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A Gift That Keeps On Giving

2013 May 2

By Lina Younes

I’ve always been fascinated with the change of seasons. I marvel at how the bare branches of seemingly lifeless trees and bushes come to life overnight. It’s part of the beauty of nature that never ceases to amaze me.


Just recently I was looking at my garden’s revival. While the garden itself will definitely need some attention in the coming weeks, there is still a natural beauty even in its current status. That’s how I focused on the tree that my father, youngest daughter and I planted on Earth Day six years ago. The ornamental pear tree that was barely four feet high has grown to more than fifteen feet tall. It stands tall, healthy, and proud in my garden.

I believe that tree-planting is a great way to instill in children the value of protecting our environment. The process of selecting the tree, preparing the soil, planting the tree, watering it regularly and watching it grow and thrive is a unique experience that benefits all involved. Furthermore, as the tree begins to grow, it also provides shade and improves air quality. Basically, it’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Even today, as I look at my tree I relive those memories. I still have the vivid images in my mind of the intergenerational experience of seeing my father, my youngest daughter and I working in the garden. I look at my garden and see many of the flowering plants that he helped me plant. He has always loved gardening. Even as he no longer has the agility to do some gardening in the same manner he did many years ago, he still enjoys it. Together, we still can share the experience.

Are you planning to do some gardening around your home this weekend? I’m including some tips that may help you keep your garden waste-free.  Do you have any tips you would like to share with us? We always like to hear from you.

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and currently serves the Multilingual Outreach and Communications Liaison for EPA. She manages EPA’s social media efforts in Spanish. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

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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4 Responses leave one →
  1. Master Melvin M. Lusterio permalink
    May 3, 2013

    The Good Force be with you!

    Thank you for a good article! Keep up your good work!

    Live forever and prosper!

  2. Lina-EPA permalink*
    May 3, 2013

    You’re welcome

    Have a great day!
    Lina

  3. L. J. Knickerbocker permalink
    May 6, 2013

    Lina, you have a lovely garden; thanks for sharing the photo. If you want to encourage lots of butterflies, place some extra parsley and fennel plants in your garden – in mid to late summer, swallowtail butterfly caterpillars emerge and feed on these plants like you wouldn’t believe! Mine were gnawed to stems last year, but they came back once the hungry caterpillars moved on. After that, I made sure to plant extras. In my climate, both plants seem to be perennials, but farther north, you might have to plant fresh ones every spring.

  4. Lina-EPA permalink
    May 8, 2013

    L.J.
    Thanks for the tips. I always want to encourage butterflies and other pollinators to visit my garden. I didn’t know about the benefits of parsley and fennel. Definitely will plant them this summer.

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