Bright, cool weather is a fine change

There has been a definite change in our weather the past couple of days. It’s much colder.

Armistice Day is over, and for the first time since my darling Jim died, I didn’t attend the parade. I was sick in bed (I’m OK now).

Two of my kids went in my stead. All of those precious, dear men getting pretty ancient now but still with heads held high, proud to have served their country in its time of need, more than 60 years ago now. And still there are wars raging in parts of the world.

People never seem to learn,do they?

I have very little to tell you this week, having been lying in bed (or rushing to the bathroom) but there are two stately amaryllis plants nodding to one another as they stand on the coffee table in the middle of the living room. Because the daylight there is not very strong they have become enormously tall.

There has been a definite change in our weather the past couple of days. It’s much colder.

It’s time, then, to bring in any plants you’ve been treating to that summer in the sun.

Actually I hope you’ve already done this, brushing  off any  moss on the pots, along with the sow bugs and earwigs (who are hoping you won’t notice them, as they strive to get inside for a warmer winter than the one they face outside, tucked, shivering behind the garage door).

Actually its lovely outside, brilliantly sunny, but that wind is both strong and cold … a good day to sit in front of the fireplace with a good book.

This reminds me that I’m presently enjoying a book by Brian Brett about Trauma Farm, his beloved farm on Salt Spring Island. It rather reminds me of my hopeless attempts at urban farming, once in Prince George and the other in Qualicum Beach — both !of them resounding failures.

Before you go away, thinking me complete incompetent, I’d like to mention my success in Sidney. It’s mostly  the climate, of course, not just the poor, silly, wanna-be farmer (me).

I have a bouquet of choisya ternata (Mexican orange blossom) which has beautifully scented the whole apartment, thanks to Anni. She brought these from Melissa Street where the shrubs I planted several years ago continue to flower so generously. Lovely of her to share!

My Pender Island daughter, Barbara, called today to tell me that she still has Zinnias flowering. I got even by telling her I had a rose-coloured geranium blooming on the balcony. Sometimes you gotta boast a bit (especially when your entire garden would comfortable fit on the surface of a large tree stump)!

Across the street, the gardens there have a number of pink-purple heathers in rampant bloom. They look lovely and completely content with the growing chill in the weather.

Actually, if I can find it, I have a list of heathers, at least one of which will bloom during every month of the year. Bunty, a friend of mine, had just such a bed of heathers and it was a marvel.

Being a Scot, she knew all about heathers. Being a Canadian, blissfully ignorant about heathers (among other things), I planted several of them in a small group in a bed facing south. They hated it there, and made up their minds to die, which, over a couple of years, they did. I missed them, of course and I’m sure my Sottish ancestors were horrified but I knew when I was defeated and finally planted bulbs for the spring and iris for the rest of the year.

They, at least, had the decency to survive for a couple of seasons.


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

Just Posted

Canadian Coast Guard breaks ground on permanent search and rescue station in Victoria

Victoria-based SAR will do all rescues in local harbour and parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca

Police actions under investigation following Langford arrest

IIO investigates officer-related incidents that result in serious harm

Sidney loses prominent businesswoman to cancer

Sandy Bayton was a risk-taker but always had ‘a sound business plan’

Good Samaritans rescue Sidney senior trapped under mobility scooter

78-year-old broke her pelvis and spent a week in hospital after the accident

Victoria woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

WATCH: Cougar saunters through Metchosin yard

Spring cougar sighting caught on camera

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

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

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Island Cup set for East Sooke on May 3-5

Off-road racing event expected to attract over 50 racers

Female real estate agents warned of suspicious man in Metro Vancouver

The man requests to see homes alone with the female agent, police say

Most Read