Pansies are a colourful delight in any garden. Photo supplied.

Gardens offer solace in these troubled times

Ellen Presley

Special to The Record

We really are living in an uncertain time. The only thing that seems to be somewhat reliable is nature and its undaunted determination to survive. When we are all asked to stay at home and get fresh air, it seems only natural to play in the garden and enjoy her beauty.

This is a very different spring for us but nature just keeps going as usual. The birds are still coming and every morning I am grateful to be heralded with a sweet chorus. The greenhouses are filled with brightly coloured blooms and intoxicating fragrance. The bees, frogs and hummingbirds are regular visitors and very entertaining.

And despite all the doom and gloom, there is so much beauty for everyone to enjoy. The snowdrops and crocuses have finished but the tulips and daffodils are making a stunning display. Gorgeous tulips like the ‘Princess Irene’ with its magnificent orange and red blend is joined by the romantic ‘Double Gudoshnik,’ which has a ruffled peony shape in a blend of colours, ranging from creamy yellow to coral and scarlet. It is so lush and yummy.

The iconic Narcissus ‘King Alfred’ is making his grand entrance with his sturdy head held high in bright yellow and my favourite, the lovely white ‘Thalia,’ which has an intoxicating fragrance that fills the air. While the regal King Alfred towers above everyone, the graceful Thalia seems to gently rise above and yet nestle in amongst the colourful multitude of pansies, violas and primulas. The gorgeous double pink blossoms of Camellia japonica ‘Nuccio’s Pink Jewel’ and the lavender pink blossoms of the rhodo PJM compacta combine to form a stunning backdrop. I am just in awe of the sheer beauty.

On the other side of the greenhouse are all the new lush vegetable starts. There is almost a frenzied push for everyone to plant their vegetable gardens. The seed packages and fresh vegetable starts seem to be flying off the shelves. And there is nothing like growing and harvesting fresh lettuce, kale, potatoes, spinach and tomatoes from your own garden. The flavour is outstanding. Enjoying the full flavour of naturally ripened blueberries, raspberries and strawberries is far superior to the shipped-in produce from the supermarkets. And I do love the sense of community as everyone trades their ‘secrets’ of how to grow the best garden with the highest yield.

Over the years, I have often heard couples argue over what to put in their garden. Should they use the limited space for flowers or vegetables? After all, vegetables are so practical and flowers an unnecessary luxury. And in this time of crisis, I hear some of my colleagues say no one should be shopping except for vegetables.

But I can’t help but be reminded by the famous quote from the prophet Mohammad: “If I had but two loaves of bread, I would sell one and buy hyacinths for they would feed my soul.” I believe we need both in our world. Now more than ever we need to feed our bodies and our souls with hope and beauty.

Happy gardening!

Ellen Presley is the owner of Anderton Nursery.

Comox Valleygarden life

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tsolum River Restoration Society members keeping busy during COVID-19 times

Young fish can get stranded in the most unlikely of places

Police looking for witnesses to Courtenay bear spray assault

The incident took place Tuesday, May 26 at around 8:30 p.m.

2020 Hornby Island trade tokens of sentimental value only

The Hornby Island Token Project is in its third and final year,… Continue reading

Box containing hundreds of family photos found in Courtenay returned to rightful owner

Local media sources collaborate to solve family photos mystery

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Comox Valley business map offers information on local eateries, grocery stores and more

Search and click for hours and services offered during the COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

RCMP told of alleged assault in Courtenay hours after the fact

Police only made aware of possible attack through social media posts

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Most Read