HELEN LANG: Home was a busy place with kids coming and going

My dear husband used to say, “At least no-one is in jail!”

This is a big day for my son.

I also have a step-son, a step-daughter and the three girls I personally produced. It was quite a large household,but a happy one (most of the time). There were rows, of course, and threats of “running away” but no one ever left except to go to school or to work somewhere else.

Why leave? The sheets were changed regularly, the food was good, most meals on time, a pretty relaxed curfew (for the boys — much stricter for the girls, which all parents understand but all girls don’t until they become parents themselves). But it was an interesting place with young people coming and going all the time and no one in serious trouble.

My dear husband used to say, “At least no-one is in jail!”

These kids often brought friends home with them and young men always seem to be hungry. The oven seldom had time to cool off between batches of cookies or muffins. The girls, not so much. But the boys would eat anything that wasn’t moving. Fortunately I liked to cook and enjoyed the visiting young people. I knew a lot of them from my job at the high school. I will have to make two cakes, since my son Paul’s wife has a birthday three days before his. Or maybe I can get away with making only one if I put on an extra layer of chocolate icing and buy more ice-cream!

I keep forgetting that this is supposed to be a gardening column.

Pansies, roses, rhubarb, spinach, potatoes, honey-suckle and turnips. That should cover the garden aspect for this week. No? Well, OK.

I wanted to mention the wonderful array of bright red geraniums that are all flowering at the same time on the balcony. It looks like a war zone … many wounded but no one dead, thank goodness!

I think it’s time for me to go to a nursery and get some pansies (which should bloom for ages at this time of year) and possibly some snapdragons, a few asters and some marigolds to keep the balcony garden looking pretty and alive until, oh, late fall.

A nursery will provide you with other ideas, so a visit is probably in order! It’s always fun, anyway, but you curse yourself when you get home and have to get down on your knees and start to put them in the ground.

Why, oh why did you buy so many plants? And I think you have forgotten to get something attractive for those pots by the front door … which means another trip to the nursery . But, this time leave your wallet at home or you’ll end up buying more and every single one will need to be put in soil. Remember your sciatica, dear! Oh! I know you are not listening! I tried to warn you, but (as usual) you weren’t listening! Don’t expect a lot of sympathy from me! The Tylenol is in your dresser, second drawer down!

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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

Tour de Victoria postpones 10th annual ride to 2021

Ride that draws more than 3,000 cyclists to Greater Victoria was set for August

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read