HELEN LANG: If it’s spring, it’s time to think of planting seeds

It is still a little early to put in your bedding plants but don’t leave it too long or all the biggest and best will be taken.

After more than 30 years of writing this column, I’m still making mistakes.

I wonder if it could be the computer, which is no longer young, but I don’t think I’m going to get away with that kind of excuse. You may have heard the expression, “A poor workman always blames his tools,” so it’s really my fault not my trusty machine after all.

Since this is early spring, let’s talk about planting seeds.

It is still a little early to put in your bedding plants but don’t leave it too long or all the biggest and best will be taken by some early- bird gardeners. And some of those plants  are already thinking of flowering. Never mind, when you plant yours, they will be larger and desperately anxious to get growing in something larger than a puny little pot. So keep out of the way as they surge up and spread out.

If we don’t get rain soon, I’d make sure to keep them watered so they can keep on growing vigorously.

Maybe you’d like a suggestion about growing fragrant flowers; petunias, for instance, the dark purple ones, especially. Then there are dozens of others, so probably your best plan would be to wait about a month longer and then visit a nursery.

Don’t go if you have a cold, because you need your nose clear for this trip to where you’ll choose your flowers by their perfume. You may get some strange looks as you lean over to sniff along one row, and then another, but let other gardeners think what they please. You are going to get flowers whose scent you most enjoy.

Try to get plants that are just beginning to bloom so that you get a season’s pleasure without having to re-plant a lot of new ones to keep the garden blooming.

Nicotiana is a winner as it blooms at night and fills the garden with a lovely scent while you lie out in an easy chair admiring the moon-light shining on the roses.

Have you planted those peas yet?

Me neither and it’s all my own fault. I have the Little Marvel seed package sitting on my dressing table, where they refuse to germinate. They have no soil there, no sun, no rain. That is probably the reason they won’t  germinate — they have no intention of doing anything without some help.

I wonder if it is tulip time in Holland. I imagine the early ones are blooming … fields of them. It must be magnificent but they are lovely here as well in all their shapes and sizes.

It’s almost their turn, their brilliant colours are enough for us to forgive them for not being perfumed, as well as beautiful to look at. It really is a glorious time of year!

I had a wonderful phone call from Stephen H. who thanked me for Over the Garden Fence, which he and Heather have read for donkey’s years. I have felt happy all day as a result. Thank you Stephen and Heather.

And thank you Anni for those beautiful dark pink camellias from that garden on Melissa Street. They too, are splendid! Love them!

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