HELEN LANG: Despite the frost, blooms of hope appear

Bulbs showing green shoots despite the snow that blankets the Peninsula

What does one write about (as far as gardening goes) when it is freezing out, roofs are all white and the ground is hard as stone? Actually I’ve heard some lovely news: there are reports of snowdrops in bloom and, walking by the Anglican church on Oakville and Third, I saw dozens of clumps of daffodil foliage, just peeking above the soil in their garden and Annie tells me the winter jasmine is flowering against the house on Melissa Street, so spring is on its way. I keep saying this to keep my spirits up, not being much of a fan of January.

Just for a moment, and probably the last mention of those trees that were across Fifth Street: this morning their trunks have been sawn up into fireplace lengths and loaded into a couple of black pickup trucks. So that is that. Goodbye and farewell, my lovelies.

Right now I have more ripe oranges on the orange tree, so it’s time to buy another tin of Mamade and cut these oranges in thin slices to be added to the mix, to make more marmalade. These are very bitter, so you end up with a sharp tasting addition to your toast, which many people prefer.

In spite of the hard frost, the geraniums are still blooming their bright heads off and there are two polyanthus sitting in four inch pots on the balcony in full bloom. One bright yellow and the other blue – very pretty. They are a little early, perhaps because they are somewhat sheltered, being on a balcony.  My African violets inside seem to like being here, growing large and producing a few flowers. Talking about flowers, although there was a request for no gifts on my birthday, there were two large and lovely bouquets left without cards at my birthday party. Thank you, thank you. And yesterday one of my grandchildren arrived carrying an enormous armful of beautiful flowers, so I am pretending I’m in a florist’s shop, and enjoying every minute.

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