Changing seasons

If I align everything just right, I can fit my lawn tractor and car into my one-car garage. I only bother in the winter, removing the mowing deck from the tractor and squeezing it facing outward in the back left corner. Backing my Forester into the garage, I end up with about six inches of clearance between its back tire and the front one of my John Deere.

In what has become something of a ritual every spring and fall, I swap the placement of my tractor and snow thrower, which spends its summers in that back corner. I can’t say it’s a happy routine, as there is a bit of dread that comes with the necessity of having these machines at the ready.

Still, though, there are four seasons here in the Hudson Valley. Things may go quickly from hot to cold in the autumn, and then heat up just as quickly in the spring, but I count four distinct seasons.

Spring is here in these parts, and really everywhere, just check a sports calendar: In April, “March Madness” wraps up, the Masters Tournament in golf is played, and, well, I have tickets to some baseball games on my desk... It’s balmy right now, but it is still spring.

While I can definitely associate sports with each of the seasons, I can also look in the yard to see the seasons change. The things I planted last year provide me with the same evidence of spring as does a check of the sports calendar:
-I planted about 50 daffodil bulbs, and the vast majority of them are up, and many have bloomed.
-I planted a weeping willow, and that has turned green.
-I also planted a river birch and dawn redwood. They’re both coming to life too.
-My biggest investment in the yard last year was a 5-foot-high viburnum mariesii. I had never heard of this shrub before talking to some folks in Adams Fairacre Farms, my favorite nursery, who convinced me that it would be a great three-season shrub. I planted it just after blooming season last year, and there was evidence of transplant shock throughout the summer, but its salmon foliage in the fall made me begin to think I had a winner. Like everything else I planted last year, it too is waking up from winter.

So, in a matter of days, I’ll be mowing the grass, monitoring the growth and blooms in the yard, and going to baseball games. Yeah, spring is here.

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