Up here in Canada, it’s the May 2-4 weekend. Yeah, I know it’s really May 21 as I write this. It’s a Canadian thing.

May 24 is Queen Victoria’s birthday. Canada, among all the commonwealth countries, is the only one to declare her birthday a national holiday. We’re (almost) by ourselves on this one – it’s not even a holiday in England. But like many holidays, Victoria Day is moved to the closest Monday. Thus, we celebrate the 24th of May on . . . well, the closest Monday to the 24th of May. May 24th will be a regular working day.

Colloquially it’s called May 2-4. When I first arrived here, I was confused. Canadians didn’t call May 23rd May 2-3. Then someone explained it to me. A 2-4 is also a case of beer. So it’s a play on the date and one of Canada’s proudest products, beer. (One doesn’t buy a couple of cases of beer – one buys a couple of 2-4s.)

In our area, it’s officially the start of safe gardening. Theoretically, at least, one need not fear frost any longer.

The tulips and daffodils are on the wane, the lilacs are just beginning to blossom, and it’s time for hanging baskets, pots and containers. Our home is a log home, surrounded by significant decking, so we traditionally use 5 hanging baskets, several large clay pots, and a couple of tree-stump planters that my husband cleverly built.

Last week I did my shopping for annuals, and today I planted them. Usually, I get way too many, and not really having a clue about gardening, mix and match things that don’t get along too well. But this year we decided to cut back, and I decided to go with a color theme – red & white. I know it’s corny, but my theme is a small tribute to our happiness about finally being Landed Immigrants in our adopted country. If the colour (hey, this is about Canada – gotta spell it the Canuck way) theme works, I may post a picture later this summer.

Let the summer begin! While I’ll envy the folks in the States next Monday on their day off, I’ve enjoyed today and our long weekend. And we get to wear white a full week before our neighbours to the south.