A couple of interesting and uninvited strangers have appeared on my third floor balcony.
How they got there is a mystery. They are a couple of sunflowers, growing like mad in pots where they are crowding out the flowers I deliberately planted. They look a bit silly in with sweetpeas, but I haven’t the heart to pull them out. I never bought sunflower seed, knowing they weren’t really suitable for a crowded balcony, but somehow they must have escaped from the package of sunflower seeds that Elizabeth May distributed during the election campaign, and have magically planted themselves in my pots. Fortunately they appear to be the dwarf variety, so are unlikely to threaten the ceiling above them. As I say, interesting. I shall wait and see what happens when they decide to flower. I don’t want to have to get a power saw to cut them down to a size that will fit inside this confined space, but they appear so sturdy I don’t want to discourage them. I hope they are the ones that have those splashes of dark brown on their petals, but I’ll just have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, tomorrow I’m being given a ride up to Cedar to a see my dear brother, and hope his garden gives me something new to tell you about.
But, I must tell you about my tomato plants which are now at least four feet tall and bearing several clusters of small green fruit as a result of being pollinated with my make-up brush. If you have no visiting bees, do try imitating a bee because it really does work, and you don’t necessarily have to make a buzzing noise as you go from blossom to blossom, although, who knows, it may actually help.
The neighbours may wonder what’s ailing you, but just turn the hose on them if they laugh or make rude comments, this is a democracy, and if you want to act strangely (in their opinion) it’s a free country, and it is your garden, and these are your tomatoes. And they will taste so good, you won’t believe you did it all by yourself.
Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 25 years.