All set for things yet to come
By Karen Youso
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) There's something oddly exhilarating about February.
The weather is miserable, of course. My dislike for cold weather exceeds all bounds of reason. At home and in friends' living rooms, I am a ridiculous sight this time of year, refusing to remove my down parka and shearling-lined boots for hours after coming indoors. I feel as if my core is frozen and no amount of external warmth will thaw it. I can no longer conjure the feeling of a warm summer wind on bare arms.
But at the very height of my physical discontent, an irrepressible giddiness wells up. That's because every pleasant sight and sensation Mother Nature has to offer me is Yet to Come.
Yet to Come is a happy place for the mind to wander this time of year. It is populated with crocuses poking up through the grass, children running barefoot on the first unseasonably warm day and a bounteous, picture-perfect vegetable garden.
The garden is picture-perfect because it has not yet been planted. Yet to Come gardens know no pests, no marauding bunnies, no weeds, no bare patches from seeds getting washed away by hard rains.
Planning the Yet to Come garden is already under way. A girlfriend and I got together and picked out a couple dozen varieties of lettuce and herbs from the Cook's Garden catalog (cooksgarden.com or 800-457-9703).
The catalog descriptions and illustrations are fantastic - reading them together is more fun than a book club. The lettuces, many of them heirloom varieties, have thrillingly exotic names: Craquerelle du Midi, Forellenschluss, Bolzano. Who could ever be content with Black Seeded Simpson again?
My friend wants to grow lettuce indoors in a sunny, glassed-in porch. I plan to start mine indoors under grow lights on the fridge as always, then move them outdoors as soon as the gates are up on my new picket fence.
Speaking of the fence, that project is in transition from Yet to Come to Here at Last. The basic post-and-beam structure of the arbor has been installed on concrete footings at the entrance to the garden. All that's missing are the double gates and trellis side panels - due in mid-April.
The trellises are for climbing roses planted on each side of the arbor. Regrettably I failed to protect the roses with straw and burlap in the fall. So the blooms may be less than spectacular this year, but that will make it all the easier to appreciate the architectural bones of the arbor.
With proper winter protection, the roses should completely cover the 7 ½ -foot-tall, 6-foot-wide structure in three or four years. That's a long-term Yet to Come vision, but one I'm enjoying already.
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Karen Youso is a columnist for the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Send a note by clicking here.
© 2007, Star Tribune Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.