HELEN LANG: Enjoy the autumn colours while they last

I can’t get over the colours in the deciduous trees as they put on their best display of drama for this year

I can’t get over the colours in the deciduous trees as they put on their best display of drama for this year. They look as though they are lighted by a searchlight, from within. They appear to glow!

The maples seem to be saying, “Come on winter! I’m not afraid of you. Do your worst and I’ll be back in the spring looking more beautiful than ever!”

Meanwhile let’s enjoy the colours while they last … all too soon we’ll be cussing the leaves as they pile up, wet and soggy, waiting to be raked up and added to the compost heap to become a rich mulch for next spring’s gardens. Not a fun job but its worth it when you spread that rich green manure.

The nasturtium seed I so hopefully planted several weeks ago, has produced some very delicate -looking foliage. The plants appear to be extremely reluctant, rebellious even, and are announcing they may not bloom at all this year.

I suppose I could cover them with Reemay cloth as some sort of protection — or they could be allowed to die with dignity, which seems more likely than my trying to keep the Reemay from flying  off and sailing down the street to terrify some innocent new driver who thinks she is seeing a ghost! I hate to think I planted them knowing they probably faced an early death.

My middle daughter, Leslie, says she will come back next weekend to help me plant all those bulbs I simply had to have. If we get one fairly decent day I think I better not wait, just get out there and do the planting myself!

Actually there is probably not that much rush. I recall one year when I discovered a bag containing daffodil bulbs sitting patiently waiting for some attention in a utility room cupboard in January. I planted them then, fearing the worst but hoping for the best (typical gardener’s attitude) and they did bloom. I seem to remember it was in late May. Those bulbs never recovered. They flowered once, but that was it.

I have bought several kinds of small bulbs: scilla, crocus, dwarf iris, dwarf tulips, a mini-narcissus called “pipit” — all small as they have to dwell on a modest balcony amongst pots of dormant lilies, dahlias, iris, carrots and a clematis. It’s a jungle out there!

Garden books suggest you plant the small bulbs as soon as you can manage so they can start to develop roots this fall. They don’t have a lot of bulk to sustain them when they are out of the soil for a lengthy period of time.

I think bulbs are wonderful! They give you hope for a beautiful spring when skies are grey, it is chilly, your nose is running and it’s raining by the buckets!

 

 

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

 

Just Posted

Cycling Without Age raises funds for program

Free rides for seniors coming to Sidney

SidFest raises $1,500 for youth clinic

For the sixth year, SidFest has been an opportunity for talented high… Continue reading

Tanner’s Books owner is running for Sidney mayor

Cliff McNeil-Smith says managing growth is his top priority

Feast of Fields settles in for the summer of 2018

Vancouver Island Feast set for Kildara Farms in North Saanich on Aug. 26

CREST technology goes digital

System handles one call every four seconds

New stage highlight of Brentwood Bay Festival

Peninsula Country Market vendors and music accompany start of summer celebration

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Car Free YYJ, family fishing, Sooke bluegrass, walk for cancer and a mascot’s birthday

Sidney painter also a preacher

Patrick Chu opens new studio; off to China this month

B.C. NHL prospect expected to make ‘full recovery’ after incident in Calgary

Jordy Bellerive was injured in a reported house fire Saturday night

BC Lions defensive back Marcell Young levels streaker in home opener

Young hit the fan near one of the 45-yard lines

Police: Taxi driver who hit 8 Moscow pedestrians fell asleep

Two Mexican World Cup fans were among those hit

B.C. VIEWS: Orphans of our urban drug culture neglected again

Child advocate Bernard Richard leaves B.C. with harsh message

From marijuana beer to pot cookies, Canadian companies creating cannabis edibles

Manufacturers think that edibles will do well with users who don’t want to smoke or vape

Privacy lawyer warns against victim blaming in recent sextortion scams

Perpetrators get sexual photos of the victim and threaten to share them with friends and families

Most Read