HELEN LANG: Summer sunshine really gets the blood circulating

We are working up to the longest day of the year but from June 21 on, we are losing around three minutes of daylight every 24 hours

We are working up to the longest day of the year. This is nice, but from June 21 on, we are losing around three minutes of daylight every 24 hours and I don’t like that.

To me it signals the beginning of fall and winter. I know this is silly but I want to hang on to the summer as long as possible. It hasn’t really begun yet and here I am fussing about winter. Enough already. A change of subject is required.

Today is beautiful, warm and sunny. Not hot enough to require the air conditioner yet, but it won’t be long now. This kind of weather is wonderful for the garden, things really grow.

Which, of course, means transporting water to the balcony in quantity and regularly, but it keeps me busy. And as Jim used to say, “Out of the bars.” He was kidding, of course (just in case you were wondering.).

Those of you lucky ducks with a real garden will be hauling hoses and emptying out your sodden shoes and quite possily cussing, but enjoying it, because if you have to give it up, it’s not really that much fun.

I want to get some bedding plants and a couple of tomato plants before all the best ones have been snapped up, so it better be soon!

All this sunshine really gets my blood circulating at a merry pace and I want to get my fingers in the soil — even if it has to be in a large pot. It gets so hot on this balcony in the afternoon I’ll bet you could grow palm trees and probably olives as well, so tomato plants will be happy out there, basking in the heat.

The peas are climbing their trellis but no blossoms as yet. It won’t be long now. I can hardly wait.

The potatoes are looking happy, the carrots are thriving and the clematis is flowering so its beginning to seem like home.

One of the dear Phillipino girls that works for my brother presented me with the most lovely rich dark purple orchid plant as I was leaving to come home. I protested loudly, but she wouldn’t listen, so it now sits in a place of honour in the living room and I’m wringing my hands as to its continuing health.

I have only had one living orchid before and try as I did, although it was healthy to begin and I kept it tenderly cared for, it refused to re-bloom and eventually turned up its toes and died.

I hope to have better luck with this beautiful thing.

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