When you read this, I shall hopefully be up the Island in Cedar visiting my brother for a few days. It is a real holiday for me since he has a dear young woman who does the cooking, so I do sweet nothing but eat, talk sleep and maybe go for short walks if the weather continues to be so spring-like.
Isn’t it wonderful to see the sunshine, and feel the gradually warming air, and see and smell the thousands of blossoms on the ornamental trees, the flowers in gardens, and see the swelling leaf buds on trees? It even puts a spritely spring in my step … not a whole lot, but some.
This week Annie took me with her to a nursery on Wain Road that deals in fruit and ornamental trees; a wonderful place run by a most knowledgeable man, who is willing to share his expertise. She wanted a small greengage plum tree to use as a pollinator for the large greengage tree on Melissa Street. That tree, in all the years we lived there, produced perhaps three plums a year and in most years, none. One year I begged a short flowering greengage branch from a friend hoping for fruit. That must have been the year we actually got the three plums.
I yearned for a replica to produce the fruit for the greengage jam served, many years ago, at the White Spot at 53rd and Granville in Vancouver. When I lived in Vancouver my dad used to take me there for “sizzling steak” dinner when he was visiting. Those were the days! I took two of my daughters out for dinner in Sidney a week ago, and we had a pleasant meal, nothing special, but when I got the bill I nearly fainted, $72, not including the tip. It’s beans for me for the next couple of weeks.
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.