HELEN LANG: No summer complete without sweet peas
Just back from another lovely visit with my brother Herb in Cedar. He has dreadful arthritis, but a staff of the most delightful people you can imagine to look after him. They come from the Phillipines and are (in this case) awaiting their landed immigrant status and in the process of becoming Canadian citizens.
We should welcome them with open arms, as I think they would be a credit to Canada. They are cheerful, friendly, hard-working, educated people, looking for a better life than they would get on their beautiful islands, where jobs are hard to find.
One of my brother’s helpers, Anthony, has even planted a garden. I found his potato patch interesting.
He has hilled up the earth in a long line, and planted the spuds underneath. Hilling them up when planting them is different to hilling them up when they are half grown as we tend to do here.
I’ll have to wait to see what happens as the new potatoes form! You don’t want them exposed to light or they turn green and are unpleasantly sweet when cooked, but I imagine he already knows that.
Meanwhile he clipped the hedges, trimmed tree branches, swept the patio and drove my brother to his various appointments. He is one busy fella!
Herb also has 14 fairly large identical pots around the patio which presently are each planted with a single white petunia. When I questioned this, Herb said his daughter was in charge and he had no idea what her plan is.
If I were in charge I’d put a pink petunia, plus a purple one in with the white one but it isn’t my garden so I’m wisely keeping my mouth shut.
Its a bit late to be planting sweet pea seeds, but I’m doing it anyway — I just can’t face a summer without sweet peas!
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.