HELEN LANG: We’ve come to expect the sun

With gardens, there’s always something to worry about — except the tough and pretty pansies.

Another spectacular day today! Not a cloud in the entire sky!

We are getting spoiled        and  beginning to expect it, which is pure greed, because the gardens need some rain or we’ll have to start hauling hoses to keep those seedlings moist until they develop a sturdy root system that can tolerate a little drought.

Always something to worry about. If it isn’t the garden we can always worry about the mess the world is in right now and there is always the dreaded chance of an earthquake to keep us awake at night.

If you need help in the worry department you can always contact me … I’m something of an expert, having had years of practice. Where do you think I got these furrows in my forehead?

You guessed it! Yes, good old-fashioned worry will do it every time.

Oh, yes. Gardening? I’ll get right to it! Let’s talk about pansies, shall we?

These dear humble plants are so un-demanding they get overlooked when we should celebrate them. In Sidney, the municipal gardeners know their value and plant them in the highway dividers, knowing they will perform beautifully for many months with little to no encouragement.

I have one in a planter that looks great and it has been outside all winter with no protection, little water, nor any fertilizer, but it lifts its cheerful face and smiles at me when I tell it how pretty it looks.

I love pansies!

Two annuals that think they are perennial are a couple of petunias, one red and the other purple. They are both flowering as though they know what they are doing and they are very welcome indeed. I’ll add to them, since I have no idea ifthey intend to stay for another summer, or are just waiting for a good day to die.

A balcony garden is a new challenge for most of us and  a lot of what we do is “trial and error.” I’m sure there are books about balcony gardening,  but if their suggestions don’t work, they may hear my screams of anguish in Duncan!

My youngest daughter has moved to Victoria so guess who now has to lug the watering can half-full of water to those thirsty plants out on that hot, dry balcony? Right! Me!

Oh well, it’s not as though I had a job and was at work all day, so I do have the time. It’s just the effort to get moving that’s a problem.

There is another name for it called “laziness” but I refuse to believe that is the case.

I quite like the word “inertia’ instead. It doesn’t sound quite so threatening.

 

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

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