Today it is sunny with lovely, fat white clouds drifting across the sky.
What a wonderful change from the recent dull, rainy days. It gives a body some hope that spring can’t be far away!
I know it is January, but please don’t spoil my dream by reminding me of that. Actually I can back up my lovely thoughts by telling you that there are snowdrops in bloom in some gardens, including our former place on Melissa Street. They are a sweet promise of all the lovely things to come (in the garden, of course. I can’t promise anything else, although I wish I could!).
I remember the Staples garden on Amherst Street was full of snowdrops right beside the sidewalk, showing everyone passing by that spring was almost here. Actually the other day, while out walking, I saw two brave calendula plants displaying bright orange flowers despite several nights of frost.
Calendula may not be everyone’s favourite, but they have enough hardiness and cheeky brightness to impress us when winter strikes down almost every other flowering plant. Obviously, I am one of their admirers.
One thing that I’ve noticed is that some of the ornamental grasses are still looking pretty spry, the ones with small heads standing up the best. They are not really much of a stand-out during the summer, when they have to compete with all the vivid colours of the flowering plants but now, when there are few of these, they come into their own, their long stems with their attractive seed heads wafting about in every breeze. I wish there was room on my balcony for one or two of these, but there isn’t if I am to have room to move around out there at all.
I think I mentioned I plan to plant several sunflowers from the seed given out by the office of Elizabeth May. That will pretty well take care of any vacant space. It may not look like a well-planned garden, but hopefully, although it won’t win any prizes for beauty, it will supply me with both food and pleasure during our next growing season. Oh boy! I can hardly wait!
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.