Happy Victoria Day!
It’s that long weekend so many Canadians look forward to. May long weekend, the unofficial start of summer. Since retiring a few years ago, I tend to lose track of long weekends, but it’s impossible to ignore this one.
While Victoria Day is a national holiday, set aside for Canadians to celebrate Queen Victoria’s birthday, I don’t think I know a single soul who spends much time thinking about the long dead monarch on this or any other day of the year. All the same, this weekend is a big deal.
The first day of summer may be June 21st, but here in “cottage country,” things are kicking into full swing right now. There are a lot of seasonal cottages in our village and it’s now warm enough for folks to load up their cars with supplies, make the trek from their city homes, and get away to the cottage.
From now, until fall, weekends will be marked by a parade of treasure hunters, cruising our usually quiet streets in search of that next great find at the garage sales. The ever-present sound of birds will be masked by a symphony of lawnmowers and power tools as cottagers spend their weekends tending to their second properties. Eventually, once the water warms up, the beaches will be dotted with towels and toys, as bathers take to the lake.
The other day, I was excited to see the piers going in! At our beaches, you can walk forever over pokey pebbles and disgusting squishy bits, and still only be waist high in water. These precarious looking structures help beach goers bypass some of that.
I’d never watched the procedure before, and had always assumed some poor sap had to work in the frigid water, but surprisingly, all of the work is done from above.
This is also one of the busiest weekends of the year for garden centres, and green thumbs everywhere are itching to get plants in the ground. Even though the risk of frost hasn’t entirely passed, I planted my pansies yesterday. Those little buggers are tougher than they look and they’re not scared of a bit of frost.
The spring bulbs are still providing plenty of colour. Check out the early growth of the peonies; that purple will soon turn to green and is a vivid reminder that I need to get some new hoops. Damn! I am behind in my garden duties!
Sadly, frost isn’t the only danger we have to watch out for in the garden. Look what I found lurking in my friend’s lilies this week.
That’s right, it’s my new nemesis, the Scarlet lily beetle. Ugh.
(The dirty thumb nail is included for size reference. Also, this is the best my nails are likely to look until sometime in late October, so I might as well show off.)
At the risk of going off on a totally different tangent, I’ll save these little bastards for another post. I know you’re excited to read all about Lilioceris lilii, but you’ll just have to wait!
Let’s end this post on a much more positive note. One final sign of summer: garden produce!
Look what our beloved Mrs. Coffey has already produced! Yes, I name plants after those people who gave them to me, so this gorgeous and huge rhubarb plant is Mrs. Coffey.
These ruby red stalks are just bursting with colour and flavour. It’s time to whip up a batch of pie pastry. Karen’s already beaten me to the baking punch. A rhubarb crisp came out of the oven before I got out of bed this morning.
Hello, summer, my friend!