Go Green-Scaping!

About the author: Lina Younes has been working for EPA since 2002 and chairs EPA’s Multilingual Communications Task Force. Prior to joining EPA, she was the Washington bureau chief for two Puerto Rican newspapers and she has worked for several government agencies.

Lea la versión en español a continuación de esta entrada en inglés.

Some links exit EPA.Exit EPA Disclaimer Get PDF reader.

Photo of pink orchids cluster.When I lived in Puerto Rico, there were flowers plants and trees everywhere. Beautiful orchids, bouganvilleas, flamboyanes (flaming trees), palm trees—a true painter’s palette. My close relatives were gifted with green thumbs. It seemed they could produce a full plant from a little twig.

Unfortunately, I was not as lucky. I confess that living in a tropical setting, it was an adjustment to relocate to a region where we have four seasons and with seasonal flowers. Last year when we were remodeling the house, I let my husband redesign the decks, but I asked that he leave the landscaping to me.

Working at EPA, I was convinced that I had to practice what I preach. The whole concept of greenscaping is a practice we highly recommend. This type of gardening not only contributes to the natural beauty, but it also protects the environment.

Photo of the backyard with trees and the house' deck.Before buying plants and designing the landscape, I studied which are
the native plants to the area of Maryland. (PDF) (24 pages, 279KB).

By selecting native plants, you minimize the use of water as well as the use of fertilizers and pesticides. I also selected several varieties of evergreens to ensure some type of foliage year round. I also studied which were the ideal plants for the type of soil I have to reduce maintenance and labor—remember I mentioned that I don’t have a green thumb.

In sum, gardening can be a very positive experience for environmental protection. One of the projects for this summer will be composting. I’ll let you know how that goes.

¡Viva la jardinería ecológica!

Photo of pink orchids cluster.Cuando vivía en Puerto Rico, habían flores y árboles por doquier. Hermosas orquídeas, trinitarias, flamoyanes*, palmas—una verdadera paleta de pintor. Mis familiares cercanos tenían mucha suerte sembrando las plantas. Parecía que podían producir una planta de un simple gancho.

Lamentablemente, yo no he tenido la misma suerte. Confieso que viniendo de un ambiente tropical, fue un ajuste vivir en una región donde tenemos cuatro temporadas con plantas típicas de cada estación. El año pasado cuando estábamos haciendo unas remodelaciones en la casa, dejé que mi esposo diseñara los balcones, pero le pedí que me dejara el diseño del jardín a mí.

Trabajando en la Agencia de Protección Ambiental, estaba convencida que tenía que practicar lo que predico. Todo el concepto de jardinería ecológica (PDF) (16 pages, 2.7 MB) o como se dice en inglés “greenscaping” es algo que recomendamos. Este tipo de jardinería no tan sólo contribuye a la belleza natural del lugar sino también ayuda a proteger el medio ambiente.

Photo of the backyard with trees and the house' deck.Antes de hacer el diseño, estudié cuáles eran las plantas nativas del área de Maryland. (PDF) (24 pages, 279KB)

Al seleccionar las plantas nativas se reduce la necesidad de utilizar agua en exceso así como la necesidad de utilizar fertilizantes y pesticidas. También estudié cuáles eran las plantas ideales para el tipo de terreno y las que requerirían menor mantenimiento—recuerden que comenté que no tengo la misma habilidad con las plantas como mis familiares.

En fin, la jardinería puede ser una actividad positiva para la protección ambiental. Uno de mis proyectos para este verano será el compostaje, el abono orgánico. Ya les contaré.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.