Looking out the window I spot a robin. He looks bewildered. He hops through the snow sporadically, searching for some exposed grass and his next meal. His eyes meet mine and for a moment I feel a telepathic connection with this tiny creature.
We’re both pondering, “when will this snow melt and succumb to spring’s warmth?”
It seems like it happens every year. Winter’s slumber grips us longer than we want. The excitement of another spring awakening our spirit is overwhelming. It’s like Mother Nature is testing our patience for her own sadistic entertainment.
We are living in an era of instant gratification and stimulation. Maybe that’s why each winter seems longer than the previous. Or maybe our memories are distorted, and we just don’t recall the gray, cold bite of last March’s wind.
But it will arrive! And it will arrive in its own time and on its own terms. Pennsylvania springs are many things. They are warm, and cold, rainy, and windy. They are vividly colorful and fragrant. They are a rebirth, where everything is new again. They are hopeful and violent.
As a landscape professional, this is the kickoff of a new working season. The calendar year turns in January, but our work year calendar unofficially turns in the spring. It’s another year to look at with wonder and anticipation. Will our rainfall be plentiful like 2017, keeping our clients’ lawns green and happy? Or will we see drought stress and brown turf? Were plants damaged from the winter’s heavy wet snow? What gardening trends will we see and what new cultivars of plants will emerge as this year’s favorites?
What will be 2018’s weed or pest in the lawn and landscapes that gives us the most challenges? Will we be able to stop the spread of the invasive Japanese Spotted Lantern Fly that is damaging vineyards and orchards? What trends will emerge in outdoor living spaces?
Will the youthful Phillies have enough pitching depth to make a run at a playoff spot? Ahh…yes! Don’t forget, spring ushers in the return of America’s greatest past time – baseball.
So as your excitement for this year’s growing season is reaching a fevered pitch, I urge you to get prepared. Sharpen your pruners. Get your rakes and shovels ready. Purchase your fertilizers and herbicides. Buy some new tools.
I promise you, spring is coming. Dig in and get your hands dirty.

-Kevin Bricker
Owner Oakdale Nursery Inc.