Spring's late arrival causes problems for boaters, gardeners

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Business has been slow so far at the Christy Webber Landscapes, but they believe it's finally safe to put plants in the soil. (WLS)

It is a rite of spring: the bridges over the Chicago River go up so the sailboats can make it to the lake.

That was supposed to start this week, but it hasn't exactly been boating weather so far this spring.

Roy Moncada is ripping the winter wrap off his boat, getting it ready to put in the water. After a longer than normal winter, he is ready for spring.

"It's what I live for," said Moncada. Now that the weather has - finally - apparently turned, it is a busy time at the Sunset Bay Marina. They are getting a late start on the season and now most boat owners are going to want to get their vessels out of winter storage and into the water. For the bigger boats, that's a big job.

"This is the worst spring I can remember," manager Kenny Uher said as they started to put boats in when the weather was nice more than a week ago. But then it snowed - and they quickly had to pull them back. It's a lot of work.

"The weather was shaping up, so we began to pull some boats out, then the weather turned so we had to quickly put about 15 back in. Lots of labor!" Uher said.

The late spring is also causing problems for nurseries. Business has been slow so far at Christy Webber Landscapes, but they believe it's finally safe to put plants in the soil.

"I think we're over the hump and we're getting into spring," said Renee Young, manager of the center.

And for the first time this season, they believe they can safely leave plants outside at the shop overnight. Owner Christy Webber is expecting a busy weekend.

"I think we will be packed because people have been so cooped up they're gonna come out no matter what," Webber said.
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