirect light is best with daytime indoor temperatures of 65 to 75° F. Water the plant only when the soil feels dry to the touch.  NEVER over water. Pour out any water in the saucer under the plant. To prolong the life of the blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower.  See here.

On this Easter Sunday…. by calamityjan2008

Easter Lilies are one of the loveliest flowers and the fragrance is ambrosial so one hates to discard the plant when it stops blooming. Since Easter Lilies are forced to bloom at Easter time in hothouses by professionals, they are difficult to keep in pots at home for another season of bloom. But you might have some success if you plant the bulb outside after the plant finishes blooming. Remember that forced blooms are not always successful for replanting. But it is worth the try.

Continue reading “The Easter Lily Plant – Easter Lilies-Lilium Longiflorum”

Creative and Inexpensive Garden Gifts for Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanza

be gentle and nurture by janoid
be gentle and nurture by janoid

December is the holiday month with Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanza and numerous other festive gift giving days. In my family, December is also the birthday month for four members. In these hard economic times, TheGardenLady likes to come up with creative but inexpensive gift ideas so as not to break the bank.

You can give IOUs to friends. Make or buy a pretty card- preferably with a flower on it – and offer your friend your services in the friend’s garden. For example, write on the card that you owe your friend one day of weeding time or if your friend is going somewhere, offer to water the flowers – indoors and/or outdoors when your friend is away. Or if your friend is away from the college campus while you will be around, offer to care for any plants.

Or one can propagate plants from your own plants. This is a little late in the year to get started for the plant to really be showy in time for Christmas and is really not the time to propagate outdoor plants; but one can attempt to propagate some simple indoor plants even at this late time of the year. The easiest way of propagating indoor plants is by taking leaf cuttings. Not all plants will propagate by leaf cuttings. Some simple, pretty plants amenable to this type of propagation are coleus, begonias and African violets. Sometimes all that is needed to get a root to form is to just put a stem with leaf cutting in water.

Continue reading “Creative and Inexpensive Garden Gifts for Hannukah, Christmas, and Kwanza”