HELEN LANG: A gardener is like a friend to Mother Nature

Things begin to get exciting this month. Spring is definitely in the air. There isn’t a single cloud to be seen.

Things begin to get exciting this month. Spring is definitely in the air. There isn’t a single cloud to be seen.

It doesn’t seem warm to me quite yet but it’s early in the morning at the time of this writing, so there is still hope!

It’s a bit soon to try to get a tan but not too soon to get outside and survey the garden. There is bound to be a lot of things that need attention but no trees are down, no fences toppled, no cows grazing on the front lawn. Now, how on earth did cows get into this garden column?

I quite fancy the idea. I always did like cows.

We used to have a Jersey cow when we were kids and she was a lovely animal with the biggest, brown, gentle eyes any child would love. I was always impressed with the way nature had things planned: for instance, when she passed a pile of manure, she always washed her back-end off with a wash of urine. That way the flies wouldn’t pester her. Amazingly efficient.

It really is a beautiful world!

The ornamental flowering trees are a delight and I wonder if the fruit trees are also in bloom? Not any apple trees downtown, nor pears, nor peaches. I miss spring in what was our garden on Melissa Street but Anni, who lives there now, will tell me if I call her.

I had the opportunity to call not long ago and she took me on a verbal tour of the garden, explaining, as she walked, what she was seeing. Because I had lived there for so many years I could picture it all and it was a treat. The apple trees are just barely in bud. As usual, I’m rushing things, but nature has her own time-table and has no intention of being hurried by the likes of me.

My Vancouver daughter took things in hand while she was here and the shelling peas are now planted, which is nice for both the seeds and me.

It’s still pretty cool so I won’t begin to peer at the soil, waiting for signs of life, for at least 10 more days.

My youngest daughter moved in to Victoria last month, so now I’m on my own and my kids will start worrying about me.

Fortunately, I’m not the least bit worried, being a tough, old baggage.

I’m half in love with my computer and am thinking of writing a garden book (to join several thousand others).

For years, I was much too busy digging, raking,  picking up worms and putting them in the compost pile (to do their good work, aerating the soil as they feed) or planting either seeds or transplants from a greenhouse … really busy, anyway, with no spare time to sit in the sun and read a book (or write one)!

That will come later when the seeding is done,  watering attended to,  stray dog shooed out of the vegetable bed and you sit down, exhausted, but pleased with what you have accomplished, to sip a cup of tea and enjoy a feeling of absolute bliss.

There aren’t that many things in life that give us gardeners that sense of  being a friend … almost a relative of Mother Nature!

 

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

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