Just when it seemed we’d never get out of the deep freeze, I spied something that gave me a glimmer of hope that spring is on its way.

I was shopping for new gloves, when I happened to notice bags of potting soil, planters and alike on the shelves of a local retail store. These new spring items were being added a row or two away from the wrapping paper and decorations, which were marked for final clearance at 75 percent off.

For anyone desiring a taste of summer in the dead of winter, I suggest a visit to a local flower shop. The bright colored carnations, roses and blooming plants, I find are such a relief from winter.

It won’t be too long and the Easter Lilies, tulips and other spring blooms will be available for purchase.

Even before the soil in our gardens is warm enough for planting, the greenhouses in our area start their season. I am looking forward to seeing what new variety of flowers are available this spring.

Last year I purchased an interesting variety of petunia at a local greenhouse. This type of petunia was polka dotted, which was something new for me. I had grown petunias with a striped pattern before, but never polka dots.

I start to review the successes and failures I’ve had in my garden in previous years prior to each planting season.

Based on my past experiences, cherry tomatoes are at the top of my list to plant again this spring. They can tolerate some neglect, and produce a fruit that is suitable for a variety of purposes.

It’s been quite some time since I grew a large pumpkin in my garden, so I want to give that another try. My pumpkin vines contained some orange flowers last year, but that was about it.

I don’t plan on planting watermelon or any other type of melon again. I’ve had success with the plants producing melons, but some sort of garden pest cut the vine about the time the melons were starting to ripen.

No matter what grand plans I may come up with for planting flowers or produce this spring, weather will play a big role in what actually happens. I’ve found that a cold, wetter than average spring can delay planting to the point that few things grow as expected.

Between now and when the spring planting season arrives, I’m sure I’ll be doing plenty of shoveling. Instead of turning over the soil in my garden, I’ll be hoisting shovels full of snow.

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