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Musings About Family, Travel And Gardening With Allen Martinson.


Happy Earth Day & Happy Arbor Day!

HOPEFULLY EASTER was a good time for all. This year, on the weekend of Easter we had a family member get married at my sisters house which his where we also do Martinson family Easter. The place was absolutely beautiful. Karen lives and has further developed the property that we all grew up on. You can imagine the mature plant material that my parents planted back in the 70’s and the new stuff that Karen and Maur have added, it was quite mind blowing. As if having a wedding at their house wasn’t enough they went ahead and hosted Easter there the day following the wedding of their son, Nic. 11 of our family members are involved in the horticulture industry. It was so much fun to check in with everyone in the different parts of the nursery/landscape business. Karens daughter, Carly has created one of Mississippis premier floral services called Bellini Blooms. Carly observed some of the best florists perform at Green Oak Florist most of her life.

With that knowledge she put a new twist on floral design with her own modern ideas. Her creations of bouquets for bridesmaids and designs were set up all over the stunning backdrop of a perfectly manicured property. Green Oak Florist added to the event, together it was downright stunning. Green Oaks landscape crews had done an amazing job at detailing the work that Karen and Maur had as a background, It was a really fun and intimate wedding with so many family members pouring their hearts out to make the day perfect. If that wasn’t enough, after partying and dancing into the night we all got up Easter Morning and regrouped over there to do it all again, a little more subdued and chilled out with crawfish and oysters and wonderful pot luck. Day 2 was fun for everyone but especially for all those folks involved in the wedding, the stressful part was over and it was nice to see Karen an Maur and Carly be able sit back and relax amongst all their incredible creations. This is the week that Americans celebrate Earth Day every year.

THE THEME FOR Earth Day 2023 is ‘Invest In Our Planet’. This theme is designed to persuade businesses, governments and citizens around the world of the need to invest in our planet to improve our environment and give our descendants a better and safer future. This day is set aside each year to remind ourselves that there are things that we can all do to help recognize the day in our own ways at home and at our businesses. This day comes at a time more important than ever before as we watch our weather and climate conditions deteriorate so quickly, I think by now most people can see that it is time for action from anyone who can to ask what we can do to mitigate the situation.

At home we can support our pollinators, clean up plastic in your neighborhood or local park, plant a tree, use wildflowers and native plants, minimize the use of synthetic pesticides and chemicals and reduce, reuse, recycle in the garden. These suggestions are all really simple habits that we all could form with very little effort. Boring your friends and especially your children to death by explaining why you are doing these subtle changes as you progress with these new habits will help to normalize the concept. Hopefully your children will grow up in the yard observing you gardening while being purposeful and mindful of the process that will help to ensure that the world will be a place that your children and their children will live in that will provide the same bounties for them as it does for us today. The earth will appreciate the small things done by a great number of people.

Next weekend we will observe Arbor Day. On Saturday April 28th we will observe Arbor Day by planting a tree in honor or memory of a loved one. It’s easy to think of someone to plant a tree or two in their honor. This year it seems appropriate to plant a tree in honor of us all for weaving our way through the new world which we live in now with all the crazy weather news , the political divide we all deal with every day, and the sadness of the horrific wars that just seem to be escalating. Going out to plant some trees might just be the medicine we all need to put us all on the same page even if it’s just for a day, I’ll take it. We have to close that gap eventually or we will never get anywhere. If we continue counting on our elected officials to do it for us we will get nowhere real fast. Ultimately it will be up to us to put the world back on its tracks.

THERE IS A LOT to consider before planting a tree. The tree you are going to plant will be around for a long time so considering where to plant the tree is important . Do some homework about the conditions that are best for the tree, the size of the tree when it reaches maturity, and the effects a tree will have on the surrounding area when the tree begins to provide shade. A great tree to plant is a Magnolia tree. There are some Magnolias can get giant and do well if you have a property that space is not an issue like in a field. The Little Gem and Teddy Bear Magnolias are more appropriate for more limited spaces. Those smaller varieties also get the giant, gorgeous blooms that we all recognize in Mississippi. Those blooms have been written about, put on our flag, and there are songs written about the Magnolia blooms, try the song “Sugar Magnolia” if you want to be dancing while digging that hole, it’s a great one!

Make sure to plant the tree correctly, there’s not a much worse situation than planting a tree in someone’s memory then to watch the tree slowly die because it was planted incorrectly.

I would dig the hole twice the size of the rootball and mix in some good soil with the native soil and put that back in the hole while planting the tree. I like to plant trees a little high, like 2 or 3 inches of the rootball is sitting above ground level. By planting the tree a little shallower than we are accustomed to we are getting those roots just a little farther from that clay that you will hit with your shovel. Use root stimulator while watering in your new pet the day you plant it. I use Root stimulator the second watering when the soil dries out. Stimulating the roots and staking the tree to keep the wind from moving those roots around when the wind blows are the most important things that you can do to ensure that the tree will be there long after you are. Mulching the tree circle will spiffy up the look and, more importantly will help maintain moisture when the going gets tough during the summer months.

PLANTING A TREE is a great way to get every one in the family involved as there is no age too young to help and observe and learn what you are doing while you explain to the kids what you are doing and why you are doing it. You will be surprised how fast they will grab a shovel or a handful of dirt so they can help and be a part of doing these small things that will help their future world be a place that they can understand. Load everyone up in the truck and visit some garden centers so they can be a part of the choosing the tree process, it could turn out to be one of the funnest days you’ll spend with them as most kids are natural gardeners. Put them in charge of watering and cultivating the tree so they can sit under the tree with you or their kids one day. Happy Earth Day and Happy Arbor Day!

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