HELEN LANG: Who can you trust when there are ripe strawberries around?

It is definitely spring (although the breeze is still on the chilly side) and the thermometer says it’s a scant eight degrees Celsius.

I wish I were an artist.

I’d draw you a picture of a daffodil standing in a large pop bottle, in the cup holder on the dashboard of a huge pickup truck.

This vehicle belongs to one of my daughters who lives near Kamloops, where daffodils may bloom sometime in May but certainly would be a rarity right now.

She stopped in Penticton and took a picture of it, still in the pop bottle, but this time sitting half buried in a snow bank! She was so thrilled to see our daffodils flowering everywhere.

We do live in paradise out here on the West Coast and pity those who live either on the Prairies, or back East, where it will be at least another month before they see even a blade of green grass.

Poor souls!

The  trees just below my window look like the pink froth on a strawberry milkshake right now and in the living room there are three dark blue, highly perfumed hyacinths (King of the Blues) in full bloom.

On the balcony there are golden crocus and bright yellow tulips blooming and dwarf tulips several inches tall, but none in bloom just yet.

It is definitely spring (although the breeze is still on the chilly side) and the thermometer says it’s a scant eight degrees Celsius.

The clematis, which has not been pruned.(shame on me) is producing fresh leaves and I can see an infant flower bud poking its head out (the silly little thing!).

Although the balcony gets super hot during summer days, I’m glad I’m on the west side of this condo.

Those poor folks across the hall only see the early sun and spend the rest of the day in shadow!

Mind you, they stay relatively cool during summer’s burning heat, while I lie in the shade, under the bed, gasping!

If you have room in your garden for a few more items, maybe you would consider a few strawberry  plants.

There can’t be many things more delicious on top of a bowl of corn flakes than a few sliced strawberries.

Of course it tastes even better if you happen to have some coffee cream to pour over the lot.

This is the time to shop for strawberry plants. They won’t provide you with fruit this spring but you may get a few tastey morsels in the fall. And if you mulch your plants afterwards with some rotted cow manure, you’ll need a big stick to keep the neighbourhood kids from sneaking in to help themselves to some of those fat red beauties.

Actually their parents helped the kids to climb over the fence!

Who can you trust when there are ripe strawberries around?

 

Helen Lang has been the PNR’s garden  columnist for more than 30 years.

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