HELEN LANG: April bursting with spring’s beauty

It was an open winter, which was great, but spring is spring and there is nothing quite so lovely, or so welcome.

I have a couple of good friends who are from England and I can almost hear them crying, “Oh to be in England now that April’s here!” April is indeed a lovely month, with trees coming into leaf, lots of them in bloom and flower gardens a positive delight, bursting with spring’s welcome beauty.

It was an open winter, which was great, but spring is spring and there is nothing quite so lovely, or so welcome.

Mind you, it is just the beginning of a season of hard work if you are a keen gardener (and aren’t we all).

If you haven’t already done it, its time to check your tools to make sure you have all you’ll need. Maybe you should get a new hoe and remember those leaks in the hose and that faulty connection that drove you crazy, always coming apart when you were thirty feet away? I think you’ll need a list.

And what about seeds? Are you going to plant watermelon this year?

Please don’t … our summers just aren’t hot enough to ripen them. I did grow cantelope in the greenhouse one year and it was a success, but a rat beat me to it, chewing the end out of the single ripe, plump melon before I had the sense to pick it. Greedy pig. I’m obviously not a fan. Of melons? Yes. Rats? No!

I’m going to clear out one of my five gallon pots and plant Little Marvel peas very closely together. They won’t be too pleased with their crowded conditions but will almost certainly produce enough green peas for a meal or two.

I’ve already planted a few potatoes and can almost taste that delightful combination (excuse me. I’m going to have to eat dinner, I’ve made myself hungry).

I’m trying to come up with a means of supporting the peas when they get tall, mind you.

Little Marvel is fairly dwarf, so by the time they need help I hope to have an answer.

A suspended tent affair, some sort of a cone of bent chicken wire might do it.

I’ll figure out a means of holding it in place in my dreams to-night (I hope).

Any bright ideas, anyone? I’m desperate!

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