HELEN LANG: Curse the predatory butterfly

Last fall’s predatory white butterfly laid eggs on leaves that produced hungry green caterpillars

August already! How can it be? It was July a couple of minutes ago! But this morning there was fog in the hills, mist on my open window and a definite chill in the air.

As I walked to an appointment, I passed a woman wearing what had to be a winter jacket. I had a hard time not crying.

To make matters worse there are five family birthdays in August and I don’t own an oil-well pumping out money. Do you think I could get away with just sending a card. No? I was afraid you were going to say that.

Yesterday two of my daughters helped me reserve a Hawthorn tree to be picked up in late fall and planted in North Saanich in my son’s garden. It has to satisfy both his and my daughter-in-law’s August birthday as a gift, as it was rather expensive. Paul (my son) wanted a Hawthorn especially as he remembers the beauty we had on Melissa Street.

That tree is now 40 years old and a handsome specimen, with limbs flung wide over the deck. It also produces trusses of orange berries, much loved by birds.

My daughter, who lives in Vancouver, and I visited a couple of garden centres and she bought Brussels sprouts plants to go in her garden. I resisted the temptation to buy some myself, remembering last fall’s predatory white butterfly whose eggs on the leaves produced those hungry green caterpillars who ate the leaves down to a thin lace until both the plants and I gave up.

I wished that butterfly nothing but stomach cramps and a fate worse than death.

I’m taking no chances this year and resisting the urge to purchase broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage, in favour of empty pots which require no watering, no weeding and no anxious monitoring.

It doesn’t seem natural though,  does it, not for a gardener, anyway, to give room to empty pots.

I really am getting spoiled … my eldest daughter has given me a bouquet of large crimson gladiola that bring amazing loveliness to an otherwise drab living room.

It seems early for gladiola, but of course its not.

I’ve just lost track of time, living in a condominium where one day is much like the one before and almost certainly like the one coming tomorrow.

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

 

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Thousands raised for cancer at second annual Gala for Hope

Victoria Fire Department’s fundraiser a success ahead of Ride to Conquer Cancer

Crews respond to near drowning at Thetis Lake

Man taken to hospital after calls come in of drowning in progress

Vet services for Victoria’s pets of the homeless cancelled for first time in a decade

Vets for Pets faces a volunteer shortage that’s forced the group to cancel its recent service

Wooldog among mysteries uncovered with powerful UVic microscope

Finding ‘Mutton,’ a dog lost in a Smithsonian drawer for 150 years

Optometrist pedals through depression, leads others for the cause

Ride Don’t Hide bike rides start, end at Windsor Park

Victoria Weekender: What’s happening this weekend, June 15-16

Car Free YYJ, a barber battle and an Outdoor Discovery Day

Homalco tour gives glimpse into area’s ‘People, Land, Water’

First Nation business mixes cultural components with wildlife excursions

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Monkey spotted on late-night jaunt in Campbell River

Conservation officers also apparently looking for cougar in the area

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read