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Early Blooms and Bugs

2012 May 10

By Lina Younes

Due to the mild spring, many bulbs and flowering plants have been blooming early.

In our area, forsythia and bulbs were the first to make their appearance. Azalea bushes that normally bloom around Mother’s Day already peaked several weeks ago. Even rose bushes have some breathtaking flowers earlier than usual. As I was taking a walk, I couldn’t resist capturing the moment through some pictures which I’m sharing with you.

Unseasonably mild temperatures have also ushered the early arrival of other living creatures to our neighborhoods: bugs. While we welcome beneficial insects, especially pollinators such as butterflies and bees, we will not be putting out the welcoming mat for pests such as ants, termites, ticks and mosquitoes. Special measures will be needed to control biting insects that can transmit diseases such as West Nile virus and Lyme disease. Our web pages indicate which insect repellents are most effective in controlling specific biting insects. When using insect repellents or any pesticide products, always remember to read the label first.

So, as you’re getting your garden ready for the planting season, adopt greenscaping practices to attract beneficial insects. By planting the right native trees, plants and shrubs you’ll create an inviting environment for birds, butterflies and other wildlife. Any gardening projects in the making? Please share your ideas with us.

About the author: Lina Younes is the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. Among her duties, she’s responsible for outreach to Hispanic organizations and media. She spearheaded the team that recently launched EPA’s new Spanish website, . She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. She’s currently the editor of EPA’s new Spanish blog, Conversando acerca de nuestro medio ambiente. Prior to joining the agency, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and an international radio broadcaster. She has held other positions in and out of the Federal Government.

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. May 11, 2012

    The Good Force be with you!

    Excellent! We know flowers beautify our surroundings and it is a good hobby to plant flowers.
    This undertaking is favorable in God’s eyes.

    Live forever and prosper!

  2. May 11, 2012

    I like flower gardening very much as it brings freshness and their fragrance create a very pleasant atmosphere indeed. I like to getting garden ready for the planting season to do that thing you provide a great read and tips about greenscaping practices to attract beneficial insects.

  3. May 11, 2012

    Thank you. This page its amaizing. Congratulations!

  4. Linda permalink
    May 11, 2012

    I established two small raised-bed gardens in my yard last year; this year I have several asparagus plants (though they aren’t old enough to harvest from yet), parsley, bronz fennel, garlic, scarlet runner beans (said to be favored by humming birds), sugar snap peas, tomatoes, basil, sweet bell peppers, and calendulas. So far, the only things I’ve harvested are fresh peas and loads of parsley. I also have several pots that contain more “rambunctious” herbs – a few different types of mint, some cat nip, creeping thyme, and pineapple sage. There’s plenty of cat nip to keep the household feline content, and a few snippets from the mints help to spark up the occasional cup of hot tea. Planting garlic bulbs around the roses seems to have really perked up the roses – lovely, fragrant blossoms this year, and less trouble with black spot than in the past. I may never grow enough to make much of a dent in the grocery bill, but I certainly do enjoy the little time spent tending my pint-sized bits of paradise.

  5. Lina-EPA permalink
    May 11, 2012

    Linda, congratulations! You definitely have a green thumb. I’ve been wanting to plant garlic bulbs, but haven’t done so yet. Didn’t know that they have a positive impact on the roses, too.
    Thanks for the tips,

  6. May 14, 2012

    Lina, thank you. Great article and tips! :-)
    Thank you mother nature for such a mild spring and delighting us with flourishing beauty weeks early. especially “Cherry Blossom” is my favorite time of year.

  7. May 17, 2012

    I have noticed the same thing. I live in the southwest and we didn’t even have a winter this year. Most of the flowers around hear have bloomed already. I have roses blooming in late February. But all of the prettiness will leave us early this year. So i have to take the good with the bad

  8. Lina-EPA permalink
    May 18, 2012

    The advantage of having early roses in our area has been that the beetles still haven’t started attacking them. They don’t seem to have arrived in big numbers. Have seen some ticks though, :-(

  9. Brisbane Pest Control permalink
    August 1, 2013

    wonderful post. This the best page cause this indicate which insect repellents are most effective in controlling specific biting insects. Thanks you for sharing.

  10. permalink
    January 29, 2014

    Those flowers do look beautiful. The best solution to the harmful bugs is releasing some spiders, although that might be a little scary for some women ;)

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