HELEN LANG: Big, red blossoms are a joy

I overslept and missed an appointment, not only with my friends, but with visiting relatives from Ontario

Do you know what the expression “I’m in Dutch” means?

I can tell you all about it, because, at the moment  I’m “in Dutch” and with people I care about!

I overslept and missed an appointment, not only with my friends, but with visiting relatives from Ontario as well. We were supposed to meet for breakfast, now they are all mad at me!

And to add to my unhappiness I’m hungry! Oh dear! I hate this!

Nevermind, its not your problem. I’m just whining to get some sympathy.

Looking out my third floor window I can see five stunningly lovely trees wearing their fall colours. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many at once, especially on such a sunny day. I don’t suppose my Ontario relatives are impressed since Ontario, as you know, is noted for its wonderful fall colours. But out here they appear to be especially vivid this year and it’s a real treat for us B.C. residents.

I’ve had anemone corms (I used to call them bulbs until a friend pointed out that they should  actually be called corms).

Anyway, I’ve had them soaking in water for a day now (the advised time was eight hours, so I hope they haven’t drowned) and will plant them this afternoon (I sincerely hope).

I sound a bit distracted, don’t I? Yes! I’m somewhat overwhelmed by all these things happening at the same time. Do you suppose this is one more sign of advancing age? Isn’t it enough to have fallen arches, aching shoulders, a double chin, without adding a shaky memory? I protest (not that it does any good)!

The big amaryllis is now sitting by a window in the living room and I know that it is going to bloom within a week. So much for my hopes that it would wait until Christmas.

Oh well, it will be a joy to see its big red blossoms no matter when they arrive.

I have one more amaryllis out on the cool balcony and, so far, it is not considering blooming any time soon. So maybe there will be an amaryllis flowering at Christmas time after all.

My daughter who lives in Vancouver has pretty well taken over the balcony, swept it clean, washed the floor, re-arranged the pots and planted most of the bulbs. There is still one pot full of tulip bulbs from last year sitting, patiently waiting for some attention on a shelf in the utility room. I’ll soak them as well, to help them plump up a bit and regain their strength before planting them in another pot.

The balcony is going to be so beautiful next spring that I think I’ll charge admission just to have a peek at the flowers. It will be a real threat to Butchart Gardens (in your dreams, lady!)



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