It’s time to attack

Today I walked with my youngest daughter to the Victoria-bound bus, and we nearly froze.

The wind was cruel, and I kept reminding myself that it is supposed to be spring. I’m very glad to have the mini-greenhouse that Cher gave me for Christmas. In it are six seedling geraniums, a pot of sprouting lilies, two pots of sprouted lettuce, one cos and the other romaine. These will have to be moved into separate pots very soon while their roots are small

I still haven’t transplanted the honey-suckle nor the clematis into the large pots bought especially for them. It has been just too cold to spend time out on the balcony, but I’m going to have to put on my winter coat and some gloves and do it soon. Inside is a whole different story. The mini-orange tree is not only in full bloom, but also has three unripe oranges and two ripe ones waiting to be picked. I’ll freeze these as they all ripen until I next buy some mamade and make a batch of marmalade. The orange blossoms are, of course, delightfully fragrant.

To my amazement and pleasure the Hoya plant which hasn’t bloomed for several years is now covered in buds, and these too, are wonderfully perfumed. On Melissa Street the flowers used to perfume the whole house, especially at night, and will probably do the same thing here. It is a most satisfactory house plant and is now more than 50 years old, and not a gray hair in sight! It has been transplanted into a larger pot twice only and never seems the worse for wear.

I finally picked up my secateurs and attacked the Tibouchina which was intent on taking over the bedroom. Now the poor thing looks like a starving waif, little thin arms stretched out pleading for mercy. I do feel like a brute, but something had to be done, and with any luck it will forgive me and bloom again. I’ve fed it with 20-20-20 dissolved in a pot of water, and will put it outside when the weather gets warm enough to give it some fresh air and sunshine. Some gardeners love to prune but I don’t much care for it. I know it is necessary, but I can’t help but wonder if it hurts.

The Peninsula Garden Club will meet at the Mary Winspear Centre on May 9. Gardener’s Forum at 6:30 will feature a short talk on hanging baskets with emphasis on more vegetables than flowes in the mix. Dr. Louise Goulet, R.P. a wild-life biologist, will speak on planning a native plant garden.


Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.