Friday's Weekend Column
The Best Time Of Year

by James Glaser
May 2, 2003

Without a doubt spring is the best season. Days are warm and the nights are cold, all the ice is off the lake, and the ground can be worked for planting. The summer birds are back and busy building nests. Even the grass is nice, because it is green and looking good, but it isn't growing fast enough to worry about cutting yet.

Also spring gives you lots of energy. If you head out in the morning to work on some project, you have to start right in or you will get cold. In the summer you can get out there, sit with a cup of coffee, and relax while thinking about what to do. Next thing you know you have to go back in and refill that coffee cup. In spring you have to get that blood flowing and after you start you find it plenty warm and are soon taking that jacket off.

Spring is also the time that you have to decide which of the many projects you designed in winter, you will actually do. I always have way to many ideas for the amount of time and money I have. Plus there are still those unfinished ones from last year.

If the water was not so close to freezing I would put the dock in, but I have so many other projects I should be working on, I can put that off. Having my back go out now really set my schedule back. I am almost back to normal, but have learned in the past to give it a little more time before hitting it hard. If you have a bad back and know it, you always are kicking yourself for putting it out and it is even worse to almost get better and because of impatience, you start working too soon and then you have to start getting better all over again. When I am smart and think before I do things I can go for over a year between bouts. I'll try being smart again.

My tomato plants could have been in the green house a week ago. I think everything is ready for them, but I wanted to add that couple inches of top soil to the planting bins, mostly for visual appearance. Another few days in the house won't hurt them a bit.

Our local town of Northome fancies itself as the "Bear Capitol of Minnesota" because the largest black bear on record was shot near here. Every summer we see a few and in the fall the area is filled with bear hunters. Well we have already seen our first and he looked very thin from his winter sleep. He took a sniff at a garbage bag in front of the workshop. It only had yard debris and leaves in it so he just walked slowly away, maybe thinking he should go back to bed.

Charmaine and I have four big and four small rock gardens. We have one and a half all cleaned out, maybe a hundred bulbs to plant and I have a workshop filled with work to do. We will both work hard to get everything ready for planting, get the vegetable garden in, and then we will weed, water and prune all summer. It seems nuts to do all this, and thirty years ago I doubt if either of us would have been this dedicated.

We have learned that all the work we put in, is worth it. Every garden is like a canvas and we are painting our picture with the plants and flowers we grow. Some plants are mistakes and are removed the next year and new ones planted. Perennials set the tone of each and the annuals are used for color.

If we can keep the deer from eating the flowers and we don't have an early frost, we will be able to see if our spring vision worked.

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