HELEN LANG: Make the best of November by adding a little colour

Remember, spring is only four months away and just think, we have Christmas to look forward to in between

Looking across the street this morning I was pleasantly surprised. There had been a dramatic change — I’ve told you that a townhouse has been built on property that had contained a row of trees and I moaned and groaned about that but have now decided it is what it is (a quote from my realist daughter).

Now it has been landscaped and I feel they’ve done a good job. Originally it seemed rather plain but with the advent of fall it has come to life. The Dogwood leaves have burst into the loveliest reds and ambers, the small shrubs are now yellow and the whole scene is now much more attractive from my window, which is nice for all of us facing west.

No buyers yet though, so I don’t have to pull the curtains while donning my nightie. I leave them open at night so I can see the moon, the stars and planes taking off or landing.

November is not my favorite month of the year, dear friends. My beloved husband died in November and it holds Armistice Day, which is another day for tears. The days grow shorter and darker but maybe if we concentrate on thoughts of spring it will soon pass. So make the best of it. Sing, dance, drink whiskey and behave badly. It will eventually pass and you can always swallow aspirin for the headache. I am not counselling this as an antidote for the winter blahs, just thinking about some options.

I have mentioned the African violets I’m growing in my apartment. The pink one is now in bloom and looks dreadful next to the orange chesterfield. I must move it to a spot where it can be admired. The hibiscus produced one bloom, which was lovely for two days, and then fell off. The orange tree has one ripe orange still on it — but the Christmas cactus is alive with flower buds, so all is not lost.

One of my daughters who visited recently brought me a pink fibrous begonia covered in blossoms and there are still a few purple petunia blooms decorating one pot on the balcony. There are another 10 brave geraniums standing at attention (bless them) eight of them red, and in another place, two pink ones.

Remember, spring is only four months away and just think, we have Christmas to look forward to in between. I think I’ll go in and lie down now, to try to prepare myself for what’s coming up in the next little while.

 

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