Lovely lilies and hammock-envy

Janice Wells
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I have a few lilies in my garden and for the life of me I’m never sure what kind they are (except for the daylilies which I don’t really think of as lilies). It’s just one of those things that my brain refuses to absorb. Of course, that’s just because there too many other more important/trivial things in my brain.

My Vesey’s fall catalogue has Oriental lilies, Asiatic lilies, heirloom lilies, Turk’s cap lilies, tiger lilies, border lilies and trumpet lilies. Tigers are the ones I remember from old outport gardens, along with Turk’s cap. I know I have a couple of Turk’s caps and I think a couple of Oriental, but maybe that’s it.

This year, most of my poor lilies have been rather obscured by out-of-control neighbours.

I caught glimpses of them but didn’t really think about how abandoned they must feel until I received some pictures from Bob Bennett of his lily bed.

Then I consoled myself with the assurance that lilies will give me another chance next year.

The exceptions are the two Turk’s caps my BGF (best gardening friend) Catherine gave me last year, which tower over everything but haven’t bloomed yet and one that somehow ended up in an otherwise empty pot, obviously a survivor from a previous year.

Last week I was bemoaning the lack of vigour of my climbing honeysuckle. Now there’s good news and good news; first, it is looking better, and next, it doesn’t appear to have any pests (except bindweed). I realize that I should be thinking of my honeysuckle glass as half-full instead of half-empty.

 I don’t know why but I’ve always thought of honeysuckle as being relatively pest-free. Some research after reading the following letter made me realize how wrong I was.

“Hi, I planted a honeysuckle bush about a month ago and now there is something destroying the leaves.

“There seems to be black spots on the backs of the leaves. Any idea or solution as to what is causing it and how to fix it? Love your column. Take care. Doreen”

It sounds like Doreen’s plant may have sooty mould, which won’t kill the plant but will keep it from doing well.

Sooty mould is directly connected to a secretion from aphids.

So if you spray with an insecticidal soap to get rid of the aphids, the black spots should go away.

Other advice is to remove infested leaves and clean up ones that fall to the ground, and try to ensure that your honeysuckle has plenty of air circulation.

Well, mine doesn’t have much air circulation, and as for “consistent deadheading of old blooms is essential,” I’ve never done that and it would be quite a job on my big climber, yet even this year it doesn’t seem to be suffering from anything but neglect.

Another email this week made me suffer a bit of envy.

Sean Conway out in Avondale knew exactly what I was talking about with my description of the ideal hammock situation.

Who am I trying to kid; “a bit of envy”?

I can’t think of anything more comforting for fatigue and recuperation than gently swinging in a hammock.

I’ll have one next year, under the shade roof that will be built in the fall.

Sean’s pictures convinced me that I can’t wait for trees to grow big enough.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. Her latest book, “Newfoundland and Labrador Book of Musts,” was published in October 2010 by MacIntyre Purcell Publishing Inc. You can reach her at  Note to readers: please do not send thumbnail-size

photographs, as they are too small to publish.

Organizations: MacIntyre Purcell Publishing

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