Friday's Weekend Column
Summer, And It Is Beautiful

by James Glaser
June 20, 2003

When you go for a drive around our neighborhood, which we feel extends twenty miles in any direction, you will see flower gardens in full bloom wherever you go. People you would never think had a interest in flowers have some of the most interesting gardens.

Some have roses from their parents yard, some are living in their grandparents home and many of those perennials they have were planted over sixty years ago. One thing is pretty universal and that is fences. People that put a lot of time and effort into their gardens fence them to keep out the deer.

Older neighbors tell me they never had to worry about deer years ago as people were poor and venison was eaten all year long, that kept the population down. White Tail Deer are not native to Northern Minnesota and the reason that there are more now than ever before is that the State manages them so that they can have more deer and sell more hunting permits. We are talking about millions of dollars for the State. So woe to the person who shoots a State deer out of season. Big fine, they take your rifle, and if it is at night and you are using the headlights of your car or truck, they take that too.

Back to the flowers and the local gardens. Right down the road from us Virginia Smith has the best flower garden on our road. Flowers bloom all year long and colors abound. There is not one weed in that garden and it is such a pleasure to look at. Virginia says that she has no weeds because she is out there daily digging out any that appear.

The City of Northome has three triangle flower beds and this year with the State revenue cuts to cities they were never planted. Somehow I opened my mouth and volunteered to get them ready for plants. I couldn't believe how well the weeds had established themselves since last year. It is nice though, when you tell someone that you live near Northome and you hear them say, "what a pretty little town." Towns that look clean and neat have lots of people volunteering their time making it that way. In big cities the people expect that the government should do all of that and that is why big cities look the way they do.

Usually people that have nice flower beds that people driving by can see, also keep up their yards too. Many people up here have lots of old cars sitting around or old farm machinery, but many keep these old vehicles in neat rows or behind a stand of trees out of sight.

In the country your home is not anonymous. Everyone knows who lives in every house, so there is a lot of personal pride in your yard. Plus there really isn't that much other stuff to do so yard work and conversations about flowers and gardens goes on all year.

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