HELEN LANG: Being outdoors will make you feel much better

Most of us are waiting for the sun to shine and the days to warm up a bit before donning our gardening gloves

Most of us are waiting for the sun to shine and the days to warm up a bit before donning our gardening gloves, finding the old garden jacket that we should have washed, finding the trowel and the pruners (secateurs, when you adopt garden language) and finally head outside into the fresh air.

It smells wonderful and gives us the urge to dig in the softened soil.

But wait a second … isn’t that the spot where you planted those expensive lilies? Maybe not.

I don’t see any sign of the them and I think the first leaves should be showing up about now.

Mmm, maybe a little to the left would be safer. Let’s try the vegetable garden instead, those peas that have been soaking should go in anyway.

Now, stretch that twine between the stakes so that the peas, planted beneath will end up in a straight line. It not only looks better, but makes them easier to pick — not so much wandering back and forth and you don’t end up squishing the radishes planted just 18 inches away.

Broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage plants could go in soon — they are pretty hardy — and if you have row covering (Reemay cloth) you could also seed spinach, radishes and corn salad.

Cover the area until the seeds have sprouted. Feels good to get out in the garden again, doesn’t it?

I hate to be a spoil sport, when you have just settled down with your book, but isn’t it about time to scrub down the garden furniture before they have to be painted?

I think light green would be nice this year, or what do you think of pale yellow?

Did I hear a groan? Sorry, dear, it’s just that spring makes me anxious to get going and you can read when it gets too dark to work outside. I’ll fix you a bucket of soapy water, and search out the scrubbing brush   so you can get along with the job.

It’s too nice a day to just sit around inside, don’t you think? Are you feeling OK? You keep making those strange noises, something like a whine, but you’ll be fine, dear and being outdoors will make you feel much better!

You could even go out and dig a bit — even if you don’t have a garden of your own.

I’m sure your friendly neighbour would be thrilled to have the help.

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.


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