This morning, Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow and, through his handlers, proclaimed there would be six more weeks of winter.
This year, with no snow-cover, spring bulbs are pushing up early and buds are swelling on the trees. This is a little alarming from a climate-change point of view, but New Englanders will take what respite they get. It’s acting like spring, so let’s shake this winter up.
First of all, take a look around your home. Clean out those beds and trim back the winter grasses. Don’t start pruning the roses until you see the forsythia blooming, but you can take your loppers to overgrown trees safely. I have a patch of catmint that neighborhood cats have been enjoying all season, so that needs tidying up in a big way.
Once beds are cleared out, assess. If you’re putting your home up for sale, a little yardwork can translate into big bucks. Go to Home Depot or Mahoneys and get some budding or blooming spring bulbs. Daffodils, crocuses, tulips and hyacinths can all take the cold and can be safely planted out now. They’ll shrug off snow and linger longer with cooler temps. Plant some pansies among them and you’ve got a pleasing spring vignette that will welcome you and house hunters!
Get some yard ideas from The National Wildlife Foundation, and get your yard certified as a Wildlife Habitat. The requirements include providing food, shelter, water, and places to raise young. If you have older trees on the property, you may already have three of these! Just add a water feature, which is a selling point in and of itself, and you can do it. There is a fee involved, but it may help you find that “green” buyer who will appreciate your property.
Take a look at the rest of your “honey-do” list, and make any additions. If your list is overwhelming, check out my All-Stars for professional help. Even if you’re not selling or buying a home, make yours look the best it can. After all, the groundhog says you’ve got six more weeks of mild winter to get a jump on it!