HELEN LANG: Zinnias are worth the effort

Today I’d like to talk about a flower that was a favourite of my mother’s and now is one of mine — the zinnia

By Helen Lang

Today I’d like to talk about a flower that was a favourite of my mother’s and now is one of mine — the zinnia.

It no longer seems to be popular and I can’t think why this should be so. Zinnias are dearly loved by both earwigs and slugs but that is a common enough problem that we have learned to deal with. It’s almost worth going to war with these pests because zinnias are so spectacular when in bloom.

Mother used to have a long bed, only about two feet wide, in full sun, which she used to plant with these beauties.

They were at the end of the garden and behind them there were evergreen trees so that they stood out like a members of a stage-show in Las Vegas. They come in brilliant colours:  reds, yellows, oranges, purples, salmon and white. They stand up like soldiers on sturdy stems about 18 inches to two feet tall.

It is about time now to put in zinnia transplants as, they like a warm soil, and do nothing but sit and look into the distance if planted out too early. I think Mother grew ones called California Giants.

Always water them with the hose at ground level. They get mildew if their leaves stay wet for any length of time. Keep them well-watered and feed them with granular fertilizer with a high middle number (10-52-17 for example — the 52 encourages flowering.) They should contiue to bloom until late September or early October.

I have just had a phone call from Ann L. whom I haven’t seen since I had the garden shop in the parking lot of what is now Fairway Market.

She was one of my favorite customers and we became gardening friends. It was wonderful to talk to her again. She is still a mad-keen gardener so we had fun chatting. Also a call from Peter C. who had enjoyed last week’s column (nice to know that someone is still reading it). He was a good friend of my Jim (and mine, too, of course).

This column has been wonderful for me, thank you, my friends, for reading it.

 

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

 

Just Posted

‘The system has fallen apart:’ Victoria woman’s son died a day after being accepted to treatment centre

Victoria man’s body went undiscovered in Victoria parking lot for five days after overdose

Every situation is different, jurors hear at coroners inquest into Oak Bay teen’s overdose death

Pediatrician says involuntary treatment necessary following overdose, opioid use

CRD tickets cyclists who ignore stop signs at Lochside trail, Saanich Road intersection

Many cyclists don’t heed the stop signs, use pedestrian-activated crosswalk light

Inaugural Sarah Beckett memorial Run raises $20,000 for law enforcement scholarship

Widow calls run, community playground fitting tributes to fallen mom and Mountie

VIDEO: Victoria airport guests see dinosaur surprise

Two boys dressed as raptors get a shock when their grandmother comes to greet them

POLL: Do you think the penalty should be increased for tossing a burning cigarette from a vehicle?

With grasslands and forests around Vancouver Island and across B.C. reaching tinder… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of June 25

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

B.C. Ferries vessel breaks down right before long weekend

Horseshoe Bay-Langdale route impacted most, revised schedule adds 4 a.m. sailings

Weather Canada issues thunderstorm alert for coastal Vancouver Island

Severe thunderstorm watch issued around 4:15 p.m. as storms developed over sections of the Island

Nanaimo man gets jail time for posting explicit photos of ex-girlfriends

Man’s name cannot be revealed to protect victims’ identities

North Island thrift store robbed at knifepoint, say RCMP

Suspect fled on bicycle following Tuesday stick-up

RCMP across Canada to soon unionize, according to B.C. mayor

A spokeswoman for RCMP headquarters in Ottawa says it’s not yet a done deal

Most Read