Let your garden turn blue

Gray skies today. A shock after all that wonderful, hot, late-summer weather

Gray skies today. A shock after all that wonderful, hot, late-summer weather we’ve had the past few weeks, but in a strange way, sort of a relief (to me, anyway, this place gets terribly hot).

I hoped it would rain, but, so far anyway, there’s been only a few drops. And I suppose I’m an idiot to want it to start when it could go on until we scream with frustration, still having a million things to do in the garden and not wanting to get our hair wet.

I talked to you about harvesting various vegetables and fruit, but didn’t mention grapes. With all that gorgeous sunshine they should be sweet as honey, and probably ready to be picked. Eat a couple to make sure. I used to use the secateurs to clip off the clusters, and put the ones we didn’t eat in the freezer. Later when I wanted something sweet, I’d open the freezer and steal a handful of grapes, which tasted like candy.

I think I’ve already told you that, several years ago someone else harvested the bunches of fruit that grew on the outside of the fence, but we had enough, so they were welcome to them. I’m sure they would be disappointed to know that we didn’t mind, especially when they must have felt so clever and sneaky, stealing them.

Probably we should talk about bulbs, since I’ve already received a couple of sheets of advertizing for various tulips, daffodils, etc.

Something I’d like to recommend is that you plant some of the more unusual bulbs, Chionodoxa luciliae ‘Alba’ (glory of the snow) anemone blanda, brodiaea laxa, allium — all of these, plus hyacinths can come in blue, which is somewhat unusual in garden flowers, and beautiful beyond belief in early spring!

Don’t forget the blue bells and hyacinths (more common, but still delightful).

It’s too early to plant them, wait until the end of September when we’ve had some rain to soften the soil. Meanwhile store them in a cool dark place, out of reach of both rats and squirrels.

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