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Posted at 5:11 PM ET, 02/24/2011

Spring is coming! The countdown begins.

By Elizabeth Flock and James Buck
height
An upright floribunda (NewFlora)

First Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early spring. Now the weather man is in on the act. It's official: Spring is around the corner. We've got a countdown going so we can know just how close it is. (Yes, we want it that badly.) Spring 2011 is officially set to begin at 7:21p.m. Eastern time on March 21.

With the new season come flowers in bloom, the spring arts preview, spring training and, of course, weather that doesn't drive you to the nearest dark hole or therapist.

Get your garden ready with a calendar of what to plant, month by month. Follow the late winter planting tips from our gardening meteorologist. And check out our chart to understand what flowers bloom when.

With flowers in bloom comes a greater vibrancy in the art scene. Peruse our spring arts preview for the lowdown on theater performances from "Follies" to "Swampoodle" to "The Merchant of Venice."

We know you're excited about the Nats' spring training. Sports columnist Thomas Boswell has a great piece on important Nats spring news: Livan Hernandez, at 36, is in no rush to call it a career.

Don't forget to keep tabs on our weather page, where the Capital Weather Gang will give you the forecast.

Have you seen signs of spring? Send us your photos here and show us what you've come across.

By Elizabeth Flock and James Buck  | February 24, 2011; 5:11 PM ET
Categories:  PM Snack  
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