HELEN LANG: The chill in the air means it’s autumn

There is a definite chill in the air in the early mornings now and mist on the open windows

Maybe it would be a good idea to start with some messages today about coming events that may be of interest to gardeners.

There is notice of a master gardener course starting in January at the Horticultural Centre of the Pacific. You need to sign up to attend by calling 250-479-6162.

Some of you could be interested in a course called dry stonewalling. It sounds so challenging, although how would I explain a stone wall on the balcony? I’d probably be evicted, or if the balcony collapsed, land on the sidewalk three floors below crowned by a pyramid of boulders.

Russell Nursery on Wain Road will offer a class called Dormant Pruning of Trees and Shrubs on Saturday, Oct. 26, Nov. 2 and Nov. 9 — all at 10 a.m., or 1 p.m.

There’s also a class on pruning Japanese maples on Saturday, Nov. 16 (same times as above) and Sunday, Nov. 17 at 10 a.m.

There is a limit of two free classes per person. Call 250-656-0384 to reserve a place.

The nursery is also offering wreath-making classes but you’ll need to reserve early as classes are popular and quickly filled.

I am enchanted by the tree colours on street level. There are four glorious boulevard trees planted down the centre divider just below me on Fifth Street.

Instead of their leaves going red or yellow as I had expected, they are a warm amber colour. Quite delightful!

Down below are flowering cherries whose foliage is now so purple it is almost black. There are also planter boxes on the sidewalk below, which are still lovely. It was interesting to see that the osteospermum are still flourishing in those large boxes. They are hardier than I had realized — something to keep in mind for next planting season.

I am so pleased with my geraniums. They are ones that are in the same planter as they lived in last year and I’m going to leave them over this winter as well, hoping for a small miracle. They seem to like it where they are and I love their bright red colour. They are tall enough that their blooms stand above the window frame, so that they appear to be part of my daughter’s room. Encouraging, somehow.

They don’t appear in any way concerned that winter is on its way!

No frost yet, either, which is nice, but there is a definite chill in the air in the early mornings now and mist on the open windows.

It’s fall for sure!

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