“In the Yard” column for April 5, 2013

If you find yourself with a potted Easter lily on your front porch this time of year, consider planting it in the yard for a return show in springs to come.

Dan Gill, LSU AgCenter horticulturist, says to plant the lily in a place, preferably a well-prepared flower bed, that gets morning sun and afternoon shade.

The plant will stay green until summer, then go dormant, with the foliage turning yellow. You can cut back the lily, mark the spot so you don’t forget where it is and look for blooms again next April.

SIGN OF THE SEASON: Another sign is the oak tree pollen that’s dusting most outdoor surfaces these days.

Gill said that oak trees, like most shade trees, rely on the wind to carry out pollination. Small, unnoticeable male flowers on the tree “simply dump massive amounts of pollen grains in the air” in the hopes it will land on female oak tree flowers, said Gill.

That’s not much comfort to allergy sufferers; they can better admire trees with showy flowers — they’re pollinated in a more allergy-friendly manner by birds and insects, Gill said.

GARDEN TOUR: The LSU Hilltop Arboretum invites you to come out for its first spring garden walking tour from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

“A Walk in Walden” will lead you on a stroll through the tranquil streets of Walden subdivision in southeast Baton Rouge.

Designed by a landscape architect in the 1970s, each tour home is on a cul-de-sac, with wonderful views of three lakes and handsome cypress trees. The area is a habitat for egrets, blue herons, geese and ducks, according to Hilltop.

There will be refreshments, as well as music by local band Hungry, Hungry, throughout the afternoon, at the neighborhood clubhouse.

There will be another area garden tour and a bonus tour in St. Francisville in May. Ticket packets for all are available for $35, or you can buy tickets, for $20 each, at each garden the day of the tour.

Tickets are available online at http://www.lsu.edu/hilltop; by calling (225) 767-6916 or emailing hilltop@tigers.lsu.edu.

Ellyn Couvillion

Advocate staff writer