HELEN LANG: Dreaming about the spring

February is almost over and then its just one more month and it will be spring.

Oh wow! February is almost over and then its just one more month and it will be spring. A few gray skies, probably, and likely a few showers but then we can count the days until the weather gets warmer, the trees begin to leaf out and flowers start to bloom.

Winter is almost over! Actually, there wasn’t really a winter was there? More like a long, dampish fall. I haven’t had the heart to tell my cousins who moved from Denman Island, in the Strait of Georgia, to Nova Scotia last year. They have had about the worst winter on record back there. I bet they’re wishing they had never moved.

She is a big gardener, too, so she will be eyeing the snow- covered soil with loathing, recalling her early plantings of peas, spinach and chard on Denman. She took her two horses with her and the five dogs. Maybe they are enjoying the snow!

Jim and I had a Boxer dog and he loved the snow. He was positively delirious with delight as he ran, suddenly put on the brakes, and deliberately slid across the deck.

I’ve been dreaming about this spring’s garden. I know it has to be in big pots here on a balcony but it’s amazing what you can do with a minimum of soil, if you get sunshine, and provide fertilizer and water. So, you poor folks with little space, do not dispair. We’ll show ‘em.

It’s raining today and I don’t want to get my hair wet and ruin a perfectly splendid hair-do, so I will wait until tomorrow to go out and buy seeds. I plan to use an upside-down tomato cage to hold the peas upright until they are tall enough to reach the trellis I used last year to support those failed runner beans. (No bees and no humming birds, remember?) I hope to get Little Marvel green peas (you get two pods on each narrow stalk and I’m greedy when it comes to fresh green peas).

In the second pot I’m going to plant tomato seedlings (not until late April or early May, please). Maybe I’ll try some spinach in the meanwhile if the seed isn’t too expensive. I’d hate to have it to go to waste.

I should also finish with the bit about bulbs.

My Jim was not a gardener but he loved the produce and flowers the garden produced. His delight was his one dinner plate-sized white dahlia which grew against the green-house wall. He spoke of it as “My dahlia” when casually introducing it into the conversation. I never mentioned that I watered it, fertilized it, staked it when it grew tall, dead-headed it when the first blooms were over, dried and stored the tubers for the winter.

Why spoil his fun? I was the gardener, after all, and he loved the results and I loved him, so there was no problem that I could see, either then or now.

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



Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 25-May 1. (BCCDC image)
Vancouver Island’s COVID-19 case counts continue to trend down

Fewer than 200 active cases on the Island, down from highs of 500-plus earlier this spring

Michael Demers, performing here as a member of The Lonely, died May 1 after a year-long battle with leukemia. (Photo by Benji Duke)
Victoria music community mourning Michael Demers

Veteran singer-songwriter, co-founder of The Lonely dies at 63 due to leukemia

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Victoria police circulated photo of alleged cat thief actually woman with her own cat

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Allayah Yoli Thomas had recently turned 12 years old when she died of a suspected drug overdose April 15. (Courtesy of Adriana Londono)
Suspected overdose death of Saanich girl, 12, speaks to lack of supports, says mom

Allayah Yoli Thomas was found dead by her friend the morning of April 15

The Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors in July 2021. (Malahat SkyWalk photo)
Malahat SkyWalk will open to visitors this July

Highly anticipated attraction will take guests 250m above sea level

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

People line up for COVID-19 vaccination at a drop-in clinic at Cloverdale Recreation Centre on Wednesday, April 27, 2021. Public health officials have focused efforts on the Fraser Health region. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)
B.C. reports first vaccine-induced blood clot; 684 new COVID cases Thursday

Two million vaccine doses reached, hospital cases down

More than 6,000 camping reservations in British Columbia were cancelled as a result of a provincial order limiting travel between health regions. (Unsplash)
1 in 4 camping reservations cancelled in B.C. amid COVID-19 travel restrictions

More than 6,500 BC Parks campsite reservations for between April 19 and May 25 have been revoked

B.C. average home price and sales level to 2023, showing steep drop in sales expected next year. (Central 1)
Forecast calls for B.C. home sales to ‘explode,’ then drop off

Average price to rise another 10% in 2021, credit unions say

Members of Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. (File photo)
B.C.-wide #DayOfMusic to feature 100-plus free virtual concerts May 15

‘Our colleagues across the province have figured out new ways to perform and connect,’ VSO boss says

Two passengers were recently fined thousands of dollars after they faked their pre-flight COVID-19 test results. (Paul Clarke/Black Press)
2 passengers in Canada fined thousands for faking pre-flight COVID-19 tests

The government issued a warning Thursday to others thinking of doing the same – do it and you’ll be ordered to pay

Most Read