HELEN LANG: The wayward delusions of a miniature orange tree

Garden columnist writes about a hulkish orange tree, posing for photos and broccoli seedlings

Next week we celebrate the month containing the longest day of the year. I hate it when we pass this time because from then until December, each day will be shorter than the one before until it is almost dark by 4 p.m. This is a poor way to look at things. I should be celebrating the coming of summer, instead of moaning about what is still months away.

So, looking on the bright side, let’s visit the vegetable garden for a couple of minutes. Nice to visit when we don’t have to pull weeds, isn’t it? And nice because we have finished the planting and it’s too early to worry about harvesting, or to think about planting winter vegetables.

We could almost go and sit in the sun for a few minutes until our conscience kicks in with a reminder that we haven’t yet transplanted all the broccoli seedlings (or whatever else we still haven’t done).

My brother used to say he had a monkey on his back that kept hounding him about things he still needed to do. Just when he had figured he was finished and could now go and lie in a deck chair and “contemplate his navel.” He is a doctor so is allowed to use the word navel, whereas we ordinary mortals have to say belly button.

I have asked our editor if it would be possible to get a picture of my allium with this column, but she wanted a bargain – a picture of the allium with me beside it. I hesitate for good reason. I am an old lady, and find cameras most unkind. I hate to think I actually look that way. However, if I have a new perm (and a facelift) maybe it would be OK. I’m giving it serious thought as I really think you’d enjoy a picture of the allium, which is both exotic and beautiful (and if you squint you don’t have to notice me at all).

My ornamental miniature orange tree is suffering from delusions. It is convinced that it now is a normal orange tree, and to celebrate has begun to grow mightily. It has sprung out in all directions, especially up. It makes me nervous – just where does it think it’s headed?

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.

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