Hoping for an Early Spring

By Lina Younes

When news reports across the United States announced that Punxsutawney Phil, the famous Pennsylvania groundhog, did not see his shadow, I couldn’t have felt happier. Given the inclement weather we’ve had this winter, the mere thought that this ground hog was heralding an early spring, was music to my ears. Even though the ground hog’s predictions are not scientific, I’m sure there are many people across the country that want to cling to that positive thought even if for a brief moment.

In light of Punxsutawney Phil’s predictions, I ventured to my back yard to see what I needed to do in preparation for spring. My garden’s situation is pretty dismal. A magnolia tree nearly broke in half due to heavy snow and ice. Several bushes will also require major pruning. However, before bringing out the shears or even thinking of adding any chemicals to the soil, I decided to do some research on greenscaping on our website and found an interesting seasonal planning calendar that gives some good pointers. I wanted to share it with you.

Springtime is one my favorite seasons. In the Washington, DC area we are fortunate to enjoy a wide variety of flowering trees and shrubs that usually make an early appearance once the temperatures start getting warmer. The beautiful cherry blossoms motivate tourists and residents alike to visit our parks and monuments during springtime. I think of it as an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors after months of virtual hibernation.

Even though we’ve had unseasonably cold temperatures in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, when you put things in perspective, things around here haven’t been that bad in comparison the weather in neighboring states. So whether you have a green thumb or simply want to enjoy the outdoors, it doesn’t hurt to hope that the ground hog’s predictions will be right this time.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves as Acting Associate Director for Environmental Education. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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