Opinion

HELEN LANG: I used to be the boss of me out in the garden

My middle daughter has just visited and, as usual, done a number on my balcony.

She has dead-headed everything, watered everything, swept the floor, re-arranged the pots, moved the two chairs and returned to Vancouver, reasonably satisfied that she has got Mum more-or-less organized.

Honestly!

I forgot to mention that she also changed the bed sheets and washed the kitchen floor. It makes me feel as though I have been living in a pig sty, but I find that all my girl-children assume I can no longer be trusted to look after my home without strict supervision!

Oh dear, it’s not a lot of fun getting old. I know it is all being done with love and caring, but it’s a bit unnerving all the same. (I assume they have also arranged to have me go into a care home if I start to stutter, or develop a tic.)

I used to be the boss of me, but now they seem to think I need someone younger to tell me what to do, when to do it and when to stop.

I protest, loudly (sorry! I just had to tell someone) and yes I know this isn’t a confessional or a psychiatric clinic, it’s supposed to be a garden column.

So, it’s still too early to seed winter crops, too early to harvest the tomatoes and you’ve already done the watering for to-day, so just pull up a chair and let’s have a chat.

I have finally put the four amaryllis outside where they are sitting in what looks like a big plastic dishpan where one pitcher of water can satisfy their thirst all at once, but I’m waiting for my son to wrestle the orange tree outside. It’s big and its heavy and carrying 14 oranges along its branches. But I do want it to have a summer outdoors.

There are two tall lilies out there, just starting to flower, with one lily now over, some fragrant dark purple petunias blooming, as well as the bocoppa and zinnias in a longish planter. Those valiant pansies still doing their thing.

It’s no threat to Butchart Gardens, mind you, but its right outside my door, which is kinda nice, especially at night when all the different perfumes waft into my bedroom.

 

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

 

 

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