Expecting too much this late

I swear I won’t mention Christmas again until the beginning of December

It has been just more than seven years since my darling “himself” left this life for another. Some days it seems like yesterday, but on others it seems a century.

I was in Cedar not long ago with my brother and two of the grandchildren phoned to say they still missed Jim, which is a real compliment, as they weren’t even his. They were mine and they thought the world of him.

Some of the male admiration came because Jim was a pilot in the Second World War. We took a photograph of a teenaged David wearing Jim’s uniform jacket, with his pipe clamped in the grandson’s teeth. He cherishes that picture.

The girls admired him because he was handsome and a gentleman (I liked it too).

Now about gardening, what can I tell you? What can I suggest?

Well, Herb’s garden is pretty much asleep for the winter. I had quite a time assembling a bouquet for the dinner table one night when he was expecting guests. It ended up being mostly greenery. some trailing periwinkle, some brown sword fern, a few stems of fatsia Japonica varigata, several of St. John’s wort and in the centre a fresh-looking Hydrangea truss. It was a mixture created in desperation, but it didn’t look too awful when complete.

A couple of candles would have helped, but I didn’t know where they were kept and my brother had no idea.

The food was delightful and no one mentioned the bouquet, so it wasn’t really a winner, but at this time of year what can you expect?

I had seen several Queen Anne’s lace plants which I coveted for this floral collection, but when I went in search of them, found that this “man of many talents” had obviously thought they were weeds and chopped them off at ground level. Oh well, we do the best we can with what is available.

No one said, “What is that mess supposed to represent?” so we got away with it.

My balcony garden looks pretty pathetic, although the carrot foliage looks spry enough. The chard has given up and so far the shallots haven’t even shown up. I guess I was expecting too much this late in the growing season.

I came home with a boxed amaryllis my brother wasn’t interested in planting, which was nice. I’ll start it off in a week or so, so hopefully it will bloom during the holiday season.

I can’t bring myself to mention Christmas shopping yet, although the advertising already has started. It seems to begin earlier each year, stirring people up, so that by Christmas time they are nervous wrecks, wondering if they have forgotten a gift for Auntie Myrtle’s second husband’s uncle!

Oh dear, Christmas gets  to be a problem when it should be a time of happy celebration.

I swear I won’t mention Christmas again until the beginning of December … well, maybe I will, once or twice, when it seems absolutely necessary.

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

 

 

Just Posted

Many teens unaware if they’re vaping nicotine or not

Health Canada survey finds many youth are unaware of the risks of using nicotine products

UVic partners with harm reduction groups to run a drug checking pilot project

The three-year pilot will allow people to test their drugs for fatal ingredients like fentanyl

Public asked to give feedback on proposed protection measures for southern resident orcas

Measures focus on key threats related to contaminants, lack of prey, noise or physical disturbance

Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

Defence continues to question police handling of crime scene

Highway 1 just south of Malahat Drive to see lane expansion

Langford stretch between Leigh Road and Westshore Parkway will see additional lane and median

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

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

Woe, Canada: Bruins down Maple Leafs 5-1 in Game 7

No Canadian teams left in Stanley Cup playoffs

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

Most Read