Can you imagine the joy a Canadian-born gal like me, inured to below zero weather, finds in picking oranges and grapefruits off her own fruit trees in a Californian March, when northerly climates can still expect a humdinger of a snow storm or two (just when you think it's finally warming up, a blizzard takes you by surprise)? Now my daughter has added an English country garden to this Southwestern bliss, the kind she read about in storybooks when she was a little girl, a rambling kind of garden with a blanket of wildflowers (amazingly like the ones that cover the hilly slopes in springtime California)and flowering plants creeping up the surrounding walls. Until now large vines have crept up the back stone wall of our already lovely garden. Not any more. Out with the vines and in with the English-style garden (planned, of course, with plants indigenous to California that do not require much water). So in between our currently budding fruit trees (nectarine, plum, apple, and apricot, along with the ubiquitous orange and grapefruit), we'll soon have lushly growing birds of paradise (one at each side), rose bushes, wildflowers, and rosemary creepers. We already have a small Victory garden, with tomato plants and cukes, along with herbs like oregano, chives, mint, rosemary, thyme, and lavender. I'm pushing for peas. I'm old enough to remember the first time my family planted a Victory garden, an idea that was popularized by Eleanor Roosevelt during World War II. Our first Victory garden was on a balcony because my mother, my little sister, and I lived in a four-room apartment, but we planted window boxes full of veggies and flowers all over the balcony. (At one point, my resourceful mother put a sandbox for my sister on the balcony too.) When my dad, a Captain in the Canadian army, returned from overseas, we managed to buy a real house with a garden. Oh joy! And, even though we Victory had already been won, we planted a Victory garden. Such a wonder it was to see how peas came out of a pod and tasted so good! So I am very grateful to Michele Obama for introducing a new generation of children to the concept of a Victory garden. A new age of miracles awaits their developing taste buds.